Plants & Animals

Shiretoko National Park

Shiretoko National Park's volcanoes, coasts and lakes shelter a variety of rare and endangered species.

The park is inhabited by mammals such as spotted seals, sperm whales and Japan's largest land animal: the brown bear. The area also attracts an abundance of birds, including Blakiston's fish owls, white-tailed eagle and Steller's sea eagles.

The Shiretoko Peninsula is covered with an old-growth conifer and broadleaf forest, and dotted with alpine plants such as the endemic Shiretoko violet.


Shiretoko Violet

The Shiretoko violet (Viola kitamiana) is an alpine plant native to the Shiretoko Peninsula. This hardy outlier grows on gravelly soil near the peaks of Mount Io and Mount Rausu, and blooms between late June and early July.

Shiretoko violet

Needleleaf and Broadleaf Trees

The park's low-lying old-growth forests include a mix of needleleaf and broadleaf trees such as Sakhalin fir, Sakhalin spruce, Mizunara oak and painted maple. Japanese stone pines grow at higher elevations.

Needleleaf trees


Steller's Sea Eagle

The Steller's sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) is an endangered bird of prey. Dark brown with white wings, it's one of the world's largest raptors. In January and February, it comes to the Shiretoko Peninsula when the drift ice flows to hunt for fish.

Steller's sea eagle

Killer Whale

Killer whales are the largest members of the dolphin family. Their diverse diet includes fish, squid and birds, and they hunt in large groups known as "pods." They tend to appear off Shiretoko's coast most often between late April and early July.

Killer whales

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