Nature of Shiretoko (1)

~ Living Treasures on "SIR-ETOK" ~
 Stellar's sea eagles flying over ice floes in winter and so-called "Divine Phantom Birds" or Blakiston's Fish-Owls, are just two of over 260 species of birds that can be observed around Shiretoko Peninsula.
 Not only birds are attracted to the Peninsula's rich coastal waters, but schools of marine mammals, including whales, Stellar sea lions and seals also frequent Shiretoko's ocean in serch of food. Terrestrial mammals like brown bears also gather on shores usually hunting salmon.
 More than 200 botanical species populate Shiretoko's mountains. Over a quater of these are classified as alpine plants including the "SHIRETOKO-SUMIRE"(the Viola kitamiana), unique to Shiretoko.
 The name "Shiretoko"actually originates from the word "Sir-etok" meaning cape or "land's end"in the language of the Ainu, Hokkaido's indigenous people. As that name suggests, Shiretoko's natural features have made it relatively inaccessible to humans through the ages, allowing for the preservation of a pristine primeval natural environment.
 Now, it is for us to protect this treasure to hand down to future generations.

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