Japan is home to several unique and beautiful animal species and a permanent loss of these creatures would be devastating to a country that identifies so closely with their animals.
Snow monkeys, also known as the Japanese macaque, are native to the country. This intelligent creature can be recognized by their grayish-brown fur and brilliant red hairless faces. They reside in Japan's central and northern forest regions and enjoy the country's hot springs during the cold winter months.
Snow monkeys are hardy creatures that are able to survive in harsh environments. Unfortunately, they are endangered from human expansion and development into their natural habitat. Their main food source is fruit, which is disappearing in the wild and forcing the animals to forage in orchards causing farmers to take action against them.
The Whooper swan
is a migratory bird that spends its winters in Japan. The large white bird sports a black and yellow bill with a wingspan of 7 feet. These birds spend their time in lakes, marshes and in fields that are flooded. The Whooper swans generally mate for life and are social creatures unless they are breeding, then they are aggressive and will defend their terrain.
Red-Crowned cranes also spend their winters in Japan. These stunning birds have a long black neck, red crown and bodies that are covered in white feathers. They live in northern Japan in partially aquatic habitats such as bogs and grasslands on the island of Hokkaido. The birds almost became extinct during the middle of the 20th century from over hunting. Mercifully, the people reacted to save these striking birds.
Japan has begun to protect its endangered species. However, land is in short supply and protecting the habitats of these species hasn't been a priority. Hopefully, the country will be able to find a balance between the animals that need a place to live and their people who need a home.