ISSN : 2765-2203
The oriental stork (Ciconia boyciana) is listed as an endangered species internationally. Its resident population has been extirpated in South Korea since 1971. Its predicted historical habitat included forests (54%), rice paddy fields (28%), grasslands (17%), river-streams (less than 1%), and villages (less than 1%) based on pre-extirpation records in a previous study. However, habitat attributes of recently reintroduced oriental storks since 2015 remain unknown. To examine habitat use patterns and home ranges of recently reintroduced oriental storks, 2015-2017 tracking data of 17 individuals were used to analyze their spatial attributes with a Kernel Density Estimate method and breeding status. Their habitat use patterns from peripheral to core areas were highly associated with increasing rice paddy fields (26%) and decreasing forested areas (55%). Scale-dependent home ranges were 51% smaller for breeders than for non-breeders on average. Our study results highlight that the habitat use pattern of reintroduced oriental storks seems to be comparable to the historical pattern where the used area is likely to be more centralized for breeders than for non-breeders in South Korea. Furthermore, the direction of habitat management for oriental storks should focus on biodiversity improvement of rice paddy fields with chemical free cultivation and irrigation.