Yambaru National Park
– Yambaru subtropical forest: Mountains and human activity nurturing a diversity of life –
Designated as a national park in 2016, Yambaru National Park is rich in biodiversity.
The word “Yambaru” means “area of mountains and forests”, and refers to the northern part of Okinawa Island which has extensive subtropical evergreen forests. The Yambaru region is situated at around 27 degrees north latitude. Most subtropical regions around the world at the same latitude are deserts or arid areas, and hardly any have forests, but Yambaru’s subtropical oceanic climate environment has created lush forests.
Yambaru’s forests cover only a fraction of Japan’s total area (less than 0.1%), but set against the geographical history of the islands, whose formation reflects that of the Ryukyu archipelago, about half of the bird species and a quarter of the frog species found in Japan have been identified in these forests, which are also home to a large variety of endemic plants and animals such as the Okinawa rail. The area is characterized by its diverse natural environment, including limestone, karsts, and mangrove forests, as well as its people’s traditional lifestyle forged through daily life in such a natural environment.
To preserve this environment for the future, the entire community is working together to protect rare wildlife and prevent poaching through patrols and other conservation activities.
To visit the Yambaru National Park website, click here: