SEOUL, Jun. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — The demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is home to 5,929 species of wild organisms, including 101 species on the brink of extinction.
This is according to a study carried out by the National Institute of Ecology between 2014 and 2017 in various areas of the DMZ.
Resources accumulated since 1974 were also analyzed as part of the study. Unmanned cameras were installed within the DMZ, while the area 10 kilometers north of the DMZ yet still off limits to civilians was surveyed directly by researchers.
The 5,929 species include 2,954 species of insects, 1,926 species of plants, 417 species of benthic macroinvertebrates, 277 species of birds, 138 species of spiders, 136 species of freshwater fish, 47 species of mammals, and 34 species of herptiles.
Of these, six mammal species, 10 bird species, one amphibian species and one freshwater fish species are classified as Endangered Species I by the Ministry of Environment. In addition, a total of 83 species of plants and animals are classified as Endangered Species II.
According to the Korean National Park Service, endangered species under Level I “face extermination due to tremendous population decrease from natural or artificial threats” while those under Level II “face extermination in the near future unless threatening factors are eliminated or mitigated.”
The 101 species of endangered organisms that call the DMZ home account for 37.8 percent of the 267 endangered species in the country.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)