Republic of Korea names two new sites

Republic of Korea names two new sites

21 December 2007

The Republic of Korea, which will be playing host to the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties next year, has just added two new sites to the List of Wetlands of International Importance, as of 20 December 2007.

Du-ung Wetland (6 hectares, 36°49'N 126°11'E) in Chungcheongnam-do is a topographically unique wetland for the area: a freshwater lagoon fed by underground water, separated from the Yellow Sea by a sandy dune system. A large number of nationally endangered and rare species are found, including Korean golden frog (rana plancyi chosenica), Narrow-mouth Boreal digging frog (kaloula borealis), and the Tiger lizard (eremias argus). In all, 311 plant species, eight mammals, 39 bird species, 14 amphibians, and 110 species of insects, with 49 species of invertebrates, have been recorded. Under the Wetland Conservation Act, no recreation or tourism is allowed in the area, officially, but officials report that a visitors' centre is planned and eco-guide training sessions and study tours are being developed.

Moojechineup (4 hectares, 35°27'N 129°08'E), also a Wetland Conservation Area, is a 10,000-year-old high moor, the oldest in Korea, with well-developed peat layers and slightly acidic surface water. Various rare flora and fauna, including locally and nationally endangered species, have been identified, including a high diversity of insects with some 197 species. The name of the site comes from a ritual praying for rain in the Ulsan area.

The Republic of Korea now has 7 Ramsar sites covering an area of 4,560 hectares.