Unique Ecosystem - Birds
The crested murrelet is a seabird at risk of extinction and the species is designated as a national natural monument. It breeds only on remote islands and rocky reefs in the waters near Japan and in the south of South Korea. Here in the Oki Islands, around April, the birds build nests and breed in the shade of grass or crevices in rocks on uninhabited islands, such as Hoshinokami-jima Island of Nishinoshima Town. One or two days after hatching, the hatchlings leave the island and enter the sea, where they will spend most of their lives; normally, they only visit land again to breed. The crested murrelet is about 24 cm in size, with a long, black crest on top of the bird’s head. Recent findings have revealed that the crested murrelet seems to pass through the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan while circling the Japanese archipelago. This seabird actively dives and preys on fish and crustaceans.