Dongcheon Estuary

rice paddies located south from the mouth of Dongcheon Estuary
Dongcheon river and rice paddies, north from the mouth of Dongcheon Estuary
Confluence between Dongchean and Yisacheon rivers

Dongcheon Estuary

  • Country: 
    Republic of Korea
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    539.8 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    34°53'N 127°30'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Located in the south-eastern part of Suncheon City, the Dongcheon Estuary supports vital wintering and stopover habitats for 238 species of birds, of which at least 13 are globally threatened including the critically endangered spoon-billed sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus), endangered black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor), and far-eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis). The Site acts as a transition zone between river and marine environments that provide habitat for 848 species of wild flora and fauna, and a rich aquatic biodiversity due to its varying salinity and nutrients and organic detritus in its sediment. Reed and rice fields along both sides of the Dongcheon River provide habitats for a wide range of wild mammals, aquatic insects and amphibians. The rice fields are key for migrating waterbirds such as hooded cranes (Grus monacha), and serve as one of the largest wintering grounds for white-naped cranes (Grus vipio). The annual number of visitors to the Dongcheon Estuary as well as the adjacent Suncheon Bay Ramsar Site increased from 1.2 million in 2005 to 1.9 million in 2015, about four times the population of Suncheon City. Of the entire area of Dongcheon Estuary, almost 54% is privately owned and the rest of the land is owned by the national government. Only non-commercial fishing activities are allowed and the only commercial activities on the Site are rice production in its paddy fields.

Administrative region: 
Suncheon City

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Wetland Conservation Area - Wetland Protected Area of Suncheon Dongcheon Estuary
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)