Izumi Wintering Habitat of Cranes

The Takaono River estuary:
Tidal flats with sand and mud deposits are inhabited by many organisms, including birds.
Hooded Cranes foraging in front of Mt. Yahazu, located in the northeastern part of Izumi Plain.
Paddy fields in winter across the Izumi Plain:
Many cranes forage during the day, and at night, they roost in groups in paddy fields filled with water for their roosting ground.

Izumi Wintering Habitat of Cranes

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    478 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    32°06'N 130°16'E
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The Site is located at the end of the Izumi alluvial fan, where three rivers converge: the Takaono, the Noda and the Euchi. It is mainly covered with rice paddies, together with open water at the estuaries and sandbars that appear during low tides. This area is one of the best birdwatching sites in Japan, with about 300 of the 650 species of wild birds in the country. The wetland is known as an internationally important wintering site for endangered crane species, including almost all of the global population of hooded crane (Grus monacha) and about half of the global population of white-naped crane (Grus vipio). It also provides shelter for the vulnerable common pochard (Aythya ferina). To facilitate crane conservation, the local government established the Council for Crane Conservation Measures of Kagoshima Prefecture in the mid-1950s, and later the Kagoshima Crane Conservancy. Local junior high school students have been conducting crane count surveys since 1960, continuing to this day for 62 years. The area was designated as a national special natural monument in 1952, and the no-hunting zone was expanded in 1962. The Izumi-Takaono National Wildlife Protection Area special protection zone was designated in 1987 and extended in 2021. The Izumi Wintering Habitat of Cranes provides numerous services to surrounding communities, including food production, maintenance of hydrological regimes, hazard reduction, tourism and religious activities.

Administrative region: 
Izumi City / Kagoshima Prefecture / Kyushu and Okinawa region of Japan

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Special Natural Monument - Cranes and their destinations in Kagoshima Prefecture
    • National Wildlife Protection Area - Izumi - Takaono National Wildlife Protection Area
    • National Wildlife Protection Area - Izumi - Takaono Special Protection Zone
    • Second-class river - Takaono River Area
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)