Ogasawara Islands

The Ogasawara Islands are a group of oceanic islands that display the evolution process from the birth of the islands.

It also is an habitat for valuable and endangered species, including the Bonin Flying Fox, a critically endangered bat. Also remarkable are its 134 species of land snails. Its fauna and flora with many endemic species and taxonomic disharmony is typical for isolated oceanic islands.

The nominated area consists of the Ogasawara archipelago (Mukojima, Chichijima, Hahajima), Kita-iwoto, Minami-iwoto, Nishinoshima island and marine zones. They are located 1000km south of Tokyo.


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Site Info

Full name: Ogasawara Islands

Site History


The site has 21 locations. Show all

  • Anejima and peripheral reefs
  • Anijima and peripheral reefs
  • Higashijima and peripheral reefs
  • Hirajima and peripheral reefs
  • Imotojima and peripheral reefs
  • Kita-iwoto and peripheral reefs
  • Kitanoshima and peripheral reefs
  • Marine area
  • Marine area
  • Meijima and peripheral reefs
  • Minami-iwoto
  • Minamijima and peripheral reefs
  • Mukohjima and peripheral reefs
  • Mukojima and peripheral reefs
  • Nakodojima and peripheral reefs
  • Nishijima and peripheral reefs
  • Nishinoshima and peripheral reefs
  • Ototojima and peripheral reefs
  • Some parts of Chichijima and peripheral reefs
  • Some parts of Hahajima and peripheral reefs
  • Yomejima and peripheral reefs


The site has 22 connections.



  • Coral 
  • Critically endangered fauna species Bonin Flying Fox - about 100-160 on Chichijima, 100 on Minami-iwoto and sporadic elsewhere & Leatherback Sea Turtle - "Recent estimates of global nesting populations are that 26,000 to 43,000 females nest annually, which is a dramatic decline from the 115,000 estimated in 1980"
  • Endemic Bird Species Ogasawara Islands (its own EBA) - Japanese Wood-pigeon (Columba janthina), Bonin Wood-pigeon (Columba versicolor), Bonin White-eye (Apalopteron familiare), Bonin Thrush (Zoothera terrestris), Bonin Grosbeak (Chaunoproctus ferreorostris)
  • Stratovolcanoes The two islands from the Kazan Group are mountainous with both islands formed from the summits of giant submarine stratovolcanos. (AB ev)
  • Turtles and tortoises Green turtle (also lays eggs here), loggerhead turtle, hawksbill turtle and leatherback turtle
  • Whales Breeding grounds of humpback whales and sperm whales, also sightings of sei whale, blue whale and north pacific right whale


  • Archipelagos 
  • Formerly inhabited islands North Iwo Jima was inhabited twice, first by Micronesians before the European discovery in the 16th century and then by the Japanese between 1889 and WWII
  • Micronesia previously inhabited by Micronesians, tectonically and biologically part of Micronesia
  • New islands An Island provisionally named as Niijima emerged in november 2013, but has since Dec 26 joined Nishinoshima and ceased to be a separate island.
  • Pacific Ocean located in the western Pacific Ocean
  • Pacific Ring of Fire 


  • Once Claimed for the USA "Commodore Perry's flagship USS Susquehanna (1850) anchored for three days in Chichijima's harbor on June 15, 1853 on the way to his historic visit to Tokyo Bay to open up the country to western trade. Perry also laid claim to the island for the United States for a coaling station for steamships, appointing Nathaniel Savory as an official agent of the US Navy and formed a governing council with Savory as the leader. On behalf of the US government, Perry "purchased" 50 acres (200,000 m2) from Savory" (Wiki). The US appears to have simply acquiesced in Japan's 1862 formal claim over all the Bonin Islands

Human Activity


  • Eocene The Ogasawara Islands were formed around 48 million years ago. (Wiki)


WHS on Other Lists

World Heritage Process

  • Inscribed on a single criterion only ix. to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals