Feature Image

Red-crowned Crane / Istockphoto

May 9, 2019. Life / Islands

Far Western Pacific Islands

Nicholas D. Holmes, Olivier Langrand, Russell A. Mittermeier, Anthony B. Rylands, Thomas Brooks, Dena R. Spatz, James C. Russell, Wes Sechrest, Federico Mendez Sanchez

In the far Western Pacific lie the four main mountainous islands of Hokkaido (78,073 square kilometers), Honshu (227,414 square kilometers), Shikoku (18,256 square kilometers), and Kyushu (36,554 square kilometers), plus 3,000 additional islands covering a total of 373,490 square kilometers.

Taiwan (36,210 square kilometers) was formed 4 million years ago and was isolated from the continent approximately 244,000 years ago. It lies south of Japan and north of the Philippines and is separated from China by a 130-kilometer-wide strait.

Hainan Island (33,920 square kilometers), located in the South China Sea, is part of China but is separated from mainland China by the Qiongzhou Strait.

The 56 Kuril Islands (15,600 square kilometers) are located south of the Kamchatka Peninsula and north of Hokkaido and separate the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.

Sakhalin (72,492 square kilometers), the largest Russian island, harbors a human population of 500,000. It is in the Sea of Okhotsk and separated from the continent by the Straight of Tartary.


This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book “Islands” (2018)

More articles in life