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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Mount Hakusan BR
  General Description   The site is located in Gifu, Ishikawa, Toyama and Fukui prefectures, 30 km southeast of Kanazawa and 100 km north of Kyoto. This Biosphere Reserve is made up of a National Park (created in 1962) and consists mainly of highlands forming the backbone of the Hokuriku district. It is dominated by Mount Hakusan (2,702 metres above sea level), a volcano with 8 craters near its summit. The Biosphere Reserve is characterized by lake and pond habitats. Senjaga Lake in one of the summit craters is unique for being frozen all year round. The park exhibits distinct altitude zonations of the vegetation ranging from warm temperate to alpine zones. Coniferous forests surround the base of the mountain dominated by firs (Abies mariesii), pines (Pinus aristata) and Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) along the Tedori River. Deciduous forests or woodlands are also present. The alpine flora of the summits contains stands of creeping pine and is rich in such species as Anemone narcissiflora and Orchis aristata. The non-woodland steep alpine screen slopes and ‘"snow slip‘ lands are refuges for the unique ’Altherbosa‘ (communities with tall herbaceous plants,
especially in denuded forest areas). The rich mammal fauna in the park includes a large population of Japanese macaque, Asiatic black bear, Honshu sika and Japanese serow. The avifauna includes golden eagle and Hodgson's hawk eagle . Mount Hakusan is considered to be one of the three most sacred mountains of Japan. There are no permanent settlements on the mountain itself but on the foothills there are small villages of the traditional Gassho-zukuri style. The total population of the area in the mid 1970s was in the order of 30,000. About 40,000 tourists visit the National Park annually (1999). There are several visitors’ centres, which provide information for the public. About 15 Japanese scientists participate currently in research in the Hakusan Nature Conservation Centre established in 1974 to study aspects of botany, climatology, folklore and mammal ecology
  Major ecosystem type   Sub-tropical and temperate rain forest or woodlands, and
Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Japanese evergreen forest; oriental deciduous forest; subalpine zones with Abies mariesii, Betula ermani and Tsuga diversifolia; habitats along rivers with Fagus crenata mixed with Cryptomeria japonica
  Location   Latitude36°10'N, Longitude136°50'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   48,000
  Core area(s)   18,000
  Buffer zone(s)   30,000
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   170~2,702m
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   The Environment Agency, the Forest Agency and the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO
  Brief description   Climate and weather
Large mammals, plants
Comprehensive research on conservation
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate.
  Biodiversity   Conservation, mammals, plants.
  Socio-economic   Cultural aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address    
Hakusan National Park Ranger Office
Shiramine, Shiramine-mura, Ishikawa-gun
920-2501 Ishikawa Prefecture
  Telephone   (81.7619) 8 2902
  Fax   (81.7619) 8 2085

Last updated: 10/12/2007

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