Reintroduction of the Asiatic Black Bear to Jirisan National Park(JNP) South Korea

Reintroduction of the Asiatic Black Bear into Jirisan National Park, South Korea

In 2001 a project began to reintroduce the Asiatic black bear into Jirisan National Park. When the project began there were only 20 bears in the South Korean wild and 10 residing in Jirisan National Park. A population and habitat viability assessment was conducted in order to determine the most viable ecosystem for the bears to be reintroduced to establish a sustainable population.  

Jirisan National Park was chosen as the reintroduction site.  The team that managed the project was the Asiatic Black Bear Management Team they were comprised of biologists, ecologists and veterinarians.  The MUA (Memorandum of Understanding of the Asiatic Bear act was passed and allowed 18 cubs to be introduced to JNP(Jirisan National Park) to supplement the reintroduction population. Every bear was monitored using GPS locators. 

All of the bears were able to adjust to living in the new environment and hibernate through the winter successfully. The challenges encountered were related to gaining public support because 20% of the land in JNP is private and is used for commercial purposes. In the end the reintroduction was declared a success.