email a friend
printable version
Location Japan, Hokkaido
Central coordinates 144o 25.00' East  43o 7.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 33,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Wild Bird Society of Japan

Site description Kushiro Shitsugen (marsh) is the largest wetland in Japan with an area of 18,000 ha. The center is a low moor with mainly Phragmites australis and Carex, and the surrounding area has Alnus japonica. On the hilly areas which form the catchment basin, there is a secondary forest of Querucus crispula and Betula platyphylla var. japonoca. Japanese Cranes use the area as the largest nesting site, and surrounding pastures as the largest wintering site. Recently, there have been problems due to development in the marsh and the catchment basin, which have reduced areas of the marsh, and also resulted in rapid changes to the vegetation in the area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Endangered 
Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2010 medium not assessed medium
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kushiro Shitsugen National Park 26,861 protected area contained by site 26,861  
Kushiro-shitsugen Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 7,863 protected area contained by site 7,863  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Permanent swamps; Riverine floodplains; Rivers and streams  -

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kushiro marsh. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife