Island moors added to the Ramsar List
Republic of Korea names island peatlands
The Secretariat is very pleased to announce that the Republic of Korea has designated a beautiful island peatland area as its third Wetland of International Importance, effective 30 March 2005. Jangdo Island High Moor in Chollanam-do province (34°41'N 125°23'E) is one of 1,596 islands that are part of the Tadohae-Haesang National Park. Ramsar's Shahzia Khan describes the new site, based on information provided by the Administrative Authority, as a pristine mountainous wetland (230-267m asl) that is the largest high moor associated with the Korean Peninsula, surrounded by beautiful marine landscapes with five major areas of high moor, mountainous area, small streams, transferred zone and residential area. The high moor contains thick layers of peat (depth 70 cm- 80 cm) on clay beds, which make it the largest source of high quality freshwater in the island critical for the surviving species of 294 plants, 146 of insects, 5 of amphibians and reptiles, 44 of birds. Human settlements lie around the lower ridges of the high moor. It provides a habitat for national Natural Monuments and IUCN Red-listed species like Falco peregrinus, the otter Lutra lutra, the orchid Dendrobium minutiflorum, Hobbseus cristatus, and Marsdenia robusta. Nearly 50% of the wetland is forested peatlands dominated by Machilus thunbergii, Salix spp. and Camellia japonica. Prior to designation as a National Wetland Conservation Area in 2004, the main land use involved grazing -- currently, all activities are strictly prohibited for protection. The site was recently proposed for ecotourism with plans for awareness raising, bird observation and site patrolling. The jurisdiction is under the South Cholla Province and managed by the Nature Environment Division, Environment Bureau of Yeongsang River Basin Environment Office. Ramsar Site No. 1458.