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Evaluation of Historic Breeding Habitats with a View to the Potential for Reintroduction of the Oriental White Stork (Ciconia boyciana) and Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) in Korea

  • Park, Shi-Ryong (Department of Biology Education, Korea National University of Education) ;
  • Kim, Su-Kyung (Department of Biology Education, Korea National University of Education) ;
  • Sung, Ha-Cheol (Department of Biology, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Choi, Yu-Sung (Department of Biology, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Cheong, Seok-Wan (National Ecological Institute, Ministry of Environment)
  • Received : 2010.09.13
  • Accepted : 2010.11.12
  • Published : 2010.11.30

Abstract

The Oriental White Stork (Ciconia boyciana) and the Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) are wetland species listed as "Endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The two species were once common on the Korean peninsula, but have experienced a severe population reduction in the past decades. Currently, they are officially extinct in Korea. At present, reintroduction programs to release the birds to the wild are in progress in Korea as well as in Japan. In this study, we surveyed the historic breeding sites of the two species using the literature and face-to-face interviews with local people as a step toward determining appropriate breeding habitats for reintroduction. We found 26 historic breeding sites for the Oriental White Stork in Chungcheong-do and Gyeonggi-do, but did not find any breeding sites for the Crested Ibis. These findings suggest that the Oriental White Stork was resident, while the Crested Ibis was a winter visitor to Korea. Based on these results, we discuss the possibilities for successful reintroduction of the two species in Korea.

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