Since ancient times, the Ainu people have found the existence of Kamuy, meaning god in the Ainu language, in various things in the natural world such as animals, plants and phenomena, and have treated them with a pious heart. The brown bear, called “Kimun Kamuy (mountain god)”, is also a kind of wild animal that has been valued for generations.
Shiretoko is a dense habitat for brown bears. However, the distance between humans and bears is beginning to collapse, and the relationship is in jeopardy. How can we coexist while protecting the place of human life, the habitat of brown bears, and each other’s territories? “Bear Act (Kuma-katsu)” was launched to find the solution. As you know, Shiretoko was designated as a World Natural Heritage Site in July 2005 because it was evaluated to have the characteristics of the interrelationship between the rich marine ecosystem nurtured by drift ice and the highly primitive terrestrial ecosystem. It was also highly evaluated that it is the important habitats of globaly rare species including salmon fish and marine mammals.
It is necessary to pass on the natural environment of Shiretoko to future generations in a sustainable manner. By doing so, everyone traveling in Shiretoko will be able to enjoy this nature permanently. Kitakobushi Resort and Shiretoko Nature Foundation threfore have joined hands to launch “Bear Act (Kuma-katsu).” In this project, we have been making indirect yet steady efforts to keep brown bears away from the towns where people live by mowing grass and holding lectures about brown bears.
“Continue to be Shiretoko.” This is the mission of us living in Shiretoko. We are now planning and executing various activities to fulfill the mission.