Wakkanai Airport, Hokkaido

The image above is the area around Wakkanai Airport in Hokkaido created by combining Standard version 3D terrain data (left side) and AW3D Ortho Imagery (right side).
The left is a 3D map image showing the undulations of the land. The right is a satellite image that looks just like your eyes.

Wakkanai Airport opened in 1960 as a route connecting the Soya region with Sapporo and Tokyo, and in 1984 became Japan's northernmost resized airport with a 1,800m runway. Today, it has extended to 2,200m.

The heart located slightly to the left of the image is Meguma Swamp.
It is a sea trail lake with an area of about 25 ha and a maximum depth of about 2 meters. This area, including Meguma Swamp, is the wetland called Meguma Swamp Nature Park which has an area of 78 ha and has the northernmost marshland in Japan. Also, Here has been selected as a significant wetland by the Ministry of the Environment and was designated as a Natural Landscape Protection Area in Hokkaido.

There are more famous wetlands in Hokkaido, such as Kushiro Marsh and Sarobetsu Plain, but wetlands tend to form in cooler regions.
Thirteen of the fifty-three wetlands in Japan that had a choice as part of the Ramsar Convention, which promotes the preservation of the world's wetlands, are in Hokkaido. In addition, according to a wetland area survey conducted by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan in the 1990s, Hokkaido ranked first, accounting for 86% of the total wetland area in Japan.

However, today, about thirty-five percent of the world's wetlands have disappeared in the fifty-five years between 1970 and 2015, and the rate of loss is said to be three times faster than the rate at which forests are disappearing. In Japan, the wetlands of Hokkaido, which were 1,771.99㎢ in the Taisho era (1912-1926), decreased to 708.67㎢ in 1999.

Wetlands play a significant role from the perspective of biodiversity because they provide a place for diversity in the growth and nurturing of plants and animals.
When Wakkanai Airport had built, the entire area was developed as an airport park while making efforts to protect the wetlands. As a result, more than 200 varieties of wetland plants still grow wild in the Meguma Marsh according to the seasons, and you can see the Komochi grass snake and about seventy species of wild birds, which are limited to some parts of Hokkaido.

The northern gateway also serves as a resting place where visitors can get in touch with nature.

Location Wakkanai Airport, Hokkaido (Japan)
Satellite / Satellite imaging product AW3D Standard 5m, AW3D Ortho Imagery
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