Dear Birds Korea Members,

As you know, for twenty (long!) years Birds Korea has been working for the conservation of birds and their habitats in Korea and the wider Yellow Sea Eco-region.  We do this work because birds are wonderfully important in themselves, and because they also provide so many benefits to people, ranging from pollination and pest control to providing a sense of place and well-being. Importantly, birds are also excellent bio-indicators – helping to reveal changes in ecosystem health through changes in their abundance. Tracking changes in bird populations helps us to understand the impacts of development projects and the changing climate on biodiversity.

Birds Korea therefore gathers honest data on birds and then does all that our capacity allows to share these data, supported by relevant information, through education programs, presentations and publications. We also use these data to provide a solid scientific foundation for all of our plans and designs. 

In only the first three months of 2024, we have already conducted counts of seabirds off the Gangwon Coast with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (captured beautifully by Youtuber 새덕후); used 12-dates of count data to write a report looking at potential bird strike risk at the proposed  New Busan International Airport on Gadeok Island;  written a detailed opinion statement on flaws found in the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment for a court case brought in opposition to the proposed New Saemangeum International Airport; counted birds on Baengnyeong Island in preparation for expanded effort there in 2025, following the signing of an MOU with Incheon KFEM on March 21st ; and continued research (led by Yeoncheon Birds Korea) in Yeoncheon County, while working with a team from University of California Berkeley, officials from Yeoncheon County and the company Land Aura, on the proposed Jeongok Wetlands Park.

Birds Korea member Kim Eojin (새덕후), with Dr Jungmoon Ha (co-author of the Birds Korea Checklist) and Ms Baek Minjae (Hanns Seidel Foundation) off the Gangwon Coast.
Birds Korea Director Nial Moores (on right) with Co-Representative Hyekyung Lee of Korea Federation for Environmental Movements in Incheon, with copies of our newly-signed MOU © Lee Nuri / Incheon KFEM. The purpose of the MOU is “for both organisations to support each other in helping Baengnyeong Island to achieve much more of its ecotourism potential, through improving conservation opportunities for species and by supporting islanders in their conservation efforts.”

In addition, Birds Korea members independently continued their research at various sites from Gimpo south to Jeju; while the former Birds Korea website spinner Andreas Kim published an extremely important report using 25 years of data from the Ministry of Environment Winter census. 

Birds Korea has only 300 members. What we urgently need is to find more of our members who might be willing to volunteer at least 10 hours each month to Birds Korea – a day of field work or a few late nights of translation or fund-raising emails.  We need you to help us improve communication between existing members, to strengthen our skills base and capacity, and to help us grow new conservation leaders for the decades ahead.

Please let us know if you are able to help! Thank you.

Birds Korea, March 24th 2024.

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