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More than 50,000 species indigenous to Korean Peninsula confirmed

All Headlines 14:29 February 26, 2019

SEJONG, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has confirmed the existence of more than 50,000 species of animals and plants indigenous to the Korean Peninsula, almost twice the 28,462 recorded in 1996, a state-run think tank said Tuesday.

The National Institute of Biological Resources, affiliated with the Environment Ministry, put the number of the country's native and naturally introduced biological species at 50,827 as of December.

About 100,000 indigenous species are presumed to exist on the entire Korean Peninsula, and the think tank has run a comprehensive inventory of national biological resources.

The tally came after 1,800 species of animals and plants were added to the national species list. On the list are 1,995 species of vertebrates, 27,683 species of invertebrates, 5,477 species of plants, 5,226 species of fungi and lichens, 6,013 species of algae, 1,984 species of protozoan and 2,449 species of prokaryotes.

Classification of what kinds of animals and plants inhabit the country is a vital step toward its endeavor to keep its sovereignty over biological resources. Each country is working hard to protect its sovereignty over its biological resources through the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity -- a multilateral treaty handling all aspects of biological diversity including genetic resources, species and ecosystems -- and the Nagoya Protocol on biodiversity.

This provided photo shows a new species of "hyeonhosaek," a herbaceous plant, which has been newly discovered in Bonghwa, a town in South Korea's southeastern province of North Gyeongsang. (Yonhap)

namsh@yna.co.kr
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