What kind of a bird produces that birdsong? What kind of birds are in Wolmyeongdong? Aren't you curious? Let's come to know through the class, 'the bird that is intimate with people.'
A beautiful bird, the white-naped crane
The White-naped Crane is a very beautiful bird. While flying and spreading its almost two meters long wings, it has the appearance of nobiltiy. It is 1.2m in height. When it walks slowly by the shore or on the farmland, it reminds us of a conceited model’s walk or a noble man’s walk.
White-naped crane is a winter visitor. From the end of October, when the weather gets cold, about 100-500 white-Naped cranes gather together in small and big groups. They fly into Cheolwon in Gangwon Province or along Nakdong river and stay over a winter in Korea or most of them fly to Japan and spend a winter there.
There are only 6,000 white-naped cranes in the world. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) protect and manage them internationally. They are ranked the 203rd nationl treasure of Korea by the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration. Environmental Affairs designated as level II endangered wild animals and plants and protect and manage them. Every year, about 300 to 500 white-naped cranes stay in Korea for the winer. You can normally find them in Junam Reservoir surrounded by Cheolwon in Gangwon province, the Gimpo plain in Gyeonggi province, and Changwon in Gyeongnam province.
They are herbivorous and eat mainly rice, barley, seeds of grass, or roots of the true grasses, but they also eat small fish or insects. They live around swamp or mud-flats, and their breeding places are Northern China, Mongolia, and the Amur River in Russia. They build their nests around swamp grassland and breed. When they migrate, more than one hundred birds in a big group consist of family groups—father, mother, and two baby birds--fly together. They don’t bend their necks but straighten and form a big V-shape when they fly together high in the sky.
Flagship Species: White-naped crane. What is a flagship species?
Ornithologists call the white-naped crane a flagship species. A flagship species is one which, among all the creatures living in one area, they represent all the species and are important. The reason [to designate a flagship species] is that if we protect the flagship species, we can manage other species well. Therefore, the importance of flagship species has been raised lately.
Recently, a lot of areas have been developed by industrial development and cities have been expanding their boundaries, so their habitat is getting reduced. Even their habitats are not safe because the surrounding areas are contaminated. In order to solve these problems, government, academia, environmental and citizen’s groups designated a flagship species in each area, set up regulations and norms, and made various efforts. For example, they created feeding places, set restricted areas, produced guidebooks, and educated people [about the area], so they protected and managed the areas. As a result, people have changed their perception and interests, so they are making good progress.
Animals such as white-naped cranes are not easy to spot and observe; however, I hope that through observing these winter visitors and their ways of living, we can realize that we always coexist and learn from that. Enjoy leisure time thinking of them.
Also, if the white-naped crane is a flagship species, now the flagship species of Heaven’s history is us, the believers, who live loving the Lord. The history of the Lord is centering on God’s Providence, and Christ is the most important flagship species of all. I pray that centering on the Messiah, God’s history will protected and spread out extensively.
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