27 Okinawa species listed as nationally endangered

The Japanese Government decided in a cabinet meeting Tuesday to list 27 species of animals and plants from Okinawa as nationally endangered species, and to ban their capture or transfer. The government added a total of 33 species to the list this time, bringing the total to 208.

Listing a species on the nationally endangered list is based on the Nature Preservation Act that stipulates that species will be added to the list if the number of a species in their natural habitat is found to be significantly less than before, or is rapidly diminishing, or there is a concern of environmental degradation of their habitat. After being listed, the species are protected by specifying their habitat or implementing a propagation program depending on the need.

The endangered species added to the list were one insect, three shells, four crustaceans, and 19 plants. 14 of the animals and plants are from Okinawa islands, eight animals and plants from Sakishima islands, and five plants from Daito islands.

Ministry of Environment is expected to add another 180 species to the list by 2020.

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