1998 Volume 37 Issue 5 Pages 385-395
Consideration of the historical development of the mammal fauna on the major Japanese Islands allows six categories of species to be recognised, on the basis of their origins and current geographical distribution within Japan, which are modified from the original seven categories of Dobson (1994). The six categories are clearly defined, but allocation of species within them requires a full understanding of taxonomic relationships and a good fossil record and is, therefore, tentative for certain species. We here attempt to allocate the recent terrestrial non-flying mammals of Japan to the six categories. In cases where allocation is uncertain, due to a lack of appropriate evidence, we provide our reasoning for decisions made. We have, therefore, been able to highlight gaps in the knowledge of the biogeographical history of the Japanese mammal fauna.