The property numbers more than 30 islands clustered in three groups and covers surface area of 7,939 hectares. The islands offer a variety of landscapes and are home to a wealth of fauna, including the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat, and 195 endangered bird species. Four-hundred and forty-one native plant taxa have been documented on the islands whose waters support numerous species of fish, cetaceans and corals. Ogasawara Islands' ecosystems reflect a range of evolutionary processes illustrated through its assemblage of plant species from both southeast and northwest Asia, alongside many endemic species.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Valuable evidence of fine-scale evolutionary processes
Exceptionally high levels of endemism in selected taxonomic groups
Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) was found in 2013 to have spread to uninhabited Ani-jima Island only 500m from the inhabited Chichi-jima Island. The lizard threatens the ecology of the island including two endemic insect species (A dragonfly - Hemicordulia ogasawarensis and tiger beetle - Cicindela bonina) reported to be on the verge of extinction. Electric fencing and actions to control Green Anole from Ani-jima are ongoing but have so far failed to eradicate this species (Stakeholder Consultation, 2017), (Japan /World News, 2015).
Efforts to control cats, goats and rats from uninhabited islands have been more successful but problems still remain in attaining complete eradication. Biosecurity policies and procedures for incoming tourists and inter-island movements are still in need of improvement (Stakeholder Consultation, 2017).
Stakeholder reports suggest that plans for an airstrip (for residents-only) remain current. Government supported proposals linked to the 5th anniversary of World Heritage inscription in 2016 are reported to be on hold awaiting budget and an environment impact assessment (Stakeholder Consultation, 2017).
In 2017, Ogasawara World Heritage Center was established by the Ministry of the Environment as a base for conservation of rare species that are attributes of OUV, and for countermeasure to alien species, and the center started its operations with the cooperation of related parties.
Ministry of Environment were reportedly planning to investigate the ecological impact of increased tourism on Japan’s four natural World Heritage sites: Yakushima, Shiretoko, Shirakami and Ogasawara (Japan Times, 2012).
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Ministry of Environment||
||Ministry of the Environment designated 14 species of Mandarina in Ogasawara Islands as National Endangered Species in 2016 based on the Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. For the six species out of them, Plan for a Protection and Recovery Program was formulated and farming and breeding are ongoing.|
|2||Ministry of Environment||Plans to investigate the ecological impact of increased tourism on Japan’s four natural World Heritage sites: Yakushima, Shiretoko, Shirakami and Ogasawara (Japan Times, 2012). .|
|3||Ministry of Environment||
|Development of conservation measures for endangered species.|
|4||Ministry of Environment||
||Ministry of the Environment decided to conduct comprehensive academic study in 2017 to assess the value of the ecosystem on Nishinoshima Island, which has seen on-going intermittent lava eruption and deposition since 2013. Most of the island is covered in lava, providing a valuable place for the observation and study of ecosystem regeneration and succession. Depending on the eruptive conditions, timing of the study will be decided|
|5||Tokyo Metropolis Government||
||For Minami-iwoto Island which is designated as Wilderness Area based on the Nature Conservation Law, a comprehensive study on natural environment is currently ongoing by Tokyo Metropolitan Government after 10 years since last study in 2007, with the aim of understanding the current situation and collecting the basic information for conservation management of the island.|
|1||Havas, J., Saito, O., Hanaki, K., and Tanaka, T. (2016). Perceived landscape values in the Ogasawara Islands. Ecosystem Services 18 (2016) 130–140|
|2||IUCN (2011) Evaluation Report. Ogasawara Islands. IUCN Gland, Switzerland.|
|3||IUCN (2017) Stakeholder Consultation. IUCN Gland, Switzerland.|
|4||Japan News/World News (2016) Alien lizards threaten survival of native Ogasawara insects. Media story 19 November, 2016. https://article.wn.com/view/2016/11/19/Alien_lizards_threat…. Accessed 05 May 2017|
|5||Japan Times (2012). Japan’s Ogasawara Islands: one year after UNESCO. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2012/11/18/travel/japans-o…. Accessed 05 May 2017.|
|6||Kachi, Naoki (2010) Impacts of Invasive Alien Species on Native Ecosystems on the Bonin Islands. Restoring the Oceanic Island Ecosystem (Kawakami and Okochi eds.), pp.11-14. Springer.|
|7||Kawakami, Kazuto (2010) Reconstruction of the Ecosystem in the Bonin Islands. Restoring the Oceanic Island Ecosystem (Kawakami and Okochi eds.), pp.205-209. Springer.|
|8||Ogasawara Islands World Natural Heritage Scientific Council (2011) Summary of the results of 2nd meeting of Scientific Council. (available at the web site of Ogasawara Islands Nature Information Centre, http://ogasawara-info.jp/pdf/science/FY2011_2nd_Summary_of_…)|
|9||Ogasawara Islands World Natural Heritage Scientific Council (2012) Summary of the results of 1st meeting of Scientific Council. (available at the web site of Ogasawara Islands Nature Information Centre, http://ogasawara-info.jp/pdf/science/FY2012_Summary_of_Resu…)|
|10||Ogasawara Islands World Natural Heritage Scientific Council (2013) Ogasawara Islands Natural World Heritage Property Scientific Council 2nd Meeting (2013) Summary of Results (Scientific Council’s Advice), http://ogasawara-info.jp/pdf/science/FY2013_2nd_Summary_of_…)|
|11||Ogasawara Islands World Natural Heritage Scientific Council (2013) Summary of the results of 1st meeting of Scientific Council. (available at the web site of Ogasawara Islands Nature Information Centre, http://ogasawara-info.jp/pdf/science/FY2013_1nd_Summary_of_…)|
|12||Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (2011). Decision 35COM 8B.11.|
|13||Sugiura, S. (2016). Impacts of introduced species on the biota of an oceanic island archipelago: the relative importance of competitive and trophic interactions. Ecol Res (2016) 31: 155-164. Springerlink.com|
|14||Uchida, S., Mori, H., Kojima, T., Hayama, K., Sakairi, Y. and Chiba, S. (2016). Effects of an invasive ant on land snails in the Ogasawara Islands. Conservation Biology, Volume 0, No. 0, 1–8|