2020 Volume 25 Issue 1 Pages 9-28
According to current trends in census size and reproduction, the Japanese golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos japonica) is at risk of extinction this century, leading the Japanese government to recognize the subspecies as endangered. It is now the focus of national conservation efforts, yet gaps remain in our knowledge regarding the reasons for the observed population decline and how best to improve the situation. Over recent decades, scientific research concerning golden eagle conservation in Japan, and in other parts of the world, has established a multi-disciplinary body of evidence that should support plans for species restoration. However, until now, these strands of research have been largely separate, limiting the potential benefits offered by an inter-disciplinary approach. In this paper, we provide an integrated review of Japanese golden eagle conservation science, including studies of ecology, genetics, veterinary health and habitat management. We assess the status and trends in the wild and captive populations; identify current and future conservation management interventions and discuss the opportunities for taking an integrated approach to Japanese golden eagle conservation science through in-situ and ex-situ viewpoint. This review, prepared by national and international experts in golden eagle biology and health, describes outstanding scientific questions alongside potential practical solutions. It sets out a framework for applied research that will provide the information and techniques required to successfully reverse the decline in golden eagle numbers, and hopefully secure the long-term future of the species in Japan.