Jeju Gotjawal

Gotjawal (Dongbaekdongsan)


※ Exteral link about Gotjawal  (

<A Field guide to the Dongbaekdongsan> The location of Dongbaekdongsan, Seonheul Gotjawal from Jeju island, Korea.

The Dongbaekdongsan is an evergreen forest located in the eastern side in the Seonheul li, Jochun eup. Most evergreen forests are devastated for using farm and farmland and they are located in limited spot in deserted island such as Beomseom, Munseom, Seopseom and the steep slope of valley. However, the Dongbaekdongsan is developed in large group of evergreen broadleaf tree on relatively flat land and they are designated and prevented by Jeju island because the government of Jeju acknowledged their value and indicated them as natural monument Num.10. Also, the Dongbaekdongsan is included in Seonheul Gotjawal of the Jochun-Hamdeok Gotjawal, one part of four region. The Jeju Gotjawal is paid attention for not only the aspects of Botany but also its formation of underground water and the habitats of various animals. 

  Science class of Shinseong highschool are projecting exploration of Gotjawal with great value of ecology and exploring Seonheul Gotjawal . They spend their vacation and legal holiday during a year with their science class teacher. We chose 4 subjects for studying amphibia reptile, bird living in the Dongbaekdongsan, succession, structure of moving habits, mushroom accomplished each subjects as a 4 groups. They groups could make a pictorial book of the eco-system of the Dongbaekdongsan about 11 kinds of amphibia reptiles, 37 kinds of birds, 70 kinds of trees, and 24 kinds of mushrooms. It will be very scarce contents to include all species (plants, animals, mushrooms), but we think it as a satisfactory results because we prepared it spilling out our precious time. We generally used picture we took during the exploration of the Dongbaekdongsan, but we showed our own picture to feature the species and to show the picture of good quality because the condition of it was worse. Based on the result of exploring the Dongbaekdongsan, this is our introduction for the exploration of the Dongbaekdongsan. 

Fig1. scenery of Dongbaekdongsan seen around Albam Oreum

On the top of the Albam parasitic volcano located near the southwestern of the Dongbaekdongsan. The Dongbaekdongsan is looked as the hill with the gentle slope. It seems that the name “Hill” is came from this fact. In the environment of the Dongbaekdongsan, tree stratums especially the evergreen oak trees such as the Nakai, Ring-cupped oak, Blume are easily observed, subshrub such as the Common camellia, emarginata, Distylium Racemosum, and the shrub layer such as the Common camellia, emarginata, Marberry, Japanische spitzblume, Rubus buergeri. Also there are high population of the diverse trees especially the camphor tree such as the Cinnamomum japonicum, Actinodaphne lancifolia, Machilus japonica, Neolitsea sericeam, and Neolitsea sericea.

Although the inside of the Dongbaekdongsan is nearly covered with the evergreen, we can watch broadleaf trees such as sumacs, maxim, siebold&zucc in the sunny walking road(Fig 3).

  Dongbaekdongsan is a area that rocks piles up like (Fig 4), soil stratum is very thin and cultivation is almost impossible. So, people’s interference is rare, with this we can guess present luxuriant forest is formed.

 Inside of the forest of the Dongbaekdongsan is kept humid because of the dense forests. Although its soil layer is weak, the litter layer is formed thickly. Also the light comes relatively less. The trees and branches withered by another causes provide good condition for growth and development of mushrooms. Especially in humid summer, you can see mushrooms which have diverse colors and shapes in everywhere(Fig 5). Feeling the variety of mushrooms walking along the forest can give you unique pleasure even if you are not a expert.



Dongbaekdongsan has fine conditions for various animals like amphibian, reptile and birds etc to inhabit. You can find diverse habitat, such as inside of the Dongbaekdongsan composed of dense forests, the outside of pastures, the edge of the forest where the forests and the pastures adjoin, and ponds and wetlands dispersing everywhere. Various habitats gather various animals, especially the ponds and the wetlands in everywhere of the Dongbaekdongsan are nice places for amphibian to lay eggs and for snakes to hunt prays(Fig 6).

 Besides here in the ponds, stool of mandarin ducks which we can assume that mandarin ducks which is natural monument that prepare for the coming winter around Dongbaekdongsan in winter is making use of stepping-stone at night, is observed(Fig7).



 Also in summer various birds have been seen bathing and drinking water to cool off from the heat. Coming inside of the forest of the Dongbaekdongsan from Eden-suyanggwan, you can see a wetland called ‘Meonmulkkak‘. In this wetland, diverse amphibian, reptile and birds are living. Especially in expedition period Korean paradise flycatchers which is rare, endangered level 2species designated by Ministry of Environment were often seen coming here to drink water. Also in summer of the forest weeping sound of a Fairy Pitta which is endangered Level 2 species comes clearly.

Another joy of traveling the Dongbaekdongsan is observing the process of vegetation type’s succession. Currently, pasture are not forced to large scale graze as the past, but grazing the minority of horses. Therefore , it shows different scenery from the past when there were a lot of grazing, and it will do as time passed. It was expected that there were many grassland, but now you can observe the process of changing into bushes, a Japanese black pines and evergreen broad-leaved forest. Nowaday pasture show overgrown with bushes and a Japanese black pines, as well as some of there show evergreen broad-leaved forest like Quercus salicina and Quercus glauca Thunb. The edge of the forest have Japanese black pines and evergreen broad-leaved equally.

  Like this, generally the vegetation type changed this process : grassland →bushes→pines→broadleaf trees. But this process dosen’t change in time. In the beginning(grassland→bushes), the change turn up fast, while in the latter part(pines→broadleaf) did gradually changing. Finally, when it developed into broadleaf trees, it called tiptop and in this state, the change of vegetation type appears very slow. 

Nowadays inside of forest assumes the form of tolerant tree forest of which dominant species are evergreen oak vegetables like Cuspidata or Ring-cupped Oak, but tall camphor tree family like Japanese Cinnamon, Sericea have large percentages. So, It should need constantly attention to after the way of ecological succession.

 (a) and (b) are pasture. (c) and (d) are boundary. (e) and (f) are inside in forest.  As we go from(a) to (f), it is to enter deep into Dongbaekdongsan forest inside   

For the last one year, making ecology guide with the result about eco-tour of Dongbaekdongsan area, which can help the general public who visits Dongbaekdongsan, students who visit this place for learning experience, helping students and teachers each other is a really rewarding thing could be. But we feel the lack because of time limit and lack of major information, so we couldn’t deal more deep contents and have many things to do yet. From now on, students and guidance teachers of morning star science club will make more developmental ecology guide to supply a gap through constantly eco-tour .


2010. January

Written by representative teacher Byoung-Soo, Kim

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