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Re-emergence of the Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) in inland South Korea

  • Lee, Sang-Yeon1, 2
  • Sung, Ha-Cheol2
  • Han, Donguk3
  • Cha, Jin-Yeol1
  • 1 National Institute of Ecology, 1210, Geumgang-ro, Maseo-myeon, Seocheon, 33657, South Korea , Seocheon (South Korea)
  • 2 Chonnam National University, Gwangju, 61186, South Korea , Gwangju (South Korea)
  • 3 Eco Korea, 139-43, Daeju-ro 107beon-gil, Deogyang-gu, Goyang, 10456, South Korea , Goyang (South Korea)
Published Article
Journal of Ecology and Environment
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Jul 28, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s41610-020-00162-x
Springer Nature


Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), which has never been recorded in South Korea, appeared on Jeju Island in 2018 and re-emerged in the inland area of Seocheon-gun (South Chungcheong Province) and in Goyang-si (Gyeonggi Province) in the following year. This study aims to report the progress in observing P. falcinellus in the inland areas of South Korea in 2019 and to predict its origin region and future propensity for habitats in the country through literature review. On 5 May 2019, an individual of P. falcinellus with breeding feathers was observed in a farmland in Wolsan-ri, Seocheon-gun. Twelve days later, another one was identified in a farmland in Janghang-dong, Goyang-si, about 173 km north of Wolsan-ri. The observed birds fed and rested in the area and stayed for only a day. The individual birds spotted in South Korea in 2019 are conjectured to have come from either Southeast Asia or Australia, among areas located in East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF). This is because P. falcinellus, a species with excellent dispersal capacity, forms a population in new areas during extreme environmental changes in their current habitats, especially droughts. For 2 years, P. falcinellus was observed to be migrating in spring; however, in the future, they may exhibit the same propensity for breeding and habitats as that of birds migrating in autumn. As it is a conspicuous species, effective detection of their arrival requires a survey system that classifies the country by habitat type and involves periodic and multiple observations by experts and citizens.

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