1,396 whooper swans fly in to Lake Fuuren and Onneto Marsh in Nemuro

Whopper swans resting their wings in the Shunkunitai shallows

The Shunkunitai Wild Bird Sanctuary in the city of Nemuro in eastern Hokkaido has conducted the autumn’s first population survey of whooper swans at Lake Fuuren and Onneto Marsh, and confirmed 1,396 birds. The number is 476 more than the average for the same period in the past five years (2016–‘20). It is believed that the birds arriving earlier than usual has had an effect on the numbers.

The survey was conducted at 10 locations on October 24. Six hundred and eight birds were confirmed around Onneto Marsh, 590 birds around the Shunkunitai district of Lake Fuuren, and 198 birds around Yarimukashi and other districts of the midwestern part of Lake Fuuren. It was the highest number of birds in the same period since 2016. According to Kominami Yukihiro, chief ranger of the sanctuary, “This year, two birds were first confirmed on October 5, three days earlier than usual. There is a possibility that the migration season as a whole is earlier than usual.”

The sanctuary is commissioned by Nemuro City twice in spring and 4 times in autumn each year, to survey the number of whooper swans that fly south from the Russian Far East.


Shunkunitai Wild Bird Sanctuary