The Republic of Korea (ROK) supports a wonderful diversity of bird species. This is a result of the Korean Peninsula’s diversity of natural habitats (including mountains, forests, rivers, tidal-flats and open sea) and geography. Since 1980, more than 515 species of bird have been recorded here, with 400 of these species recorded every year. A few are present all year. However, more than 90% of the ROK’s bird species are migratory, moving between northern breeding grounds and southern wintering areas. Some even migrate the entire length of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway – all the way from Alaska in the north to Australia and New Zealand in the south! Their amazing migrations mean that the survival of these birds is the responsibility of more than any one town or nation. It is rather the shared responsibility of all us. Conservation of migratory birds requires deep cooperation and collaboration locally, nationally and internationally. The work of Birds Korea, most conducted in both Korean and in English, therefore aims to support local communities, national non-government and government environmental organisations, and international organisations including the East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership and BirdLife International.
All of the nation’s species are listed in our Checklist, which since 2009 has followed the World Checklist maintained by the International Ornithological Congress. Our Gallery (online since 2010) contains over 2,200 beautiful images of 450 of these same species. In line with our conservation mission and in order to keep disturbance of birds to a minimum, none of these images are of birds at the nest.
For visitors to the English language website, the latest bird news pages and archive also contain hundreds of high-quality images and day-reports of bird observations – providing a wonderful record of birds and birdwatching in Korea from 2002 to the present. Annual national bird reviews, the only such reviews available in the ROK, also contribute greatly to our growing understanding of the status of the nation’s birds and their habitats.