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Endangered Flying Squirrels Live in Korea

Posted June. 13, 2005 06:32,   


A total of 119 flying squirrels (natural monument no. 328, photo), which are currently endangered, have been confirmed to be living across the country.

In addition, 10 kinds of unrecorded species such as bryozoans, and alpheus species with three horns on forehead, were discovered on Geojedo, Gyeongnam Province and on an uninhabited island near Chujado in Jeju Island.

On June 12, The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) under the Ministry of Environment announced that the above mentioned results were found in last year’s investigation of 35 terrestrial ecosystems’ natural environments.

An official of the NIER said, “A total of 119 flying squirrels, including 30 that were directly observed and 89 that were investigated by witnesses, are presumed to be living nationwide,” and noted that a protection measure is urgently needed as the number of flying squirrels is highly likely to be diminished in the wake of a forest fire in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon Province.

Flying squirrels live in forests with old trees over 30 centimeters in diameter in Gangwon Province, Gyeongbuk Province, and national parks.

They feed on fruits, leaves, and insects, and can fly with their patagium that is located between their front leg and hind leg.

Meanwhile, the NIER said that Chuncheon and Hongcheon in Gangwon Province, Youngdong in Chungbuk Province, Hapcheon, and Euiryeong area in Gyeongnam Province, and a small area in Ulsan have well-preserved natural environments and require a great deal of conservation.

Tae-Hun Hwang beetlez@donga.com