A Gift from the Ice - Shiretoko
On Hokkaido, the northernmost main island of Japan, there is a little-known natural oasis. The Shiretoko peninsula fully deserves its designation as a Natural World Heritage Site. This national park is home to several hundred Brown bears. In the autumn they gather on the riverbanks to catch the salmon. Stellar’s Sea Eagles and Blakiston’s Fish Owls seek their prey. Fin Whales and hundreds of thousands of Shearwaters gather off the coasts, attracted by rich pickings of Pacific herring. And in the water lives a little angel, a marine snail with wings and a devilish side!
This amazing biodiversity is only made possible by the pack ice that drifts south across the Sea of Okhotsk to Hokkaido every year. But ongoing climate change means there is yearly less and less ice, increasingly threatening the natural paradise of Japan’s Wild North.