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Four new Ramsar Sites for Japan

By [email protected] - 22nd January 2016 - 15:40

The Government of Japan has recently designated four wetland areas as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). These are the Yoshigadaira Wetlands located on an active volcano, two tidal mudflats, Hizen Kashima-higata and Higashiyoka-higata, and the Hinuma Lake. Japan has also increased the area of Keramashoto Coral Reef from 353 hectares to 8,290 hectares. With these new designations Japan now has 50 Ramsar Sites within its territory. Yoshigadaira Wetlands are located in the centre of Honshu Island on the north-east flank of Mount Kusatsu-Shirane, an active volcano that erupted eight times in the 30 years to 2015. Higashiyoka-higata and Hizen Kashima-higata are tidal mudflats on Ariake Bay. These Sites are internationally important in the life cycle of migratory waterbirds. Hinuma Lake provides habitats for many species, including nationally endangered species. The Keramashoto Coral Reef is internationally important as a representative of the coral reef ecosystem in the Ryukyu Islands biogeographic region.

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