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Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: -
Date of Inscription: 2005
Location: Asia, Japan, Hokkaido prefecture
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Description: Shiretoko Peninsula is positioned in Hokkaido’s northeast – Japan’s northernmost island. The inscribed area’s land reaches from the Peninsula’s central part to its tip at Shiretoko Cape as well as the surrounding marine area. The site holds an exceptional example of the interaction of marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as an astonishing productivity of the ecosystems - mostly influenced by the seasonal sea ice formation that takes place at the lowest latitude in the northern hemisphere. A number of marine and terrestrial species, some of them endangered and endemic (thr Blackiston’s Fish owl and the Viola kitamiana plant) maintain a particular importance for it. The site is significant worldwide for threatened sea birds and migratory birds, numerous salmonid species, and for countless marine mammals, among them the Steller’s sea lion, and some cetacean species. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Shiretoko Peninsula (知床半島 shiretokohantō), is located on the easternmost portion of the Japanese island of Hokkaidō, protruding into the Sea of Okhotsk. On July 14, 2005, in a meeting held in the Republic of South Africa, the Shiretoko Peninsula was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on July 17 was officially registered as such. The name Shiretoko is derived from the Ainu language word sir etok, meaning "the end of the earth" or "the place where the earth protrudes". --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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