We carefully evaluated hunting incidents to identify risk factors and develop preventive measures. We analyzed 1,471 cases that were reported to the Japanese Hunting Association as fraternal insurance between 2007 and 2011. Most hunters responsible for the incidents were in their sixties and were veterans. Although these cases were treated as "hunting" incidents, the number of incidents associated with firearms was low. Only 144 (9.8%) of all "hunting" incidents were related to firearms, and 18.6% of the cases resulted in death. The most frequent factor responsible for firearm-related incidents was improper handling of firearms. In cases where the victim was mistaken for game, at least 61.5% of the victims were wearing fluorescent orange clothing. It was clear that the main cause of firearm-related incidents was violation of basic hunting rules. Therefore, a new qualification system is required for hunters and managers so that they can demonstrate their understanding of basic hunting principles.
We investigated edible wild plant species, abiotic factors and vegetation types in 489 study transects (4 × 10m) to clarify the relationship between habitat and the number of edible wild plant species in the Akiyama region, Nagano Prefecture, central Japan. In total, we found 53 species of edible plant: 4 species of ferns, 26 of herbs and 23 of trees. Generalized linear models revealed that edible ferns and herbs inhabited bright lower part of the slope in the low altitude zone, edible dwarf bamboo (Sasa kurilensis) inhabited dark upper part of the slope forests in the high altitude zone, and edible trees inhabited both lower and upper part of the slope in the low altitude zone. Furthermore, the number of edible wild plant species tended to be high in anthropogenically disturbed forests, such as coniferous plantation forests, highly disturbed broad-leaved forests, and in the vicinity of villages. The diversity and distribution patterns of edible wild plant species were affected by elevation, topography, slope inclination, forest ground light conditions, and vegetation types, and also by human forest use.
We developed a technique to determine the sex of the sika deer (Cervus nippon) using its hair root by the LAMP method. The SRY gene on the Y chromosome and ZFX gene on the X chromosome were used for sex discrimination. If these two genes were amplified and colored, the deer was a male, and if only the ZFX gene was amplified and colored, it was a female. In order to efficiently amplify the target gene from the hair root of the sika deer, we investigated the reaction conditions. The LAMP method was performed at 64℃ for 40 min. We showed that the LAMP method could be used to accurately identify the sex of this Japanese deer, regardless of strain differences.
Although roadside forests are frequently used as refuge areas for deer, social and legal regulations make it difficult to manage deer populations around roads. The lakeshore forest of Shikotsu, adjacent to National Route 453, has been severely impacted by high deer density. To develop deer management options such roadside forests, sharpshooting with a vehicle was implemented by temporally blocking the National Route 453. This first trial on a Japanese national route was implemented on a 6.4km stretch of the road from 6:30 to 8:00 a.m. on 25th and 27th February 2014, with the consent of local residents and in collaboration with the relevant ministries, agencies, and local governments. Twelve deer were culled without any difficulty, and this was as effective as the previous similar culling conducted in the Shiretoko Peninsula. Our findings suggest that as long as societal demand, scientific evidence, and strict safety control are present, sharpshooting from a vehicle at a roadblock is an effective method for controlling deer populations. Under the special circumstances of the roadblock, this option offers maximum efficiency for the management of high-deer-density areas, in particular, areas protected by current social and legal regulations.