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As habitats vanish, migratory birds flock to N. Korea shores
Technology
Published in 11-7-2015
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While North Korea is wary of letting foreigners inside its borders, a recent trip by a New Zealand research team to the mudflats near Nampo, southwest of the capital, Pyongyang, underscores some tentative but significant progress by outside scientists to conduct small-scale research projects as long as they don't rub up against sensitive topics and are seen as useful to North Korea itself. Last year, for example, an international team of scientists was allowed to set up seismographs and other equipment to monitor ominous activity on Mount Paektu, a huge volcano that straddles North Korea's border with China. North Korean officials share that hope, which dovetails with the authoritarian nation's efforts to promote itself as an eco-friendly, unspoiled land of natural attractions that will interest the one kind of foreigner it is trying hard to woo the wealthy tourist. "Many people from other countries are interested in this kind of study here," Nature Conservation Union researcher Pak Ung told an AP television news crew that was allowed to film the site. To survive the journey northward, the birds need to spend a month to six weeks in a place where they can rest and replenish their strength, sometimes doubling their weight, from a lean 330 grams (12 ounces) to a plump 660 grams or more, before starting on the final leg. A godwit dubbed "E7" made international headlines in 2007 when, thanks to a tiny transmitter implanted in her abdomen, she was confirmed to have flown for seven days and nights without stopping to a feeding ground in China a 10,200-kilometer (6,340-mile) flight.
Reference: www.chron.com