Located in the interior of Yaku Island, at the meeting-point of the Palearctic and oriental biotic regions, Yakushima exhibits a primeval temperate rainforest and also contains a remnant of a warm-temperate ancient forest that is unique in this region. The site has a complex, sinuous boundary, which is less than 1 km wide in some places. It lies in the center of the island, with arms stretching west, south, and east, the western extending down to the coast. Despite being a small island, it boasts several key features, including impressive mountains which rise to nearly 2000 m and an outstanding gradient from the high peaks of the central core down to the seacoast. The site is home to a number of extremely large-diameter cedar trees that are thousands of years old.
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