The demilitarized zone between North and South Korea is one of the most dangerous place in the world for humans. The 2.5 mile wide 148 mile long stretch of land is covered in minefields and hidden traps waiting to kill anyone patrolling the border or trying to cross, but because of this is become a haven for endangered species.
The Korean Peninsula have seen massive deforestation and industrial pollution since the Japanese occupation in 1905, leading to massive environmental decline, but the DMZ has become a safe haven to the last remaining indigenous species of animals and plants on the peninsula.
Animals such as black cap, kingfishers, long-tailed, girls, red-crowned cranes, black bears and tigers live here. Black cap kingfishers live in all of Southeast Asia, parts of India, part of China and, of course, the Korean Peninsula, though they are classed as Least Concern.
The numbers have been steadily declining over the years. The black sub kingfishers has not been studied in extent, so not much is known as long-tailed. Girls live in small bits of China on the border with Russia and North Korea and into the peninsula all the way down.
Past the DMZ they live most of all in the mountain range on the eastern coast of Korea and thrive in the DMZ. These girls have very specific habitats, steep rocky slopes with sparse forests at around a thousand metres above sea level.
Their class is vulnerable, but this could be wrong as the largest populations live in North Korea. So we don’t, know their exact numbers. Another animal defines refuge in the DMZ is the red-crowned crane.
These cranes are endangered, with only around 2,000 thought to be left when being studied to find out how many there were to the surprise of researcher. Several homes were found in the DMZ where they spend the winter.
Red-Crowned cranes are also the heaviest crane species. On average 25 pounds around ten tigers are thought to live in the DMZ protected from hunters by barbed wire landmines and a team conservationist who hike and track these Tigers.
Though no Tigers have been seen, and some say they’re armed. The teams of conservationists have found footprints and scratch marks on the trees, which are either tigers or bears. Black bears have been hunted to near-extinction in Pakistan and all the way to Korea are found in the DMZ, where they’re safe from poachers in winter, black vultures migrate to the GMB from Mongolia, a roughly 1124 mile journey.
These are just a few animals that live here. There are around 91 endangered species in the DMZ, the animals aren’t, the only rare thing taking refuge in the safe haven, many plants and where habitats are in the DMZ, such as the wetland would stretch around the western coast, which is the only Weapon without Korea, the DMZ is home to the only Highmore in South Korea.
This beautiful area ensure one is thought to be a minefield. The red-crowned cranes stopped here on their migration from Siberia. In November, nearly 2,000 species of plant lived here as well, some of them endangered as they lost their habitat to deforestation, industry and mining.
This safe haven is under threat, however, with the constant possibility of North Korean invasion or the merging of North and South into one country. Whatever happens, the DMZ will be abolished, making it safe for humans to enter.
This will result in the death of many animals and the destruction of the unique environment groups of animal activists are trying to sort this out by getting the area designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and setting up national parks and nature reserve.
Should Korea unify again? Thank you for watching this video. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something new.