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Tomishiro opens bird watching center at Manko Park

Date Posted: 2003-03-28

Manko Park is a natural reserve in the middle of urban city areas between Naha and Tomishiro Cities. There are many tropical and subtropical plants in bloom every season throughout the year. It forms a reservoir at the mouth of Kokuba and Noha rivers.

In order to allow people to observe the many migrating birds that stop by in the area every year and learn about its unique environment, Tomishiro City is constructing an observation center on the eastern bank of Noha River, across from the mangrove area and just across the street from a prefectural apartment complex. The facility is scheduled to open in May.

Tomishiro officials say the facility is one of only five of its kind in Japan. This is a very unique place to observe the variety of birds, animals and plants that cannot be seen anywhere else, a Tomishiro City spokesman said.

The new building's most eye-catching feature is a mobile sculpture depicting water birds. The mobile will move in the breeze. There is also a 100-inch screen that shows various birds in their natural habitat and flying.

Manko Park is the only large-scale tidal flat left in the southern Okinawa, and is considered an important hibernation and relay ground for migratory birds. Within the mangrove's large area, more than 70 species of birds have been observed. Manko became a designated wetland under the Ramsar Convention in May 1999.

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