Ecological Accuracy in Media

Golden Kamuy is an anime and manga that heavily incorporates the flora and fauna of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and Honshu into its story. The plot showcases many aspects of Ainu culture and ethnobiology, and the ecology of local species heavily shapes many events within the narrative.

Additionally, there is great detail put into accurate depictions of local species in background animation and audio. Even the bird songs change between locations to reflect local species accurately.

What other media have you seen that heavily feature the ecology or ethnobiology of local species into their plots? Alternatively, do you have any examples of media featuring surprisingly accurate depictions of local species in visuals and sound design?

Below is a list of all the species I have found that are featured directly in the show or seen in the background:

  • Miyama Stag Beetle | Lucanus maculifemoratus
  • Black-veined White | Aporia crataegi
  • Migratory Locust | Locusta migratoria
  • Sakhalin Sturgeon | Acipenser mikadoi
  • Pacific Herring | Clupea pallasii
  • Yellow Goosefish | Lophius litulon
  • Japanese Pond Smelt | Hypomesus nipponensis
  • Japanese Fluvial Sculpin | Cottus pollux
  • Sakhalin Taimen | Hucho perrii
  • Chum Salmon | Oncorhynchus keta
  • Masu Salmon | Oncorhynchus masou
  • Common Mola | Mola mola
  • Ezo Red Frog | Rana pirica
  • Hokkaido Salamander | Hynobius retardatus
  • Mallard | Anas platyrhynchos
  • Eastern Spot-billed Duck | Anas zonorhyncha
  • Eurasian Woodcock | Scolopax rusticola
  • Hazel Grouse | Tetrastes bonasia vicinitas
  • Red-crowned Crane | Grus japonensis
  • Blakiston’s Fish Owl | Ketupa blakistoni
  • Ural Owl | Strix uralensis japonica
  • Siberian Rubythroat | Calliope calliope
  • Red Stingray | Hemitrygon akajei
  • Mountain Hare | Lepus timidus ainu
  • Hokkaido Pika | Ochotona hyperborea yesoensis
  • Siberian Flying Squirrel | Pteromys volans orii
  • Eurasian Red Squirrel | Sciurus vulgaris
  • Hokkaido Chipmunk | Eutamias sibiricus lineatus
  • Japanese Serow | Capricornis crispus
  • Sakhalin Reindeer | Rangifer tarandus setoni
  • Hokkaido Sika Deer | Cervus nippon yezoensis
  • Siberian Musk Deer | Moschus moschiferus
  • Orca | Orcinus orca
  • Beluga | Delphinapterus leucas
  • Steller’s Sea Lion | Eumetopias jubatus
  • Kuril Seal | Phoca vitulina stejnegeri
  • Hokkaido Wolf | Canis lupus hattai
  • Hokkaido Tanuki | Nyctereutes viverrinus albus
  • Ezo Red Fox | Vulpes vulpes schrencki
  • Siberian Lynx | Lynx lynx wrangeli
  • Siberian Tiger | Panthera tigris altaica
  • Western Sea Otter | Enhydra lutris lutris
  • Eurasian Wolverine | Gulo gulo gulo
  • Ussuri Brown Bear | Ursus arctos lasiotus
  • Japanese Black Bear | Ursus thibetanus japonicus
  • Ezohelix gainesi (tree snail)
  • Golden Oyster Mushroom | Pleurotus citrinopileatus
  • Beech Mushroom (Shiroi-shimeji) | Hypsizygus tessellatus
  • Matsutake | Tricholoma matsutake
  • Egogusa | Campylaephora hypnaeoides
  • Alpine Leek | Allium victorialis
  • Heart-leaved Lily | Cardiocrinum cordatum
  • Proso Millet | Panicum miliaceum
  • White Mugwort | Atemisia montana
  • Alpine Yarrow | Achillea millefolium
  • Giant Butterbur | Petasites japonicus
  • Siebold’s Spindle | Euonymus hamiltonianus sieboldianus
  • Hardy Kiwifruit | Actinidia arguta
  • Lingonberry | Vaccinium vitis-idaea
  • Siberian Birch | Betula platyphylla
  • Ikema | Cynanchum (boudieri) caudatum
  • Water Caltrop | Trapa natans
  • Pheasant’s Eye | Adonis amurensis
  • Flaccid Anemone | Anemonastrum flaccidum
  • Wolfsbane | Aconitum japonicum
  • North Japanese Hill Cherry | Prunus sargentii
  • Woodland Strawberry | Fragaria vesca
  • Rugosa Rose | Rosa rugosa
  • Sakhalin Fir | Abies sachalinensis
  • Jezo Spruce | Picea jezoensis

P.S. Golden Kamuy is a great series that I highly recommend, but be aware that it features graphic violence and highly explicit content. Also, be warned that most of the species listed above are hunted and eaten within the story.


The film Adaptation is a highly fictionalized adaptation of the book The Orchid Thief, but it somewhat centers on the ghost orchid, Dendrophylax lindenii. It talks about some of the ecology and conservation issues surrounding the species, but also has a lot of “extra”, fictional information as well. The book is much more “true”. The movie is excellent imo, a sort of dark, looping comedy, and well worth seeing but also has a lot of mature elements.


That’s a great one, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it!

Funnily enough, I read the Orchid Thief a couple months ago and I look forward to watching Adaptation soon.

On a similar note, although many people prefer the abridged version of the book, I really enjoyed the chapters accounting the 19th-century understanding of whale biology in Moby-Dick.

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I also enjoyed the unabridged version of Moby Dick (though man, was it a challenge), and the sections about whaling/whales (that felt totally disconnected from the plot in most cases) were very interesting.

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