5 Japanese fauna animals threatened with extinction

Despite the first images of Japan refer us to large urban centers like Tokyo and Osaka, Japan has a diverse fauna and with great importance to the Japanese people who try to conserve the existing species.

Unfortunately Japan has many species at risk of extinction and in its history there are several species already extinct! Mostly it is due to human greed, but currently illegal hunts and improper consumption are declining.

Despite extinct and threatened species, there are about 130 types of terrestrial mammals, more than 600 species of birds, about 73 species of reptiles and more than 3,000 different types of fish. Many of these animals are on the verge of extinction and are rarely found outside of Japan. The Japanese fauna deserves to be explored, so we will see 5 animals of the Japanese fauna threatened with extinction.


The albatrosses are large birds belonging to the family Diomedeidae, being sea birds, which are extremely adapted to life on the high seas, being found on land only during mating season. They are monogamous, and tend to form large colonies of their kind.

They are great swimmers, as they have all their toes facing forward and joined by an interdigital membrane that also helps in landings and takeoffs in the water. Albatrosses have a salt gland which removes excess sodium chloride from the blood, as well as having thermal protections.

5 Japanese fauna animals threatened with extinction

Unfortunately in Japan they are threatened with extinction, and this, as bad as it may seem, is the result of human causes. According to the Ministry of the Environment, there are about 3,000 short-tailed albatrosses living in Japan. Although there are other species like the black-footed albatross, wandering albatross and Laysan Albatross, only the short-tailed albatross is protected because it is considered an endangered species.

And the extinction of the albatrosses came from human greed. Albatross hunting has been going on since the 19th century, because in countries like the United States, albatrosses' feathers were worth a lot in the market;

In 1993, the Ahōdori (as it is known in Japan) entered the list of rare wild animals, protected by the Law of Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. According to statistics, in 1990, the population of albatrosses was around 1,200 birds. As of 2010, it is estimated that there were 2,570 albatrosses in Torishima, Izu Peninsula.

Blue Whale

The blue whale is the largest mammal on the planet, weighing an incredible 180 tons, and can measure between 30 and 35 meters in length. As everything in it is big, it is not enough to have its food, since a single adult blue whale can consume almost 4 tons of Krill per day.

Although we cannot hear them, the song of blue whales is one of the loudest sounds made by an animal. They communicate with each other using moans and a series of low-frequency pulses. Under ideal conditions, a blue whale can hear the song of another at distances of up to 1600 km.

Unfortunately it is threatened with extinction by human hunting, mainly in countries like Japan. The decline of the blue whale started more specifically in 1864, when the Norwegian ship Svend Foyn it had been equipped with harpoons specially designed to catch large whales.

5 Japanese fauna animals threatened with extinction
Click on the image to read an article about whale hunting in Japan.

Quickly the killing of the whales came in handy. and in 1925, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan joined Norway to hunt whales. and in just 5 years, 44 ships killed 28,325 blue whales. After the Second World War, the population of blue whales was already scarce and, in 1946, the first laws to restrict hunting began to emerge. Unfortunately the true ban only appeared in the 1960s, with more than 350,000 dead blue whales.

And currently the population of blue whales is estimated at three to four thousand. Great blame for the near extinction of this whale is Japan, being one of the largest countries specialized in whale hunting, with the claim, in the current times, that they use them to researches, although many countries and whale protectors question this.

Japanese crane

The Japanese crane or Tsuru is a species of bird that lives in eastern Asia and especially in Hokkaido, Japan. They have an estimated life span of around 50 years, and are a species quite faithful to their partner, having relationships until death.

They are migratory birds, in spring and summer these animals / these birds live in the Siberia, where the female lays two eggs each year, but only one chick will survive. In autumn they migrate to the hottest places in Asia (Manchuria, Japan, Korea); they prefer wetlands where they can find abundant food (rats, frogs, large insects and also seeds, leaves and branches).

5 Japanese fauna animals threatened with extinction

It is estimated that there are only 1000 of them, with a high risk of extinction, but with great incentive to preserve the species. The consequence of this comes from poaching and destruction of habitats. Cranes are famous in Japan through legends and origami. 


It is a feline exclusive to Iriomote, a small mountainous tropical island at the southern end of the Ryukyu archipelago. Since its discovery in 1967, it had already been considered an endangered animal. This, in turn, is on the decline in extinction due to loss of habitat and deaths from being run over. Its population is estimated between 100 to 109 felines of the species.

They are cats with nocturnal habits, capable of climbing trees and even swimming, they have a varied diet, feeding on mammals and others. It is considered a wild cat. Discovered in 1965 and cited only in 1967, at the beginning it was considered a unique species, but after DNA tests, it is pointed out that the iriomote-cat may be a subspecies of the Southeast Asian Leopard Cat.

5 Japanese fauna animals threatened with extinction

Giant salamander from Japan

Japanese salamanders are different from the most common salamanders, which can even be mistaken for small lizards. There is no estimate of how many there are, but researchers say they have a long history in ancient times.

It is the second largest amphibian on the planet, measuring about 1.5 meters, weighing 36 kilos, even though it has a very strange appearance, it is a fact that it is just one of the most curious animals on our planet Earth! O National Geographic reveals that the animal can pull off a piece of a human's finger in a matter of seconds.

Even with this power, the salamander is threatened with extinction by man. After being the target of hunting for food, the species is now protected as a national treasure in Japan and efforts are being made so that it can be preserved and be able to breed in captivity. Rare, these animals only leave their hiding places at night and live in icy water rivers close to mountains. - by MegaCurioso

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