Bamseom Island gets its name from its shape (‘bam’ meaning ‘chestnut’ in Korean) and has long been famous for its great view and beautiful surroundings.
The Hangang River waters flowing around Bamseom Island were once so clean that the river was used as a source of drinking water for island residents. As part of the Yeouido Development Project, the 443 island residents and their 62 houses were mass migrated to Changcheon-dong, Mapo-gu and the hillside area of Wusan Mountain on Feb 10, 1968.
As time passed on the newly uninhabited island, the river deposited sediment around the island and a bunch of wild water plants grew. In the early 1990s, the island became famous as a ‘migratory bird habitat in the middle of a city,’ which is a rare occurrence worldwide. On August 10, 1999 the Seoul Metropolitan Office designated the island an ‘Ecosystem Reserve,’ providing special care and preservation of the island.
* Island Ecosystem
Birds (41 species): the island is home to mandarin ducks, spotbill birds, reed warblers, white herons, and ringed plover (which also use the island as a breeding grounds). The island is a winter habitat for over 5,000 migratory birds.
Fish (29 species): cornet fish, Korean bullhead, carp, mandarin fish, etc.
Plants (189 species): common reed, dicentra, prince’s feather, salix matsudana, etc.
Insects (15 species): small cabbage white, fabricius, faust, black-horned katydid, scopoli, etc.
* Elevation: often submerged when large volumes of water are released from Paldang Dam due to flooding.
* Island circumference: mudflats, sand, pebbles, etc.
Environment Division, HQ of Hangang Project / Winter birdwatching of migratory birds from observatory at Yeouido riverside