The Blakiston's fish owl is endangered, and is perhaps the largest owl in the world. There are thought to be less than 1000 pairs of these birds remaining in the wild, with very few individuals held in captivity. Found only in northeast Asia, this secretive species has a fragmented distribution in the remote forests of northern Japan, the Russian Far East, and northeastern China. In Russia this aquatic prey specialist manages to persist year-round in a climate frozen for months on end. Critical issues for its conservation include management of riparian habitat outside protected areas and education of local populations about the species.