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World Heritage

World Heritage- Republic of Korea
Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats

Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats

Along the southwest coast of the Republic of Korea in the east side of the Yellow Sea comprises comprises four component parts: Seocheon Getbol, Gochang Getbol, Shinan Getbol and Boseong-Suncheon Getbol.


This property represents one of the most important and meaningful habitats for the conservation of biodiversity and especially, it has international importance as a major stopover site for globally endangered migratory waterbirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.


The site exhibits a complex combination of geological and geomorphological, oceanographic and climatologic conditions that have led to the development of a range of habitats for tidal flat organisms including migratory waterbirds. The property also embodies high levels of biodiversity, with reports of 2,169 species of flora and fauna, including 102 migratory bird species. Especially, it is home to 47 endemic and five endangered marine invertebrate species as well as 27 globally threatened or near-threatened migratory waterbird species. 


The property also demonstrates the link between geodiversity and biodiversity, and responds to how cultural diversity and human activity depend on the natural environment.


Criterion (iii) : Many of the estimated 50 million waterbirds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) depend on the Yellow Sea’s coastal wetlands to stage on their annual migration between nesting areas in eastern Asia to as far north as Siberia and Alaska, and non-breeding areas to as far south as Australasia. The EAAF spans 22 countries and has the highest number of migratory waterbird species threatened with extinction, the highest diversity of migratory species and the highest overall number of birds among the world’s eight major flyways.

The concentrations of migratory waterbirds using the four component sites are globally outstanding and represent virtually the full complement of species using the Yellow Sea as a migration stopover or as wintering sites. These include internationally important numbers of 34 species, eight of which are globally threatened and endemic to the EAAF: Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Critically Endangered: ‘Asia’s most threatened migratory bird’); Far Eastern Curlew (Endangered); Black-faced Spoonbill (Endangered); Great Knot (Endangered); Spotted Greenshank (Endangered); Hooded Crane (Vulnerable); Saunders's Gull (Vulnerable); and Chinese Egret (Vulnerable).

The property also supports exceptionally high invertebrate biodiversity with a total of 2,169 known species including 375 species of benthic diatoms, 152 species of marine algae, and 857 species of macrobenthos. As regards marine invertebrates, the property supports five threatened and 47 restricted-range species, including the evolutionarily unique tiger crab.