2018 Volume 8 Pages 33-44
Sites proposed for sika deer culling within Kushiro-Shitsugen National Park are habitats of endangered red-crowned crane. For having a discussion on the sika deer management in consideration for the conservation of the cranes, we examined the distribution pattern of the cranes along a local road (Kutyorogenya Toro Line) in area called as Kottaro marshland, as well as along the right bank of Kushiro River where we have considered the possible deer culling. We surveyed the cranes from a fixed observation spot in Kottaro marshland and searched their footprints by traversing the marshland. A series of crane censuses have been also carried out along the right bank of Kushiro River by car or on foot. The location of each crane or each set of footprints was recorded using GIS (geographical information system) and the positional information was analyzed with explicitly spatial context. We found the cranes frequently in areas within 200m either from springs or from water courses in Kottaro marshland from December to February in both 2015 and 2016. We found the cranes frequently in areas within 500m from springs around the right bank of Kushiro River from December to February, and within 200m from water courses along the right bank of Kushiro River from March to October in both 2015 and 2016. Before deer culling, it is important to search around springs and water courses for the existence of the cranes in those areas for the conservation of the cranes.