Priority KBA
Priority Corridor
Other KBA
Other Corridor
Not eligible for CEPF investment*
About this hotspot About
Eligible Countries
Ecosystem Profile

This hotspot includes the land area of the nation of Japan. While the central mountain area of Honshu is one of the snowiest regions on Earth, the Pacific side of Japan is remarkably dry. Yaku-shima, just south of the southern tip of Kyushu, is one of the wettest places on the planet, with annual rainfall of more than 5,000 millimeters.

About a quarter of the vertebrate species occurring in Japan are endemic, including the Critically Endangered Okinawa woodpecker (Dendrocopos noguchii), Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus) and Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata), which is the most northerly-living non-human primate in the world.

The subtropical island chains in the south of Japan, known as Ryukyu Islands or Nansei Islands, support a flora and fauna different from that of the main islands and hold many endemic species, including the Endangered Amami Rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi), Endangered Amami tip-nosed frog (Odorrana amanuensis) and Critically Endangered Muennink's spiny rat (Tokudaia muenninki).

Despite the relatively small land area and the general perception of a homogeneous society, Japan is as diverse culturally as it is biologically, mainly due to the same reasons: its geological and geographical complexity.

* To be eligible for CEPF funding, countries must be signatories to the Convention on Biological diversity and be client members of the World Bank. Japan is not a client member of the World Bank.