Forest Bird Conservation in Goseong County, Gangwon Province

Dr. Nial Moores, November 27th, 2014

As part of their broad portfolio of work to support sustainable development of the inter-Korean border area, the Hanns Seidel Foundation has been working for several years with Goseong County. Together with the county, the Hanns Seidel Foundation has supported the construction of eco-trails; promoted the use of waste wood for energy creation; and been active in promoting the need for forest reforestation. On October 29th, 2014, they co-organised a workshop with Goseong County on the theme of “Wood and Culture in Goseong” (see:

After a greeting address given by the County Mayor, Dr. Berhard Seliger of Hanns Seidel presented about “World Wood Day” and the importance of sustainable use of forest resources. His informative presentation was followed by a sincere and stimulating talk by Bernd Rothammel of Bayreuth Regional Management. Mr. Rothammel directs the Bayreuth successful bio-energy model in Germany, helping to pioneer approaches that combine art and science to improve understanding of the need to modify energy use. On behalf of Birds Korea, I then had the opportunity to present on forest bird conservation issues in Goseong County - highlighting the importance of the county’s main habitats to biodiversity conservation and some of the potential benefits of bird and habitat conservation. Other participants included Father Chang Seok Gun of Sokcho KFEM, who emphasized the need to conserve other habitats in the county too, including Freshwater Wetlands.

Birds Korea presentation at the workshop in Goseong Count Hall, October 29th 2014, © Hanns Seidel Foundation

The workshop was followed by several hours of passionate discussion, and then a day of fieldwork on the 30th. Together with Dr. Seliger, we visited the Daejin Lighthouse area; Hwajin Po; and the Songjeong Village Eco-trail, part-supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. In total, we recorded 74 species, including Carrion Crow (much scarcer in the ROK than suggested by most of the literature) at Daejin; Baikal Teal, Falcated Duck, a small flock of Mandarin Duck, the personal first Long-tailed Rosefinch of the winter and a hunting Western Osprey at Hwajin Po; and excellent views of White-backed Woodpecker at Songjoeng, where there were also two Japanese Wagtail. The day also provided plenty of opportunity to discuss low-impact ways to encourage nature tourism designed to benefit local communities without impacting on the county’s exceptional birdlife.

Getting into Birding… from Left to Right, Mr. Kim Jin-Hyo, Dr. Bernhard Seliger, Mr. Kim Young-Soo (from Hanns Seidel)
and Mr. Bernd Rothammel (the invited expert from the Bayreuth Bio-energy model region in Germany), © Nial Moores

White-backed Woodpecker Dendrocopos leucotos, © Nial Moores

Carrion Crow Corvus corone, © Nial Moores