Ideal habitats for water birds in Kumya

The DPRK, surrounded by sea on three sides and with lots of large and small rivers, has many wetlands favourable for inhabitation of migratory water birds.

Among them are wetlands in Kumya which cover the vast areas around Songjon Bay on the east coast of Korea.

As its wetlands are diverse in type and rich in water resources and fauna and flora, they have served as a habitat and reserve for migratory birds.

The downstream areas of the Kumya and Tokji rivers emptying into the East Sea of Korea are one of the main habitats where many water birds fly in.

The area was designated as the Kumya Migratory Bird Reserve in 1995 as it has different types of wetlands favourable for the propagation of water fowls like swamp, marsh, reed field, paddy field and saltern and rich animal and plant resources like carp, mullet, shellfish, shrimp, aquatic animals, wateroat and reed.

The reserve was registered as the Network Site of the EAAF (East Asian-Australasian Flyway) in 2018 as migratory water birds accounting for over one percent of their total numbers in the world or the region stop there.

Another habitat is Lagoon Ha. Dozens of water bird species fly in the lagoon in February and March every year.

Well over a hundred species of water birds fly into the wetlands in Kumya with diverse ecosystem every year.

These wetlands are inhabited by five percent of the total number of Manchurian cranes and mute swan, one percent of the total number of hooper swan and seven percent of that of white-fronted goose in the region. Observed there are also tens of thousands of water fowls like Larus ridibundus, Anas penelope, Anas acuta, Aythya fuligula, Podiceps cristatus and Calidris alpina.