In the press

News Penguin selects Changeon's jewel ground beetle as July’s "Endangered Species of the Month"

12 July 2023

Featured image
An Illustration by Jin Kwanwoo, composed entirely of the Korean word for Changeon's jewel ground beetle.

PUBLISH is pleased to announce that News Penguin has selected the Changeon's jewel ground beetle as July’s "Endangered Species of the Month", highlighting the need for conservation efforts to protect the species.

The beetle, known scientifically as Damaster changeonleei, is classified as a Grade 1 endangered wildlife species according to the Ministry of Environment. The species is endemic to Korea, with its primary habitats being the regions of Jeollabuk-do and Gyeongsangnam-do.

The beetle is predominantly black, boasting a metallic sheen with hues of turquoise, purple, and copper. Measuring approximately 25-29mm in length, the beetle is most active from May through September.

Kim Taewan, from the National Insect Museum, explains that the beetle's population, once threatened by over-collecting, has now stabilized. This can be attributed to its niche habitat in the highlands of Jirisan National Park and its nocturnal nature, which limits human interaction.

However, the risk of over-collection persists. The Changeon's Jewel Ground Beetle, notable for its vibrant colors and status as a Korean endemic species, attracts significant interest from overseas.

Kim expressed concerns, saying, "The beetle's radiant colors and unique convex back are truly mesmerizing up close. But this beauty, combined with its rarity, might make it an irresistible target for illegal collectors."

This concern led the Ministry of Environment to designate the Changeon's Jewel Ground Beetle as an endangered species in 2012. Nevertheless, public awareness regarding the protection of this species is still remarkably low. To address this, NewsPenguin has taken the initiative to feature the beetle as the endangered species of the month for July.

News Penguin’s “Endangered Species of the Month” campaign seeks to highlight the importance of preserving endangered wildlife and plant species, aiming to inspire action from policymakers and the general public.

To date, the campaign has highlighted several endangered species, including the Suwon Tree Frog, the Banded Houndshark, and the Korean Fir, among others.

PUBLISH is proud to support News Penguin in its endeavor to protect the world's biodiversity by minting and distributing NFTs of digital artworks depicting the endangered species.

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