In the small, isolated islands of Ogasawara, many plants and animals have evolved into endemic forms, creating unique ecosystems.
This unique feature was recognized as a perfect example of evolutionary processes due to species isolation on small islands, which has an outstanding universal value, worthy of recognition as part of our World Natural Heritage.
Under certain conditions, one founder species may be able to colonize multiple islands, with each island’s population developing independently of the others. These subpopulations will then diversify their characteristics as a result of adaption to the specific environment of each group. Ogasawara is one of the most important sites on Earth to observe this phenomenon, called “adaptive radiation.”