▲ A Jeju salamander wakes up from hibernation on February 10th (Photo credit: Warm-temperate and Subtropical Forest Research Center)
The Jeju salamander, a legally protected species and Endangered Wildlife Class 2 animal, has awakened from the hibernation about a month earlier.
“After examining seasonal changes in forest ecosystems in Jeju, we confirmed on January 10 that Jeju salamanders have spawned and are protecting their eggs in the wetlands of Hannam-ri, Namwon-eup, Seogwipo-si,” said Warm-temperate and Subtropical Forest Research Center at the National Institute of Forest Science. The National Institute of Forest Science, which has surveyed spawning seasons of Jeju salamanders since 2008, added, “Jeju salamanders generally spawn from late January to early February, but this year they spawned about a month earlier than usual.”
The Warm-temperate and Subtropical Forest Research Center analyzed that the salamander spawning season in Jeju has been gradually increasing from January 27 in 2007 to February 2 in 2009, February 1 in 2016, and January 10 this year. Salamanders in other regions are known to spawn before and after Gyeongchip (March 5).
The Center believes that the warm winter temperatures this year have led to early spawning. In January, the average temperature of Hannam-ri was 9.4°C, 2.5 degrees higher than the previous 40-year average of 6.9 °C.
Jeju salamanders are endemic species in Korea that inhabit the islands and peninsulas of the southwest coast such as Jeju Island, Jindo Island, and Geoje Island. It was once classified as a general salamander with very few external differences, but later became genetically recognized as a different species in 1997.
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