Zoos are expected to play a role in environmental education. However, zoos have not been able to provide sufficient opportunities for experiential learning to the age groups from the upper grades of elementary school to university students, who rarely have the opportunity to visit a zoo. Zoos are required to carry out various recruiting and public relations activities to increase the opportunities of coming to a zoo for these age groups. This study aimed to collect basic information relevant to pursuing the potential of zoos as a site of environmental education for these age groups. A questionnaire survey targeting 479 vocational school students in the city of Fukuoka was administered. As a result, zoos were generally recognized as a place for recreation. In contrast, some students interested in animals considered zoos to be a place for learning, and it is necessary to increase their satisfaction with this purpose. To enhance the role of the zoo as a place of environmental education, it is necessary to devise exhibitions in which animals can be enjoyed and to satisfy the basic requirements of visitors who visit for various purposes. It will be possible to promote the environmental education role of zoos by encouraging and arousing interest in the age group and connecting them to learning.
There have been rising concerns for invasions of alien smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) in lotic systems and its ecological impacts on native aquatic biodiversity in Japan. We surveyed the invasion of smallmouth bass and their food habits in an urban stream, Shingashi River in Kawagoe-city, Saitama, Japan. We observed that mature adult smallmouth bass seasonally migrate to an urban stream between the end of spring and summer for spawning. In addition, we observed that the hatched fry grew up to juvenile stage in the stream from summer to autumn and then emigrate during autumn-winter seasons. The sampled fishes predominantly preyed on non-indigenous large crustaceans; however, they demonstrated ontogeny dietary shifts, foraging on freshwater shrimp at juvenile stage to crayfish at adult stage. Our findings suggest that the mature adult fishes might prefer sites with depth and slow current velocity for spawning. Capturing the mature adults in those sites during their reproductive season might be an effective strategy for population control and eradication of the invasive species from the stream.
We conducted semi-structured interviews at 44 local markets in the lowermost Chao Phraya River basin, Thailand, to examine: (1) species composition, (2) economic importance, and (3) the utilization of native and non-native freshwater fishes sold by local vendors. Four geographical regions were sampled: Rangsit Area, East Coastal Zone, West Bank, and West Coastal Zone. We recorded a total of 19 families, 33 genera and 43 species of fish (70% native and 30% non-native). The species sold in local markets, and their diversity, did not differ greatly between regions. Most fish sold in the markets were imported from other provinces in central Thailand, while locally caught/produced fish were rare. Non-native species had higher economic value and larger sales volumes than native species, indicating that non-native fishes currently form the major food source for local inhabitants. These findings indicate that non-native fishes provide ecosystem services as members of the lowermost Chao Phraya River Basin ecosystem, but they also suggest that such services may include disservices, depending on the species and areal/temporal contexts. Therefore, management of non-native fishes should involve a species- and site-specific approach from multiple perspectives. We need a better understanding of the interrelationships between people and non-native fishes to promote more efficient management of ecosystems in the lowermost Chao Phraya River Basin.
The number of Japanese sika deer (Cervus nippon) populations continues to increase contributing to the wide distribution of deer in Japan. However, historically, anthropogenic impacts caused the near extinction of Japanese sika deer in the Tohoku region of Northeast Japan. In recent history, Japanese sika deer have been able to repopulate many parts of the Tohoku region. In order to understand the complex histories of these deer populations, we investigated the origin of Japanese sika deer in the southern Aizu region in Fukushima Prefecture using mitochondrial DNA. As a result, two major lineages of Japanese sika deer were identified in the southern Aizu region. These two lineages were shared or closely related to that of Japanese sika deer in Kanto region, which suggests that the southern Tohoku deer populations were originated from this region. In addition, these haplotypes were closely related to those found in Yamagata Prefecture, suggesting that deer populations in southern Aizu region were likely the source of deer populations that have expanded in the north. Here, we show that mitochondrial DNA analysis can be used to elucidate the origin of new populations of Japanese sika deer. Future studies will need to clarify our findings using population structure of Japanese sika deer, including deer in the northern Kanto region.
This paper presents and discusses the acoustic measurement results of four different alert whistles that produce sounds through airflow and the investigation results of reactions of sika deer (Cervus nippon) to alert sounds played from a vehicle mounted loudspeaker. The acoustic measurement of the alert whistles revealed that the basic acoustic characteristics of these whistles are similar, and it was confirmed that these whistles produce sounds of approximately 3 kHz, which are similar to deer alarm calls or sounds of approximately 17-18 kHz. However, none of the sounds could be confirmed in the measurement experiments while the vehicle was running. The investigation of the sika deer reaction to the alert whistles sounds confirmed that the sika deer provided a vigilant reaction to the sounds of approximately 3 kHz and to those of deer alert played back through a loudspeaker.