|Title||The birth of a third-generation stork in nature|
- 4 years after the release into the natural environment in Yesan -
Third-generation storks born as a result of releasing storks into the natural environment in 2015 were sighted in Yesan, Chungcheongnam-do Province, where efforts are being made to restore the population of Oriental storks designated as a natural monument in Korea.
Mokhwang (female, second-generation stork; Identification No. A95) born in the wild nest tower in Simok-ri, Gwangsi-myeon in Yesan in 2017 spent last winter in Jeonbuk before returning to its birthplace this spring and made a nest in Dae-ri, Gwangsi-myeon together with Hwahae (male; Identification No. A10).
Mokhwang laid four eggs on April 23, and the first one hatched on May 23. They are currently raising two baby birds (third generation storks). (See Photograph 1)
Efforts are being made to restore the Oriental stork population as part of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA)’s natural monument restoration project. Storks have been released into the natural environment for natural reproduction and proliferation since 2015, and there are now some 50 storks living in a natural setting. Of these, three pairs of storks have successfully reproduced in Yesan and contributed to the population restoration efforts.
Kim Su-gyeong, a senior researcher of the Returning-to-Wild Research Team at Yesan Hwangsae (Stork) Park who is in charge of the stork restoration project, said, “Storks, which disappeared from this region in the early 1970s, have been forming a community step by step since 2016. The recent birth of third generation storks was something that all those involved in the stork population restoration project have been looking forward to, and it also has a symbolic meaning in that the storks released into the environment are adapting to life in the wild.”
This year, a pair of storks in Gwangsi-myeon had six eggs that all hatched, which rarely occurs in the wild. (Photograph 2)
The stork population restoration project is being carried out with the support of CHA and cooperation among multiple entities including the Korea National University of Education contributing with its animal-rearing and research know-how, LG Evergreen Foundation which installed the nest tower and release center, and the Ministry of Environment which is implementing a habitat creation project, and it is gradually turning into a successful model.
Storks that have been released into the natural environment are traveling across Korea and traveling back and forth to and from Russia, China, Japan and North Korea.
Meanwhile, Yesan County held the National Stork Documentary Photography Exhibition as well as the Sky, Stars and Earth Stork Village Festival and the Korea-Japan Stork Population Restoration Exchange in early September this year to commemorate the first release date (Sept. 3, 2015).