Republic of Korea names mountain lake Ramsar site
The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea has designated Mulyeongari-oreum (31 hectares, 33°22'N 126°42'E), a 'Wetland Conservation Area' on the island of Jeju some 100 kilometres south of the Korean Peninsula, as its fifth Wetland of International Importance. As described by Ramsar's Pragati Tuladhar, based on the Ramsar Information Sheet, the site comprises a small crater lake located on top of an "oreum", or secondary volcano, around Halla mountain formed from volcanic eruptions between 100 and 2.5 thousand years ago. The site, with seasonally varying water levels, provides habitat for two endangered species, the giant water bug (Lethocerus deyrollei) and Narrow-mouth frog (Kaloula borealis). It is also known as "Su-ryeong-ak" which means a hill with holy water. All development activities have been prohibited since the site was designated as the country's first wetland conservation area in 2000 and public access will be prohibited through July 2007 to allow building of a visitors' centre and nature trails. A comprehensive wetland conservation plan has been prepared by the Ministry of Environment.