13 Endemic Animals of Japan

Egbert Haynes
13 Endemic Animals of Japan

Between the most representative animals of Japan There are the eastern stork, the tanuki, the Tibetan bear, the Bengal cat, the red fox, the Japanese macaque, the flying squirrel, the wild Japanese boar, the Ogasawara bat, and the Japanese serau..

Japan does not stand out for its high biodiversity index, since a large portion of its territory is urbanized. Due to human expansion and predation by foreign animals, many of the animals that lived in Japan in the past are no longer found..

Luckily, the Japanese government takes the conservation of endangered species seriously and many species have been recovered..

Featured and endemic animals of Japan

Although Japan is an island, it is a relatively large country, with an area of ​​almost 400 thousand square kilometers. Its territory includes many islands, high mountains, and forests.

On the other hand, the country is highly urbanized. Therefore, their animals are usually relatively small and not very dangerous..

The eastern stork

The eastern stork is a bird with long legs, a long beak, and white plumage. Prefers to live near water to hunt fish or other small-sized animals.

In Japan it was considered extinct in the 20th century, but the national government made an effort to recover the population of these storks and today there are thousands of these birds in the country.

The Tibetan Bear

The Tibetan bear is the largest land animal on the Japanese islands. Only the whales that live in its territorial seas exceed this Asian bear in size.

Because of its black fur, it is also known by the name "black bear." Oriental medicine highly values ​​the medicines made from the body of this mammal, which is why it is hunted by traffickers.

The Bengal cat

Like most of the animals on this list, the Bengal cat is distributed throughout Asia, not just Japan..

This wild cat resembles a small tiger, which is why it is nicknamed the leopard cat..

The red fox

As the name suggests, the red fox is reddish in color. It is a small animal compared to international foxes.

Like the tanuki, the red fox is the object of the mythological fascination of the Japanese people.

The Japanese macaque

The Japanese macaque is noted for its rare tendency to bathe in hot spring lagoons during cold months, which is why they are popularly called "snow monkeys."

He lives in the forests and mountains of Japan and is used to the cold temperatures that blanket the island nation during the winter..

The Japanese flying squirrel

Despite the imaginative name, this squirrel cannot fly - it only glides through the air by leaping from tall trees where it nests..

There are different species of this squirrel in Japan and they are very common throughout the country..

The Japanese wild boar

The Japanese boar is a wild boar that is small and gray. Has distinctive white whiskers.

The bat of Ogasawara

Ogasawara is a town near Tokyo whose government controls certain nearby islands.

The Ogasawara bat lives on a group of islands under the command of the people called the Bonin Islands..

It is black and brown in color and feeds mainly on fruits and other plants..

The tanuki

The tanuki is a creature similar to the North American raccoon and is sometimes called the "Mapuche dog."

It is important for Japanese culture, since it is a frequent character in the country's mythology. It is respected as a cultural animal and many Japanese keep statues of the animal in their home to attract luck or supernatural protection..

The Japanese serau

The Japanese serau is similar to the goat and inhabits the Japanese forests.

It is considered an important symbol of the Japanese nation.

The Japanese weasel

It is endemic to the islands of Shikoku, Honshū, and Kyūshū, although it has been introduced to other regions to control rodent pests. In addition, their diet usually includes insects, frogs, toads, reptiles or aquatic species such as crayfish..

Daruma frog

Amphibian distributed throughout Honshū and the Shikoku region, where it lives in grasslands, estuaries, freshwater ponds, canals, or marshes. This species measures between 6 and 7 cm.

The Japanese water shrew

Shrew located on several islands of Japan, usually measures about 10-11 cm and weighs up to 65 grams. It occupies mountain areas, around fallen trees or streams. Feeds mainly on fish or aquatic insects.

Other animals of Japan

Other species that shape Japan's biodiversity are worth mentioning: Sika deer, Red-crowned crane, Onagadori, Steller's sea lion, Eastern Sato salamander, Japanese marten, Japanese badger, Tsushima Island snake, Hokkaido brown bear, Common eagle, koi carp, green pheasant, Japanese shelf turtle, red-faced starling, Japanese bunting, etc..


  1. Brazil, M. (June 7, 2014). Japan's Efforts Bring Back "Extinct" Species. Recovered from japantimes.co.jp
  2. Nations Encyclopedia. (2017). Japan - Location, Size, and Extent. Recovered from nationsencyclopedia.com
  3. UnmissableJapan.com. (2013). Japanese Wildlife. Recovered from unmissablejapan.com
  4.  WWF Global. (2017). Asiatic Black Bear. Recovered from wwf.panda.org
  5. Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center. (2017). National Endangered Species Tsushima Leopard Cat. Recovered from Kyushu.en.gov.jp

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