Republic of Korea designates Gochang & Buan Tidal Flats
Gochang & Buan Tidal Flats (4,550 ha; 35°33’N 126°35’E) includes two protected areas, the Buan Julpo Bay Wetland Protected Area and the Gochang Tidal Flat Wetland Protected Area.It is located in Gomso Bay and is one of the important tidal flats for migratory waterbirds along the west coast of the Republic of Korea. As summarised by Marian Gwilliam, the site provides roosting sites for globally threatened species such as the endangered Oriental white Stork (Ciconia boyciana) and the vulnerable Saunders’s gull (Larus saundersi). It is also important for supporting populations of shorebirds, such as the Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) and Dunlin (Calidris alpina).
The Gochang & Buan Tidal Flats are biologically rich with sixty-eight species of macrobenthic fauna, including shellfish crustaceans and polychaetas; twenty-two species of halophytes and seventy-seven species of birds. The site is also important for fish as spawning and nursery grounds. The tidal flat is used for fishing and farming of Manila clam (Tapes philippinarum), and Corb shell (Cyclina sinensis). In the surrounding areas, there are concerns about seepage of contaminants from a landfill located close to Buan tidal flat. The Gochang-gun (county) office and Buan-gun (county) office share jurisdiction over the site.