It has been confirmed that endangered animals are living in Mintongseon, or the civilian passage restriction area near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between South Korea and North Korea.
The National Institute of Environment Research (NIER) announced on Thursday that in 2008 it found 3029 wild species in Mintongseon that includes the Cheowon area, Yanggu area, and Goseong area in Gangwon Province. NIER said that out of all of the wild species living in Mintongseon they found 54 endangered wild species, or 24 percent of the total endangered species in South Korea. NIER also said that it found four species of insects, which have not been registered before. NIER is recommending that the government make a systematic effort to preserve this area.
Ten species in the highest risk category of endangered species were found in Mintongseon, including the red bat, musk deer, otter, golden eagle, whitetailed eagle, black swan. NIER said 7 wild plants and the sable, white-naped crane were among the 37 second highest risk category of endangered species found. The red bat had not been seen in its natural habitat from 1997 to 2005, however, NIER did spot one in the Cheowon area of the Mintongseon.
NIER is saying the government should create a system to systemically preserve the Mintongseon area, which essential for preserving the environment surrounding the DMZ.