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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Republic of Korea


  General Description   Mount Sorak is situated on the east coast of the Korean Peninsula in the Taebaek Mountain range, which is composed of dissected granite and gneiss, with rocky hills and ridges. Mount Sorak is the third highest mountain in the country, with the main peak (Daechung) at 1,708 meters above sea level. Here, alpine vegetation can be found. However, mixed deciduous broad-leaved forests dominate in lower altitudes with stands of oak (Quercus mongolica), red pine (Pinus densiflora) and Acer pseudo-sieboldianum. Mammals of importance from a conservation point of view include Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens), musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) and Asian black bear (Selenarctos thibetanus).
About 3,900 people live in the biosphere reserve. Their main economic income comes from tourism (1997). Some agriculture and herb collecting for traditional use also take place. Much of the area outside the strict nature reserve were modified by lumbering, burning, grazing and slash and burn agriculture, but has developed into secondary forest. There are a number of temples and hermitages in the area, which have always attracted visitors and pilgrims. With some 3 - 4 million visitors per year, Mount Sorak has received considerable investment in infrastructure development, including access to roads, shelter and management buildings, and campsites. Actions have been taken to minimize the negative impacts of tourism on the site, such as the closure of hiking trails during the two dry seasons and the monitoring of their recovery, reservation system of some facilities and environmental interpretation programmes.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Alpine zone; mixed deciduous broadleaf forest with red pine (Pinus densiflora), sawtooth oak (Quercus serrata) and Fraxinus rhynchophylla; mixed coniferous and broadleaved deciduous forest characterized by Betula davurica and Corylus mandshurica; habitats with arctic species such as Arctous rubra and Anemone narcissiflora; rice paddies and crop fields
  Location   3800' to 3813'N; 12816' to 12836'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   39,349
  Core area(s)   16,429
  Buffer zone(s)   22,385.4
  Transition area(s) when given   534.6
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +350 to +1,708
  Year designated   1982
  Administrative authorities   Mt. Sorak National Park Office National Parks Authority under the Ministry of Environment
  Brief description   Monitoring of physico-chemical environmental factors of freshwater
Long-term ecological monitoring on the vegetation
Monitoring of vegetation in trails where the trekking is prohibited for ecosystem recovery
Biodiversity and community structure of fish and freshwater
General investigation of natural resources in every ten years
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Biodiversity, community studies/communities, ecology, fishes, freshwater/inland water, invertebrates/insects/spiders, methodologies, natural resources, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Byung-wha Kwon
Mt. Sorak National Park Office
San 16, Sorak-dong
217-120 Sokcho City - Kangwon Province
Republic of Korea
  Telephone   (82.392) 636 7700
  Fax   (82.392) 636 7494

Last updated: 13/12/2007

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