In recent years, wildlife management projects have been required to build consensus among large numbers of stakeholders. However, this is far from being an easy task, since many people hold diverse values regarding the natural environment, and do not necessarily place less significance on the conservation of biodiversity. In this study, we conducted an analysis of the Japanese nature restoration project at Lake Kasumigaura, in east-central Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, from which we derived the following conclusions. First, issue framing in environmental conservation projects is based only on scientific views of the problem and solutions, which are intended to reject diverse values regarding the natural environment and citizen participation in the political arena. Second, environmental research that involves stakeholders is effective for building a consensus for environmental governance through highlighting and mediating the diverse values expressed by stakeholders regarding the natural environment. Lastly, the analysis conducted in this study suggests that consensus building in environmental governance needs to bring out the diverse values in the relationship between wildlife and human society.
With increasing conflicts concerning wildlife issues, wildlife managers are continually challenged by stakeholders' expectations about wildlife management. To assist wildlife managers in their decision making, I used a choice experiment to examine the heterogeneity of resident preferences for brown bears (Ursus arctos) management in Shibetsu Town, northern Japan. In July 2011, a questionnaire survey was mailed to randomly selected residents. The result of a latent class model, which included respondents' characteristics and familiarity with bears as membership variables, showed the residents' heterogeneous preferences. Respondents were then segmented into two different groups. One group preferred to keep the bear population in the forest. This group also preferred using nonlethal measures (e.g., scaring bears) when bears roam into the town and croplands; yet, the group did not prefer installing electric fences around the town perimeter. In contrast, the other group persisted in lethal measures for bears caught in town, although they expressed indifference regarding the bear population, management of the croplands, fence installation, and management costs. Moreover, the latter group conveyed a greater fear of bears, though it had fewer experiences sighting wild bears than the former group. This study's findings suggest that bear management should be conducted considering residents' heterogeneity.
To determine the foraging sites of wild boar (Sus scrofa), we conducted a rooting-track census between 2010 and 2011 in hilly (Shingo District) and mountainous regions (Himuro District) of Sano, Tochigi Prefecture. We also collected and analyzed boar feces during the study period. The number of rooting tracks was found to be significantly higher in abandoned fields than in other land-cover types in autumn and winter in Shingo and throughout the study period in Himuro. In addition, fibers (including undigested residues of roots, stems, and leaves) and monocots were frequently found in feces sampled throughout the period in both areas. These findings indicated that wild boar foraged at abandoned fields, where graminoid plants were predominant. In both regions, the number of rooting tracks was higher in bamboo forests in spring and summer, and shoots of bamboo were frequently found in feces sampled in spring. This may be associated with seasonal changes in food availability (i.e., growth of bamboo shoots). The number of rooting tracks was lower in coniferous forests in both regions and in human settlements in Shingo. The results of the present study indicated that the selection of foraging sites by wild boar was mainly associated with food availability and sometimes affected by the intensity of human activities.
There has been a marked decline in the hunter population in Japan. For the success of wildlife management, local governments should build a sustainable wildlife population management system (SWPMS). Here, I show the trend in the hunter population over the past 40 years and discuss the programs for building SWPMS. The decline in the hunter population started simultaneously across the whole of Japan from 1979. One of the reasons for this decline was that the hunting and gun ownership regulations were strengthened in 1978. As a result of these revisions, gun hunters have been declining since 1979. In contrast, the number of trappers, who desire to kill nuisance animals, has been increasing since the 1990s. According to our questionnaire surveys, which were conducted in 2012, the average retirement age of trappers (64.2 years) was younger than that of gun hunters (69.5 years). However, the average hunting career of trappers (9.3 years) was considerably shorter than that of gun hunters (40.0 years). These results suggest that the increase in trappers may not be effective for SWPMS. Three programs are necessary for SWPMS. The first is to increase the bag per hunter. The second is to increase and educate the candidates for hunting. The third is to provide economic incentives for population management activities. Implemented in combination, these programs would make it possible to build SWPMS.
In recent years, the agricultural and forestry damage by wildlife becomes a serious social problem, and inhabitants, local government and research institutes try to reduce damage in each role. Especially in wild boar (Sus scrofa) related to mainly agricultural damage, their management is consisted in the control of damage, habitat and population adapted to local conditions. However, in the Islands had not long inhabited by wild boar, high risk for the increase of wild boar population and agricultural damage behind the scenes, caused by the lack of experience and information to the wild boar. In the coming population reduction society is the same as the reported case of islands, the secure personnel resources to have a knowledge and technique for wildlife management, and improving the speed of current management based on the grand design is required.