Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology
Online ISSN : 2424-1431
Print ISSN : 1342-4327
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Displaying 1-26 of 26 articles from this issue
  • Shogo Waki, Takumi Akasaka, Syunta Ando
    Article ID: 2134
    Published: October 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 25, 2022
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    Renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, are a vital component of greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies worldwide. Although the small wind turbine sector is undergoing rapid growth, its influence on bats remains poorly understood. In this study, we clarified the influence of small wind turbines on bat activity in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. We found that Eptesicus nilssonii and Nyctalus/Vespertilio species were more active near wind turbines than in control sites at least 100 m from the turbines. In Myotis species, we detected no clear relationship between bat activity and wind turbine presence; because these bats did not avoid wind turbines, they may be at risk of turbine blade collisions. Our results suggest that small wind turbines may negatively influence a range of bat species.

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  • Ryo Sakurai, Takuro Uehara, Ken Kondo, Takashi Fujita
    Article ID: 2108
    Published: October 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 25, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    As marine-resource conservation and sustainable use are global goals, teaching citizens about the marine environment and fostering their interest in the ocean is important. It is also desirable to foster an interest in, and attachment to, a local region, especially where the population is decreasing. Fishermen from the Hinase area of Bizen, Okayama Prefecture, Japan, started restoring eelgrass beds in the 1980s. This study used a questionnaire survey (n = 131) to examine the attitudes and willingness to conserve the local sea of students at Hinase Junior High School, which provides marine education during Integrated Studies periods. We analysed open-ended questions, students' drawings, and Likert-scale items. The analysis of Likert-scale items showed that nine categories (e.g. students' sense of place and willingness to conserve the local sea) did not differ among grades, which represented the duration of marine education. By contrast, the analyses of open-ended questions and students' drawings indicated that second- and third-year students were more likely than first-year students to write about material learned in the marine-education class (e.g. restoration activities, eelgrass). Third-year students understood biodiversity; compared to first- and second-year students, their drawings of the sea included more detail, implying the effectiveness of this teaching method. Multiple regression analysis revealed a correlation between students' attachment to the local region and their willingness to conserve the sea near Hinase. The marine-education programme at Hinase Junior High School not only teaches knowledge about the local sea but also provides opportunities for students to interact with residents and work with local fishermen, which potentially enhance their sense of attachment to the region and their intention to conserve the local sea. Marine education helps foster a "relationship population", people who intend to become involved in the region in the future.

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  • Kureha F.Suzuki, Yuta Kobayashi, Kentaro Takagi, Shintaro Hayakashi, Y ...
    Article ID: 2118
    Published: October 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 25, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    Restoring forests has recently received considerable attention as an effective tool to address societal challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Shiretoko National Park in northern Japan is currently undergoing restoration to pristine natural vegetation, consisting mainly of mixed conifer-hardwood forests, based on scientific knowledge and an adaptive-management approach. In this study, we assessed this forest-restoration effort in terms of forest-canopy structure using aerial light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data and aerial imagery data collected by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Specifically, we evaluated forest height and structural diversity in both native and non-native plantations, and assessed forest growth for five major forest types, such as primary and secondary forests, during the 16-year period 2004-2020. We found that forest growth tended to be higher in native-tree plantations than in other forest types. By contrast, the structural diversity of native-tree plantations showed slow recovery toward natural forests. Our findings indicate that structural diversity has not fully recovered after approximately 40 years of restoration. We also describe the restoration activities conducted in Shiretoko National Park based on adaptive management, and discuss a potential framework for determining optimal reforestation approaches. We anticipate that these findings will be useful for ecosystem-restoration planning in other regions.

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  • Hiroko Fujita, Hiroko Kura
    Article ID: 2129
    Published: October 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 25, 2022
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    Swamp forest comprising mainly large alder and ash trees grows on the south-eastern shore of Lake Abashiri in eastern Hokkaido. The deciduous broad-leaved swamp forests that used to cover a wide area of the lowlands of Hokkaido have disappeared with land development, and most of the original landscape no longer exists. Part of this remaining forest, about 2 km in length and 56 ha in area, was designated a national natural monument "Memanbetsu shissei shokubutsu gunraku" in June 1972. This is extremely valuable both academically and in terms of preserving the natural landscape of Hokkaido. This report clarifies how this area was designated a national natural monument, which led to the protection of this academically important forest. Evidence was collected through a literature research and interviews. Dr. Misao Tatewaki, a plant ecologist who recognised the value of this forest before World War Ⅱ, wrote two academic reports on this swamp forest in the 1960s. After the war, he requested the cooperation of the Forestry Bureau and the Japanese National Railway, who were the owners and managers of this forest. As a result, this swamp forest was designated a national natural monument in 1972. The assistance and efforts of plant ecologists and others are a good example of researchers' contributions to nature conservation, by designating a distinct area as a national natural monument. In recent years, the number of newly designated national natural monuments has decreased, compared to 1972, but it is desirable to take advantage actively of the natural monument system.

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  • Shoya Sasaki, Takeshi Osawa
    Article ID: 2208
    Published: October 25, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 25, 2022
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    Raccoon dogs, Nyctereutes procyonoides, are distributed across large areas of East Asia, including Japan. In recent years, Sarcoptes scabiei infections in raccoon dogs have been increasing in several regions of Japan. Mange resulting from S. scabiei causes health problems in hosts and influences host behaviour. One of the well-known behavioural anomalies induced by S. scabiei is diurnality in nocturnal species. Although there have been some reports of diurnal activity in raccoon dogs with mange, few quantitative reports exist of such behaviour in Japan. Such anomalous behaviour could increase the likelihood of raccoon dog encounters with people and their pets, risking the spread of both animal disease and amphixenosis. Therefore, in this study, we conducted camera trap surveys for 1 year in four urban parks in the western region of Tokyo, Japan, to evaluate the influence of mange on raccoon dog behaviour. Results showed that raccoon dogs with mange tended to be more diurnal compared with healthy individuals. This suggests that mange causes behavioural changes in raccoon dogs, including inducing diurnality, at least in urban parks in Tokyo.

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  • Mitsuhiko Takahashi
    Article ID: 2037
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Wildlife viewing and photography are activities to be encouraged, both for conservation and economic reasons. The number of people participating in wildlife viewing and photography is increasing, and their economic potential is high. However, wildlife viewing and photography can have negative effects, including disturbing nesting habitats or feeding behaviours. Thus, various entities have facilitated education and introduced codes of ethics or conduct to deter negative actions. These voluntary regulations are beneficial but lack enforceability, which only legal regulations can provide. Japanese statutes do not contain comprehensive provisions for regulating wildlife viewing and photography. Several statutes give the Minister of the Environment the power to restrict certain wildlife-viewing activities in limited protected areas; however, the administrative rules necessary for the agencies to enforce such restrictions have not yet been developed. The United States also lacks comprehensive statutes to regulate wildlife viewing and photography, although the Endangered Species Act prohibits the "take" of listed species, which includes "harass" by definition. In the United Kingdom, disturbing nesting birds is prohibited by law, and a licensing system allows photographers to photograph birds in nesting environments. It is necessary to urge Japanese agencies to exercise their legal powers, including promulgation of administrative rules. Furthermore, for the sound development of sustainable wildlife viewing and wildlife tourism, national and local lawmakers must strengthen laws to regulate them, especially in relation to the protection of endangered species and breeding wildlife, as well as the management of protected areas.

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  • Madoka Ohira, Mizuho Hirata, Takumi Akasaka, Takahiro Kubo
    Article ID: 2103
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Biodiversity conservation is critical for maintaining ecosystem services. Although many studies and conservation programs have highlighted the importance of conserving rare species, the role of common species in providing ecosystem services has often been overlooked or excluded from conservation targets. To promote citizen-driven biodiversity conservation actions, we clarified factors determining citizen's willingness to pay for the conservation of common bird species in Tokachi, Hokkaido, Japan. We defined any bird species that was visually observed at most places in the study area as "visually common" and those whose songs were heard at most places as "acoustically common". We found that species-level identification and song recognition were strongly positively correlated with willingness to pay for visually and acoustically common species conservation respectively. Although visual identification ability and song recognition were relatively low among interviewees in our study area the average willingness to pay per person was more than 500 yen for both bird groups. More than half of interviewees had gained knowledge of bird identification from other people including family members and teachers. This highlights the potentially powerful role of environmental education in promoting citizen-driven biodiversity conservation actions.

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  • Atsushi Tamura, Noriko Nakanishi, Miho Akatani, Shingo Ishikawa, Issei ...
    Article ID: 2119
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    The recovery of threatened forb species from cumulative deer grazing may require long-term protection using deer exclosures. In this study, we surveyed the species richness and density of threatened forb species within several groups of deer exclosures including three established in 1997 (E1997), four in 2003 (E2003) and three in 2010 (E2010), as well as outside deer exclosures in a beech forest of the Tanzawa Mountains. Sika deer have grazed the understory vegetation intensively at this site since the late 1980s, and have been culled since 2003. In E1997, six threatened forb species were found in the fifth year, and declined thereafter. In E2010, the number of threatened forb species increased following exclosure establishment, reaching a peak after 10 years. The density of threatened forb species observed in E1997 decreased except for two species (Maianthemum robustum and Anemonopsis macrophylla), whereas it increased over time in E2010. A comparison of fifth-year data between E1997, E2003, and E2010 showed that the density of both species was higher in E1997. These results suggest that long-term cumulative impacts of deer grazing may impede the recovery of threatened forb species; however, some species may recover after a period of deer exclusion. One species, Spuriopimpinella koreana, emerged continuously for 10 years outside of the exclosures, and four species, including Lilium medeoloides and M. robustum, emerged for the first time in the eighth year. The density of threatened forb species was lower outside than inside the exclosures. Together, our results show that some species emerged over 5 years after exclosure establishment in the Tanzawa Mountains, whereas species recovery outside of the exclosures was restricted. Future studies should compare our data with those for deer exclosures in other regions with and without culling, to determine whether these are regional effects.

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  • Takaya Kitamura, Toshiharu Iwai, Yui Shigematsu, Chiemi Miura, Takeshi ...
    Article ID: 2124
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Zooxanthellate scleractinian corals (hereafter referred to as "corals") are classified within the order Scleractinia, and are widely distributed in the shallow waters of tropical and temperate zones. The steric structures formed by corals provide sheltered habitats for a variety of organisms. Additionally, corals are an important local resource, serving as scuba diving and game fishing sites, while coral reefs act as natural breakwaters. Therefore, corals have high economic value and are a target for conservation activities. One conservation issue is damage by predators. Occasional outbreaks of corallivorous gastropods have damaged coral communities around the world. In Japan, the first outbreak of a corallivorous gastropods was recorded at Miyakejima Island in 1976. Subsequently, outbreaks were continuously recorded in areas along the Kuroshio Current, starting in Okinawa Prefecture. Control programs for corallivorous gastropods have been conducted continuously since 1989, after an outbreak was confirmed in southwest Shikoku. This study summarizes the efforts taken to control corallivorous gastropods in southwest Shikoku, and reports the status of the recent corallivorous gastropod outbreak. The total number of captured corallivorous snails per year was the key variable used to represent corallivorous snail abundance prior to 2014. In 2014, a method to obtain a population density index based on the number of snails captured per dive was adopted; snail density has since been monitored in this manner. The total number of captured snails peaked in 1998, while the density index decreased after 2014. These findings suggest that the last corallivorous gastropod outbreak has ended; the population of corallivorous snail reached a normal level in 2020 in southwestern Shikoku. We sorted and identified corallivorous gastropods collected during population control activities to determine the dominant species. In Ainan, Drupella fragum was monodominant in the 1991 outbreak; although it was less dominant from 2015 to 2017, it is still the most abundant species. These results suggest that the main species causing corallivorous gastropod outbreaks is D. fragum; monitoring this species is necessary to conserve coral communities in southwest Shikoku.

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  • Megumi Watanabe, Tatsuki Shimamoto, Yoshiaki Watanabe, Kenta Uchida
    Article ID: 2127
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Artificial feeding of wildlife can profoundly impact ecosystem properties by modifying animal behavior and species' interactions. Some local governments in Japan are now regulating artificial feeding to minimize ecosystem-related risks. Most studies assessing impacts of artificial feeding have been biased toward large mammals. Here, we focused on the effects of artificial feeding on Siberian flying squirrels in Hokkaido, Japan. Using a line census and questionnaire methods, we compared the effects of artificial feeding vs. natural foods on flying-squirrel behavior and predation risk. Specifically, we evaluated the use of feeding tables by flying squirrels, changes in foraging behavior as a measurement of the boldness of individuals who visited feeding tables, the presence of domestic cats, and predation events involving cats and flying squirrels. Flying squirrels used feeding tables, and those that did tended to stay at lower heights and for longer durations while foraging relative to those consuming natural foods. Domestic-cat predation was observed around feeding tables. These results indicate that artificial feeding alters flying-squirrel behavior and ultimately increases predation risk. We recommend long-term monitoring to assess population-level effects of artificial feeding.

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  • Jun Nishihiro, Taku Kadoya, Hiroyuki Yokomizo, Dai Koide
    Article ID: 2201
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Planning for and taking action with a view to climate change adaptation are important social and political issues at national and regional scales. Climate change adaptation typically involves a consideration of measures that address recognised problems and maintain the performance of ecological and social systems, such as crop yield or health risks, under projected future environmental conditions. However, these 'optimisation' approaches are vulnerable to unpredictable events. This opinion paper describes the 'adaptability-enhancing' approach to climate change adaptation. The adaptability-enhancing approach is effective under sudden environmental fluctuations and future uncertainties. This approach is achieved by increasing the change capacity, response capacity, and resilience of the ecological or social system. These concepts are explained in detail and effective measures for enhancing adaptability are discussed in the context of real-world examples.

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  • Akira Mizutani, Masaaki Fujiyoshi, Hiroyoshi Kohno
    Article ID: 2209
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Limonium sinense (Girard) O. Kuntze is a threatened plant species that grows only on Nakanokamishima Island in the Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa, Japan. To obtain information that will contribute to its conservation, we investigated the detailed distribution of the species on the island and its growth status, including the flowering period, based on photographic records for 5 years from 2017 to 2021. Limonium sinense formed several clumps on the northeastern coast and was also distributed on the southern coast and central portion of the island. Plants grew at a relatively high density on gravel deposits near the coast, and were sparse on bare rock, such as ledges, and on steep slopes with soil. The L. sinense inflorescences developed beginning in February. Although the flowering period of L. sinense lasted up to 5 months from March to July, flowering peaked in April.

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  • Takafumi Nonaka, Kazuaki Tsuchiya, Toshiya Okuro
    Article ID: 2212
    Published: October 20, 2022
    Advance online publication: October 20, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    Urban residents often lack opportunities to interact with the natural environment. Daily nature experiences are crucial for conservation as they can influence people's attitudes toward conservation activities. Animal sounds and songs provide urban residents opportunities to experience nature, including those who rarely have the chance to visit green spaces. In Japan, people have long been familiar with the sound of cicadas, which can even be experienced in densely populated urban areas. However, urban residents may not be aware of animal sounds in their neighbourhoods, as they lose experience with and knowledge of plants and animals. This study examined urban residents' experiences of nature from a soundscape perspective by examining the relationship between the presence of cicada species in urban neighbourhoods and residents' experiences with their sounds, along with the influence of various socioeconomic attributes, including the knowledge of species names. We conducted a cicada presence-absence survey using sounds and a questionnaire survey on the frequency of sound experiences during the summer of 2020 in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo. The results of the cicada survey indicated that five cicada species were present at the study site; their observation frequencies in descending order were Graptopsaltria nigrofuscata, Hyalessa maculaticollis, Platypleura kaempferi, Meimuna opalifera, and Tanna japonensis. In descending order, the species sounds experienced most frequently by the questionnaire respondents were H. maculaticollis, M. opalifera, G. nigrofuscata, P. kaempferi, and T. japonensis. These results indicated that people did not always recognise the species in the neighbourhood. The presence of sounds in neighbourhood environments, knowledge of species names, childhood and current nature experience frequencies, and nature relatedness were positively related to the frequency of cicada sound experiences. These results suggest that urban residents' experience of nature is shaped by a variety of social factors, including ecological knowledge, in addition to the presence of species of interest.

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  • Naoki Kikuchi
    Article ID: 2035
    Published: August 03, 2022
    Advance online publication: August 03, 2022
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    Allocation of local revenues from birdwatching to conservation projects can incentivize conservation of endemic bird species and other wildlife. However, nature tourism can also negatively affect target species and their habitats. In 1984, as part of a project to protect Blakiston's fish owl on the Shiretoko Peninsula of Hokkaido, the Japanese government purposely refrained from disclosing the owl's habitat to the public. However, lodging facilities on the Shiretoko Peninsula have begun to distribute owl feed to allow their guests to observe and photograph these rare birds. This practice has led to widespread dissemination of information on the owl's habitat, prompting concerns that conservation efforts may be adversely affected. As a countermeasure, conservationists have proposed a "show and protect" policy. The first step of this policy is to gradually reduce and eventually eliminate all artificial feeding so that the owl can be observed in more natural settings. The second step is to discourage any activities that will detract from the global and local value of the Shiretoko region. The third step is to provide an educational framework for people to learn about Blakiston's fish owl and its conservation. Implementing this conservation policy requires cooperation and consensus building among a diverse group of people, including local residents, members of the tourism industry, tourists, researchers, and government officials. In this study, to better understand the views of the public on the proposed policy, we conducted interviews with members of the local community, who will play important roles. The survey results indicate that there are no significant inconsistencies between the goals of the conservation policies and the views of local stakeholders. However, these groups differed in their perceptions of the natural environment, local community life, nature conservation initiatives, and profitable nature use. For this "show and protect" conservation policy to be effective, rules must be established in a creative and flexible manner to facilitate collaboration among people with diverse perspectives. The main challenges to this goal are recognizing a plurality of values, mutual acceptance of different objectives, and consensus building among stakeholders.

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  • Hiroshi Hashimoto, Motonori Kimura, Nobuhiro Tomaru
    Article ID: 2122
    Published: August 03, 2022
    Advance online publication: August 03, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    The genus Castanopsis consists of entomophilous broadleaf evergreen tree species that dominate forests in warm temperate regions of Japan, where they are often selected as national "specific plant communities" that are representative or typical of the flora of Japan in terms of size, structure, distribution, etc., that have no alternatives, or that are extremely fragile and are in danger of extinction if left unchecked. These forests include small areas of shrine and temple forests that remain in isolation in urban regions. Therefore, identification of potential Castanopsis pollinators between trees separated by medium to long distances is important for the breeding, renewal, and conservation of genetic diversity of these species. In this study, we collected insects visiting the flowers of Castanopsis sieboldii, Castanopsis cuspidata, and their hybrid among isolated trees and urban fragmented woods in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Flower-visiting insects were identified from six orders, > 33 families, 45 genera, and 65 species including insects not identified to species level. We also collected insects after nightfall, and found that various moths visited Castanopsis flowers. Based on the ecological traits of the recorded insects, we speculate that Castanopsides hasegawai, Odontopera arida arida, Vespa sp., Polistes sp., Bombus ardens ardens, and Oxycetonia jucunda may be efficient mid- to long-distance pollinators of Castanopsis spp. in this urban setting.

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  • Tomoko Araki, Masahiro Fujioka
    Article ID: 2123
    Published: August 03, 2022
    Advance online publication: August 03, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    Small streams in rural areas are commonly known as habitats for freshwater fish, but have lacked attention from conservation sectors and local governments. We established 30 survey points in three tributaries (Kawamata, Ogawa, and Ujie) of a medium-sized river, the Koise River, that flows into Lake Kasumigaura, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. We captured fish using an electrofisher and recorded environmental features from 2010 to 2011, in winter, spring, summer, and autumn, once for each. A total of 119 surveys caught 27,086 fish of 18 species. Of these, Rhodeus ocellatus ocellatus, Gnathopogon elongatus, and Nipponocypris spp. were alien species. Conversely, six species, Lethenteron reissneri, Tachysurus tokiensis, Oryzias latipes, Tanakia lanceolata, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, and Cotton pollux, were species of conservation concern listed on the Red List of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan. There were five seasonal weirs, which retain water only during the irrigation period, and four fixed weirs, which do not change shape throughout the year, in Kawamata; additionally, there were two seasonal weirs in Ogawa, and one seasonal and eight fixed weirs in Ujie. The density of weirs, the ratio of concrete bottoms, and the vegetation coverage all indicated that Ogawa had the best natural conditions and Ujie the worst. The number of species per survey and the Shannon-Wiener index of diversity for each survey point were highest in Ogawa, and lowest in Ujie. The numbers of Opsariichthys platypus, G. elongatus, T. tokiensis, and Pseudorasbora parva captured per survey were higher at survey points where there was no weir on the close downstream side than at those where there was a weir, especially a fixed weir. These results suggest that cross-river artificial structures, especially fixed weirs, have a negative impact on many freshwater fish species. When employing weirs to utilise water from small streams for irrigation in plains, their negative impacts on freshwater fish should be reduced by using, for example, a seasonal weir with a small gap.

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  • Kensuke Kito
    Article ID: 2125
    Published: August 03, 2022
    Advance online publication: August 03, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    Quantitative evaluations of ecosystem services are important for promoting sustainable use. However, evaluations of cultural ecosystem services (CESs) lag behind those of other services. Artistic inspiration obtained from ecosystems, which is a component of CESs, has been evaluated using the number of artistic works produced about ecosystems. However, this service has not yet been evaluated for modern Japanese artistic works created by ordinary citizens. Therefore, I attempted to evaluate the artistic inspiration service of birds, using modern haiku created by ordinary people. I collected haikus related to birds from Asahi Haidan, which is the haiku-posting section of Asahi Shimbun, from 2014.2019, and examined relationships between the number of haikus related to each bird family and their habitats. In addition, to determine annual changes in the inspiration service, I examined annual changes in the numbers of haikus related to birds from 1996-2019. The relationships between habitats and the numbers of haikus showed that bird families inhabiting farmland, lakes and rivers were more often used as the subjects of haikus. This is thought to be because people and birds share living space in these habitats. The annual changes in the numbers of haikus related to birds showed that the total numbers did not change between 1996 and 2019. However, the numbers of haikus related to birds generally (not related to any specific family) increased, while the numbers of haikus related to specific bird families decreased. This could be because of a decline in ordinary peoples’ ability to identify species, their knowledge of the ecology of species, and their willingness to make detailed observations, which are necessary for the creation of haikus related to specific bird families. Based on these results, it seems plausible that ecological education and the conservation of ecosystems, particularly farmland, lakes and rivers, may be important for the conservation of the artistic inspiration services provided by birds. This study is a valuable example of a quantitative assessment of the inspiration service of modern Japanese artistic work. Integrating these results with the results of assessments of other ecosystem services could lead to more balanced decision-making on conservation.

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  • Atsushi Tamura, Miho Akatani
    Article ID: 2133
    Published: August 03, 2022
    Advance online publication: August 03, 2022
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    Supplementary material

    We describe the results of a revisit survey assessing population size, leaf size, and habitat and the fate of three transplanted individuals of the endangered pteridophyte Polysticum neolobatum Nakai in the Tanzawa Mountains, Japan. We further report the same attributes, excluding transplant fate, from a nearby population in the Doshi Mountains that had not been previously visited but shared similar habitat attributes. At Tanzawa, the number of P. neolobatum declined from 21 in 2004 to only 5 immature individuals in 2020. The number of leaves per individual was typically six or fewer, leaf size was < 40 cm and there was evidence of herbivory on many individuals, likely due to grazing by sika deer. The habitat was mostly rock or weathered rock with slopes of 50° or greater. Of the three individuals previously transplanted, two were found surviving. Both were immature, even five years after transplanting, and leaf size was < 30 cm on both. At Doshi, we recorded 16 individuals in 2020, 12 of which were mature. Leaf apices were missing from eight individuals, again likely a product of sika deer grazing. All mature individuals had a maximum of five leaves and a leaf size > 40 cm. Leaves were significantly larger at Doshi relative to Tanzawa. Our results highlight how vulnerable the population of P. neolobatum at Tanzawa is to extirpation and suggest that the site may not be suitable for transplanted individuals. Individuals at Doshi were in better condition, but the population contains < 20 individuals and is experiencing damage from sika deer. We suggest that the next steps for the conservation of P. neolobatum include genetic analysis of wild individuals to guide spore collection and the establishment of ex situ populations.

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  • Yuki Yabuhara, Takumi Akasaka, Yoshiki Yamada, Hirofumi Hara, Atsushi ...
    Article ID: 2012
    Published: April 15, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 15, 2022
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
    Supplementary material

    The white-tailed eagle is susceptible to negative effects related to wind farms. Wind-farm locations must be carefully selected to avoid danger to these eagles and thus mitigate impacts. However, the distribution of this species at broad scales is poorly understood, which hinders such planning. We created a predictive model of the potential breeding area of white-tailed eagles in northern Hokkaido, Japan. Using Maxent, we constructed a spatial model using 43 nest locations and 6 environmental variables, then evaluated the model using 12 withheld nest locations. The distribution of breeding habitat was highly correlated with topographic factors at the local scale and with land-use types at the home-range scale, indicating that eagles select habitat at multiple spatial scales. Habitat suitability was higher in places with more moderate forest cover and mid-sized water bodies at the 2-km scale, with dense forest edges at the 3-km scale, and at lower elevations at the 0.1-km scale. Model performance was relatively high, implying that our suitability map could be used to create a sensitivity map. The habitat-suitability map shows areas of northern Hokkaido that are important breeding habitat for white-tailed eagle; we do not recommend wind-farm establishment in these places.

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  • Yuko Hayashi
    Article ID: 2036
    Published: April 15, 2022
    Advance online publication: April 15, 2022
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
    Supplementary material

    Organized by the government and conducted by a group of professionals, conservation programs for endangered Blakiston's fish owls Ketupa blakistoni have been underway since 1984. The government has kept habitat information and the location of owls undisclosed to prevent human disturbance, especially from bird watchers and photographers. However, intruders who seek to see and photograph this rare species have increased in number in some accessible habitats, with upsurges in the 2010s. Moreover, some private lodges have been feeding owls to facilitate visitor photographs. An internet search for personal blogs showing photographs of wild Blakiston's fish owls revealed that 47.4% of the blog pictures from specified locations were taken from lodges where it had been announced that owls could be seen. Three of the four lodges were feeding owls, and the remaining one was helping visitors to see owls feeding and nesting in the national forest surrounding the lodge. On Instagram, photograph location was stated for 55.1% of pictures and all of these were taken at lodges where owls were being fed. Eighty-seven percent of the blog photographs were shot at night, either using strobe photography or making use of lighting fixtures installed by the lodges. Of the 12.7% of daytime photographs taken under natural light, 32.9% were of immature fledglings and parent birds on the alert for intruders. Photographers who visited wild owl habitats were significantly older and male-biased compared to participants in guided zoo tours designed to watch and learn about Blakiston’s fish owls in captivity. Awareness of owl conservation projects also differed between the two groups, i.e., those who visited habitats were more knowledgeable about conservation measures for wild individuals than were guided zoo tour participants but less knowledgeable about efforts being undertaken in captivity. Furthermore, while photographers thought that their actions related to photography and birdwatching had a minor impact on owls, guided zoo tour participants had the opposite view. In particular, feeding was considered to have a negative impact on the conservation of Blakiston's fish owls by 86.3% of guided zoo tour participants compared to only 25% of photographers. This study revealed five problems with the current tourism uses of Blakiston's fish owls that need addressing: 1) disclosure of habitat information, 2) feeding owls as a tourism attraction, 3) use of artificial lighting, 4) acclimation to human and artificial conditions, 5) discordance with national conservation projects.

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  • Kentaro Kazama, Yutaka Watnuki
    Article ID: 1916
    Published: August 31, 2021
    Advance online publication: August 31, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

    To minimise the impacts of marine wind farms on seabirds, early planning stages should incorporate sensitivity mapping. In this review, we discuss sensitivity map development and explore associated problems and applications. Large-scale sensitivity maps display seabird distribution densities collected by boat and aerial surveys over multiple years, during various seasons and in several geographical areas; small-scale maps display tracking data for breeding seabird populations during the breeding period. Using distribution densities, the sensitivity maps are constructed by incorporating a species-specific index of risks (i.e. flight height) and an index of conservation status. Large-scale maps can be constructed easily if extensive and long-term seabird distribution data are available. Small-scale maps display the sensitivity of target populations associated with wind farm construction at fine temporal and spatial resolutions. Currently, the number of applicable species are limited due to methodological restrictions. As the methods for species tracking advance, small-scale maps will become easier to produce. Incorporation of the habitat model to a small-scale map allows for feeding site and flight path prediction for target populations in particular years or geographies, yielding a versatile prediction tool. For both map types, the risks of collision and displacement are evaluated individually; therefore, the establishment of a sensible integration method is needed.

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  • Tsuneo Sekijima, Sachiko Moriguchi, Haruka Mukai, Hitomi Sato, Taito K ...
    Article ID: 1922
    Published: August 31, 2021
    Advance online publication: August 31, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

    In recent years, wind-power facilities have been rapidly constructed along the Japanese coastline, from Northern Hokkaido to Tohoku. This area is a wintering and stopover zone and coincides with a major flyway for migratory geese and swans. Wind farm construction can directly and indirectly affect migratory birds through habitat loss, abandonment of wintering sites, direct mortality, and increased energy costs resulting from detours to avoid such facilities. Sensitivity maps visualising areas of greater collision risk to migratory birds represent a powerful tool for habitat conservation, while continuing to encourage renewable energy development. In this review, we first outline the current state and relevant issues of sensitivity mapping for large waterfowl, then provide two sensitivity maps for Middendorf’s bean goose. The first map provides a sensitivity score based on the probability of a goose flight path intersecting with the turn area of a windmill blade at wintering and stopover sites, and the second map shows the predicted altitudes of geese flight paths based on landscape and topographic factors along the major migratory route. Finally, we propose a systematic approach to assess putative wind farm locations, considering the outcomes of sensitivity mapping.

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  • Yuji Okahisa
    Article ID: 2034
    Published: August 31, 2021
    Advance online publication: August 31, 2021
    JOURNAL OPEN ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

    Birdwatching tourism is presumed to contribute to conservation programs for endangered species by providing tourists with opportunities to learn about conservation activities and by improving economic incentives. However, it is important to evaluate and manage the negative impacts of tourism on the target species. The crested ibis Nipponia nippon became extinct in the wild in 1980s, although efforts towards its reintroduction to Japan are ongoing. In this study, I assessed the flight-initiation distances, vigilance, and fecundity of wild crested ibises, and evaluated the economic ripple effects of tourism on the regional economy and ibis conservation programs based on literature published before extinction. When foraging crested ibises were approaching by cars, the maximum flight-initiation distance was 145 m; the average distance decreased from 106.9 m in 2015 to 62.5 m in 2019. Crested ibis vigilance behaviour increased with vehicle approach, but was reduced when the flock size was large. For solitary birds, vigilance increased at a distance of 184 m, but when ibises were in a flock of five, vigilance increased at a distance of 128 m. Based on literature published before extinction, ibis fecundity significantly increased with restricted access to nest sites in forests. An estimated 52,902 tourists visited Sado Island annually to see crested ibises. From an economic input-output table, the economic contribution of the ibis through tourism was estimated to be 4.45 billion yen. The ripple effects on agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, which play important roles in preserving crested ibis habitat, were approximately 34 million yen; tourists donated approximately 16 million yen to Toki Forest Park. Based on these results, I make recommendations regarding ibis tourism. First, flocks of crested ibis in paddy fields should be observed from a minimum distance of 150 m and solitary birds should not be approached. Second, tourists should be prohibited from observing nesting ibises. Finally, a system should be developed to share the profits from ibis tourism with those engaged in agricultural, forestry, fishery, and conservation activities. The information presented here will help to promoting sustainable conservation activities for the crested ibis.

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  • Tatsuya Ura, Makoto Hasebe, Shinji Yoshizaki, Wataru Kitamura
    Article ID: 1925
    Published: April 20, 2021
    Advance online publication: April 20, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
    Supplementary material

    The construction of wind power farms is expected to impact bird habitat. In Europe, nature conservation groups have created sensitivity maps prior to wind farm construction, allowing for some impacts to be avoided during the planning stage. The Wild Bird Society of Japan undertook a similar task for the northern portion of Hokkaido; proposed and existing wind farms, rare bird habitat, and migratory flyways overlap in this area. Here, we detail the process used to create a sensitivity map. First, we compiled informal literature review of sensitivity mapping approaches both within and outside of Japan. Then we consulted with experts and local stakeholders to select a methodological approach for our study region and applied that approach to data collected from multiple field surveys. Twenty-three bird species were targeted for sensitivity mapping and our resulting map included 84 grid cells of 5 × 5 km each. Our results suggest that bird species will be most vulnerable to wind farm construction in the western and northern portions of the study area. This is due to the occurrence of endangered bird habitat and migratory routes for sea eagles, geese, and swans in this area.

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  • Yasushi Maruyama
    Article ID: 1919
    Published: February 10, 2021
    Advance online publication: February 10, 2021
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION

    This paper examines risk management with a focus on scientific uncertainty. The impact of wind power generation on birds was used as an example because this is a trans-science problem that cannot be solved by science alone. The ideal form of uncertainty was categorised using the scale of knowledge for the results and knowledge of probability, and countermeasures were presented accordingly. The paper also examines the framework of stakeholder recognition in decision-making and states that the preconditions can be changed not only by reducing the environmental impact but also by proactively contributing to nature restoration.

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  • Keita Azechi
    Article ID: 1920
    Published: August 31, 2020
    Advance online publication: August 31, 2020
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS ADVANCE PUBLICATION
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