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Shiretoko - UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Shiretoko - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Shiretoko - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Shiretoko, a natural heritage site registered in the World Heritage List in July 2005, is considered one of the last pristine wilderness areas remaining in Japan. Shiretoko is a long narrow peninsula located in northeastern Hokkaido. Shiretoko is particularly significant for its outstanding relationship between marine and terrestrial ecosystems. It is very important for threatened migratory birds, salmonid species, specific marine mammals, and cetacean species.

The salmon and trout that breed in the sea off Shiretoko are an important food resource supporting the terrestrial ecosystem with rare birds such as Blakiston's fish owl, Steller's sea eagle, and the white-tailed sea eagle. Brown bears also frequent the area. Additionally, it is home to a rich biodiversity of fauna and flora, including endangered and endemic species. The Shiretoko ecosystem is a dramatically clear example of the linkage between marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The designated property of Shiretoko is considered an important wildlife reserve with unique features unlike any other in the world.

Shiretoko, blessed with mountains, lakes, and an abundance of plants and animals, encompasses many places of interest throughout the seasons. This includes Shiretoko Goko, or Shiretoko Five Lakes, situated on a lava plateau surrounded by forests, where you may occasionally see wild animals. Ultimately, Shiretoko is remarkable for its marine and terrestrial species, as well as its outstanding ecosystem productivity. It supports a variety of endangered and endemic species, has the highest recorded density population of brown bears, and is globally important for migratory birds.