Recently, the introduction of conservation biology in conservation education has been desired for the practical conservation of the biological diversity. As a part of the conservation biology of Kirikuchi charr Salvelinus leucomaenis japonicus, the southernmost population of genus Salvelinus, we have initiated this education program for primary school children in the region. The proposal of education using Kirikuchi charr originated from a conference held between our research body, the fisheries cooperative, and the board of education in the region. As the first step of our education programs, we aimed at developing the interest of the children in Kirikuchi charr and/or the nature of the region. In order to achieve this aim, we conducted the education program, which had a high weightage attached to the experiences of the children; for example, the children were permitted to feel and observe the investigation tools and were made to view a video of Kirikuchi charr swimming in the river. It is considered that the aim of the program could be achieved because of the feedback from the children in terms of humorous, yet interesting questions and comments. With regard to the future, we will gradually have to continue the education programs for appropriate purposes. Hereafter, conservation ecology will play an increasingly important and indispensable role in conservation education.
The popularity of ecotourism in Japan has recently increased; however, it may have detrimental effects on ecosystems because of the exhaustive use of natural areas. Field observations of the effects of ecotourism on nature were conducted at Hinai River and an adjacent area on Iriomote Island, Okinawa, Japan, in January 2004. The identified human impacts on the target areas were likely caused in part by the lack of an appropriate design for sustainable use in ecotourism. Ecotourism in developed countries such as Japan should be redesigned with consideration for their different socio-economic situations compared to developing countries for which ecotourism has become adapted. Currently, ecotourism in Japan is not consistent with the sustainable use of nature, because ecotourism has stronger detrimental effects on the ecosystem than did previous types of uses of these natural areas.
"Sika deer problems" in Japan are primarily thought of as pest problems affecting agriculture and forestry, although attention has recently been given to their effects on natural vegetation. In decision making regarding deer problems, the opinions of urban residents have relatively little influence. A problem that must be taken into account when planning deer management programs is the concern that sika deer are destroying natural habitats in Japan and therefore cannot be allowed to increase in number. There is also conflict between agriculture-oriented offices, which target damage control, and conservation-oriented offices, which target biodiversity conservation. Local officers are often influenced by mass communication, which may oversimplify the issue as one of deer population problems. Important information needed for effective deer management includes the proper evaluation of damage, vegetation, and deer habitats. Deer population assessment is of low priority. It is necessary to avoid repeating previous mistakes that considered deer population to be a high priority issue. Continuous monitoring by wildlife specialists for at least five years is essential.
In July 2004, a large resort hotel opened on the estuary of the Urauchi River, Iriomote Island, Japan. The distinct environment of this area, which includes many endangered species, makes it important academically. However, no study has examined the environmental impact of development of this resort. Academic associations have claimed that the company and politics prevented an environmental assessment. The Ecological Society of Japan has founded a committee to examine the follow-up activities of public requests for development. Several types of investment, including academic studies to obtain basic information and public announcements, may have some effect on conservation. Hereafter, political investments of society and the social activities of specialists as independent individuals should play an important role in promoting conservation in this area.