Endangered Japanese Animals

Updated April 17, 2017

An endangered species is an animal that is at risk of extinction. When a species becomes vulnerable to extinction, it is placed on the Red List of Endangered Species so it can be better protected by the government. Many countries in the world face their own challenges to protect these animals. Japan, although not a large country, is home to several animals on the Red List.


Mammals are animals that have hair or fur and give birth to live offspring instead of eggs. The Japanese river otter, Tsushima cat and the Iriomote cat are all endangered mammals native to Japan. The Tsushima cat and Iriomote cat are critically endangered and can only be found on the small Japanese islands that they are named after.


There are dozens of bird species native to Japan that are endangered. The Japanese crested ibis is one of the most famous endangered birds because for many years, it was thought to be extinct. It has since been making a steady comeback in the wild. The white stork, white-tailed sea eagle and the Japanese crane are also well known Japanese birds listed on the List of Endangered Species.

Reptiles and Amphibians

There is only one endangered reptile in Japan, called the Kikuzato's brook-snake, which is a critically endangered species endemic to Japan. Two amphibians are on the Red List as well. The Hokuriku salamander is critically endangered and Abe's salamander is endangered.


There are dozens of known endangered insects in Japan, and it is predicted that thousands of endangered insects exist that haven't been discovered yet. Included on the Red List of Endangered Species are two species of dragon fly, three stink bugs, one fly and four butterfly species.

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About the Author

Nikole Yearout started writing in 2003. She writes for various websites, covering everything from marine biology to online programming and book publishing. Yearout is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Washington State University.