Dean and Sue Zemke

Sapporo, Hokkaido JAPAN

Animals in Japan

What sort of animals live in the wild? 

Japan stretches north to south in the shape of an arc. Because the climate in the north is quite different from that in the south, the wildlife found in the respective regions is also different.

Japan has 160 types of wild mammals. On Okinawa and in other southern areas are the Iriomote wildcat and Amami hare. On the main island of Honshu and on Shikoku and Kyushu are found the Japanese serow, giant flying squirrel, Japanese bear, Japanese macaque, and wild boar. In Hokkaido live the Ezo brown bear, sable, striped squirrel, and Sakhalin red fox.

There are 700 species of birds, among the most common being the bush warbler, which heralds the coming of spring, the swallow, common pheasant, and copper pheasant. Many migratory birds make Japan their seasonal home, including the swan, which travels from Siberia to spend its winters in the northern parts of the country.

There are 32,000 species of insects. The chirping of insects in the fall is considered particularly poetic, and it is a poplar subject of traditional types of verse.