Achieving Co-Existence: Restoration of Endangered Species in the Republic of Korea

Published: 25 June 2021
Last edited: 20 December 2021
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Since 2002, the Ministry of Environment of ROK through the Korea National Park Service (KNPS) has re-introduced 51 Asiatic bears (Ursus thibetanus ussuricus), 22 long-tailed gorals (Naemorhedus caudatus) and 118 Korean red foxes (Vulpes vulpes peculiosa) in Jirisan, Woraksan, and Sobaeksan National Parks, respectively. Restoration programmes are long-term and implemented systematically, using a three-step process: planning, restoration, and feedback. The successful re-introduction of these endangered species in the wild has promoted biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.


East Asia
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate deciduous forest
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Forest Management
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Protected and conserved areas governance
Protected and conserved areas management planning
Science and research
Species management
Increasing temperatures
Land and Forest degradation
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Sustainable development goals
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 12: Reducing risk of extinction


Jirisan National Park, 마천면 삼정리, Hamyang-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do 50057, South Korea | Jirisan National Park, Woraksan National Park, Sobaeksan National Park
월악산국립공원, 한수면 송계리, Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 27226, South Korea
소백산 국립공원, Yeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 36018, South Korea
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Asiatic black bear

The Asiatic black bear restoration project is being implemented in Jirisan National Park. Since 2004, 51 bears have been released. Currently, about 69 bears are inhabiting the restoration area, comprising 20 released animals and 49 natural births. In 2018, the project realised its goal of achieving a Minimum Viable Population (MVP) of 50 animals, two years earlier than the original 2020 target Among the 69 bears.


Long-tailed goral

The Long-tailed goral restoration project has been implemented since 2006. Twenty-two Long-tailed gorals have been released in total. Currently, some 102 Long-tailed gorals inhabit the Woraksan National Park, surpassing the original goal for Phase 1 of 100 animals. 


Korean red fox

The Korean red fox restoration project is being implemented in Sobaeksan National Park. One hundred and eighteen Korean red foxes have been released since 2012, and the goal of achieving an MVP of 50 animals was reached much earlier than planned. Currently, about 67 foxes are inhabiting the park, comprising 53 introduced animals and 14 natural births. 

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Korea National Park Service - KNPS Korea National Park Service