The Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) have recently gave impacts on forestry and fishery in Japan. To decrease the population of this species, culling was operated in many locations, which appeared not to be so effective. These human-cormorant conflicts have not been mitigate easily because so many factors are contributed. The special animal management planning system will be applied in the future under the Wildlife Protection and Hunting Law.
The Hazel Grouse (Bonasa bonasia) is a small forest grouse occurring in temperate and boreal forests from Scandinavia to the Far East. The species is assumed to have reached Hokkaido, northern Japan, via Sakhalin Island, during the last ice age about 40, 000 years ago. The subspecies occurring in Hokkaido is now recognisably distinct as B. b. vicinitas. Pairs are formed from late March to early May. During this period males whistle actively. Six to ten eggs are laid in early or mid-May and hatch in early June after incubation of 23 to 25 days. Young attain adult size by late August and have adult plumage by mid-September. The main diet consists of the leaves and seeds of herbaceous plants and trees and arthropods during late spring and summer, the buds of broad-leaved trees and vine fruits during autumn and winter, and buds and catkins in early spring. The Hazel Grouse has two large caeca supporting effective digestion of the plant fibers comprising their main diet. Hazel Grouse prefer broad-leaved and mixed forests with relatively dense undergrowth, and they avoid larch plantations in Hokkaido. Recently, the Hazel Grouse population has decreased in Hokkaido, the main cause of which is considered to be predation by the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), which increased in numbers from the early 1970s until the 1990s. Brood sizes were smaller during low population periods than during normal population periods. In order to maintain, or increase, Hazel Grouse population levels, habitat management and predator control is considered necessary.
The authors captured and ringed a willow warbler at Mt. Takachiyama (28°09′51″N, 129°19′08″E) in Setouchi Town, Kagoshima Prefecture, southern Japan, on September 27, 2001. The bird was identified as this species from following morphological and genetic characteristics. Morphologically, the bird had no wing-bars and long tail (tail/wing ratio: 0.75), 6th primary (P6) was not emarginated, the outermost primary (P1) was longer than primary-coverts by 5.6 mm, and wing-point was 3rd primary (P3). Blood sample was taken with a micro-capillary tube from ulnar vein before releasing and was preserved in Queen's buffer (Seutin et al. 1991) at the ambient temperature. A part of cytochrome b sequence was determined using an automated DNA sequencer (Model 310, Applied Biosystems) following Leisler et al. (1997). The captured bird (GenBank Accession #: AB075024) differed from a European willow warbler (Accession#: Z73492) by 9 substitutions (1.5% sequence divergence), which is typical of a subspecies distance. The bird was probably race yakutensis judging from the distribution, but it could not be confirmed.