The Mount Kuwol Biosphere Reserve, situated on the west coast of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and 100 kilometres south-east of Pyongyang, consists of a 954 meter-high mountain, adjacent coastal wetlands, lagoons and river estuaries, and agricultural areas. Both the core area and the buffer zone are part of the Mount Kuwol Nature Reserve, which was designated in 1976. The main objective of the core area is to protect the old typical forest ecosystem of Korea, which survived the damages of the Korea War. The presence of both pristine and rehabilitated forests makes Mount Kuwol an important area to study the ecological changes and effects of forest rehabilitation as well as the associated biodiversity. Ginseng (Panax ginseng), Forsythia ovata and other native plants are protected here. The only human activities in the core area are sightseeing and visits to the Woljong Temple, an old historic relic. There are limited human activities in the buffer zone, and the transition area, which includes forests, plain areas, wetlands and many rivers, is where most economic activities take place. The wetland, which includes the coastal Unryul Migratory Birds Reserve, play an important conservation role as habitats for shore birds and critical areas for many migratory bird species of north-east Asia such as black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor), Chinese egret (Egretta eulophotes) and red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis).
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