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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Mt Odaigahara & Mt Omine BR
  General Description   The Mount Odaigahara & Mount Omine Biosphere Reserve is located 60 km from the southern tip of Kyushu Island. The area includes several mountain ridges and the peaks of Mount Odaigahara 1,695 metres above sea level and Mount Omine 1,719 metres. Many of the valleys are deep, with waterfalls up to 200 metres caused by geological uplifty and rejuvenation of the rivers. There is a clear vertical zonation of vegetation from the warm-temperate zone to the sub-alpine zone. The Biosphere Reserve exhibits sub-tropical and temperate rainforests with evergreen, and coniferous forests, temperate deciduous broadleaf forest, sub alpine coniferous forest and conifer plantations. Most species of large mammals found in Japan inhabit this area. The high population of Macaca fuscata fuscata is second only to Yakushima Island. The presence of insect species characteristic both of cold and warm regions is noteworthy. The Biosphere Reserve is part of the National Park, which is zoned to protect certain areas. It receives 270,000 visitors each year. The core area is largely intact from human influence. The buffer zone includes an area where timber production is permitted to different degrees depending on the condition of the site. There are seven villages in the Biosphere Reserve, with a population of 19,000 (1999). Mt. Omine and Mt. Odaihagara have been little touched by human activities, because of the difficulty of access and religious beliefs.
  Major ecosystem type   Sub-tropical and temperate rainforests
  Major habitats & land cover types   Evergreen broad-leaf forests with Quercus salicina, Q. sessilifolia etc.; coniferous forests dominated by Abies firma, Tsuga sieboldii, Pseudotsuga japonica and Chamaecyparis obtusa; temperate deciduous broadleaf forest with Siebold’s beech (Fagus crenata), Acer shirasawanum etc.; subalpine coniferous forest with Veitch’s silver fir (Abies veitchii), Nikko fir (A. homolepis), Hondo spruce (Picea jezoensis), Cryptomeria japonica etc.; conifer plantations
  Location   Latitude 34°10'N; Longitude 136°00'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   36,000
  Core area(s)   1000
  Buffer zone(s)   35,000
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +200 to +1,915
  Year designated   1980
  Administrative authorities   The Ministry of the Environment, the Forest Agency and the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO

Last updated: 10/12/2007

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