We studied breeding ecology of the Grey-headed Lapwing Vanellus cinereus by tracing nesting of
31 banded adults and their precocial chicks in Ogura-ike Polder, Kyoto, for five breeding seasons from 2007 to 2011. For this bird species that build nests in the paddy field, there was a tendency to nest in the center of each grid of the field, avoiding the edge. In addition, hatching success was significantly higher in the central place than at the edge. Chicks after hatching moved from the grid where they were born to the adjacent grid without fail. The distance between chicks and the nest site increased with their growth, although they stayed within a radius of 40m from the nest site when they are one month old. Nearly half (21) of the 46 clutches were successful in hatching, but only one brood could arrive at independence from the parents, because other broods disappeared far before the days needed for their independence.
The key for successful breeding of the Grey-headed Lapwing exists in the period during which chicks disperse from the nest site.
Habitat fragmentation strongly affects species distribution and abundance. However, mechanisms
underlying fragmentation effects are still a matter of debate. We studied if nest-colonization pattern of tube-nesting wasp, Anterhynchium flavomarginatum (Smith) (Hymenoptera: umeninae), is affected by habitat fragmentation, and then examined what is the relative importance of mechanisms that influence pattern of nest colonization by wasp. Trap nests of A. flavomarginatum were set in 77 sites of a new town within satoyama area in Sanda City, Hyogo, Japan. In the sites, its original habitat has been fragmented into patches by development of the new town. The results showed that nest colonization by wasp was restricted to sites near marginal town edges bordered on satoyama areas. However, transplantation experiment of A. flavomarginatum into sites in the central zone of town revealed that colonized sites were significantly increased in the zone. Furthermore, results of model selection of the relationship between three measures of sensitivity to fragmentation, i.e. distance from satoyama area, remaining forest coverage, and connectivity of sites, with nest colonization by wasp extracted only the connectivity as an important parameter. Hence, we conclude that nest-colonization pattern of A. flavomarginatum in fragmented habitats was influenced more significantly by habitat connectivity than by habitat degradation and isolation.
We surveyed the distribution and abundance of the ghost crabs (genus Ocypode) on the sandy beaches along the entire coast of Sea of Japan in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The burrows of ghost crabs were found at 22 of the 23 sandy beaches surveyed, with the density varying among localities. Although the remaining small beach at Hamasaka Fishery Harbor had been shown to be a high-density habitat for the ghost crabs by the previous study, it disappeared after the improvement of the nearby coastal area. Almost all specimens except for unidentified specimens with carapace width of less than 6 mm collected from these beaches were O. stimpsoni, but one specimen of O. sinensis was recorded from one beach.
A set of hearing experiments was conducted on 33 persons with cognitive dysfunction, as well as on 46 non-impaired persons, in order to search for an effective voice system that is suitable for broadcasting in ideal lifelong learning facilities. Digitally-recorded real voices by women were tested, as well as formant synthesis speech and concatenative synthesis speech. Non-impaired persons responded positive to the experiments in real-voices and in concatenative synthesis speech. The same persons responded negative in formant synthesis speech without visual signals, but responded positive if there were visual signals. The majority of the tested persons with non-serious damage responded positive to questions from all of the real-voices, formant and concatenative synthesis speech. The tested persons with serious damage were conspicuous in responding to the same questions, especially for the formant synthesis speech. These experiments indicate that real human voices are the easiest to understand in lifelong learning facilities in which disabled individuals use them frequently. Concatenative synthesis is desirable when using a synthetic system, but the staffs of the facilities should be careful when using formant synthesis, although it is more convenient than concatenative synthesis.
To investigate the activity budgets of Japanese martens (Martes melampus melampus), we conducted 24-hr video recording of captive adult animals (three males and one female). The martens spent a considerable amount of time (less than 60% of sampling points) sleeping, and less time (17% on average) dashing. The activity rhythm varied among individuals; for two males, the percentage of active behavior (mainly walking and dashing) was greater before (07:00–09:00 h) and after (12:00–17:00 h) the feeding (10:00), whereas the other male and a female rarely appeared from the nest box during the daytime.