1999年から2004年に南西諸島から東日本の太平洋岸にかけての北西太平洋で実施した船舶調査に基づき，アホウドリの海上分布のパターンと出現場所の地理的特徴を検討した。目視調査では15群325羽，その他の活動中の随時観察では25群45羽のアホウドリが発見された。目視調査の結果は，アホウドリが10–12月期から翌年の4–6月期にかけて日本近海に出現し，尖閣諸島南小島沖，伊豆諸島鳥島の周辺，および鹿島灘から常磐三陸沖に至る東日本の太平洋岸沖の三つが主な分布域であることを示した。出現場所の解析によれば，営巣地周辺では島の30 km以内に多くの個体が集中し，東日本の太平洋岸沖では，親潮・黒潮混合域の距岸距離20–70 km, 水深200–1400 mの陸棚縁辺部から大陸斜面にかけての海域を利用していた。本研究の結果は，営巣地近くの休息場所と東日本の太平洋岸沖合陸棚斜面域の索餌域がアホウドリの繁殖期における海上生息域として重要であることを示唆している。
A fresh corpse of the Black-chinned Fruit Dove Ptilinopus leclancheri was collected on Iriomote Island of the Ryukyu Islands, southwestern Japan (24°15′13′′N, 123°52′15′′E), on 26 August 2004 immediately after the passage of a typhoon. This is the first record of this species in Japan, whose normal range is Taiwan or the Philippines. Considering the geographic and atmospheric circumstances, it is most probable that the bird arrived at Iriomote Island accidentally. The undeveloped small ovary and the slightly ossified skull strongly suggest this individual to have been a juvenile female. Comparative measurements of three Taiwanese specimens and the Japanese one were newly taken and compared with literature on this species. All four specimens shared similar measurements, especially in terms of the distinctively long culmen, which is suggestive of subspecies P. l. taiwanus, although the subspecies status had been suspected to be wrongly attributed to vagrant individuals with abnormal characters.
Compared to their wild ancestors, domesticated animals have evolved not only through natural selection. During the long period of their domestication, artificial selection by humans has been directed toward changes in form, shape, coloration, physiological function, etc. The domesticated chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus, is considered to have been derived from its wild ancestor, the Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus, for the purpose of exploitation. For example, different cultures selected characters and behaviours for certain purposes, such as crowing to signal the time, cockfighting, divination and food consumption. Additionally, in many parts of Asia, the coloration of the plumage and shank can be important elements for use in ritual ceremonies. Clearly, cultural background may influence the external and internal features of the domesticated chicken. To elucidate the domestication process, we investigated the influence of cultural-specific background, value system, preference and knowledge on human evaluation of the shape and colour of chickens. We compared two distinct cultures, represented by Chiang Rai Province, Thailand and Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. An optimal solution model revealed clear differences between the subjects of Thailand and Japan in their respective preference for chicken figures. We also used a five-stage evaluation to investigate the tendency that people evaluate a chicken figure as “for meat” or “for cockfighting”, as well as “for appreciation” or “for economy”. The study demonstrated that the differences observed in the evaluation results related to cockfighting were reflected also in a contrast in breeding knowledge.
Plumage, shank color and comb shape of 617 native chickens were recorded at four ethnic settlements in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. The frequencies of genes controlling these morphological characters were calculated from the phenotypes of all 617 birds observed. In all settlements, the frequency of dominant white (I) was low, whereas the frequencies of wild type (e+) for the extended black locus (E, e+, e) were highest. The gene frequencies of shank color (Id, id) and comb type (P, p) changed in relation to the ethnicity of the human residents.
Breeding sites of the Japanese Murrelet Synthliboramphus wumizusume are restricted to some small islands off Japan, but its breeding behavior and postbreeding dispersal are poorly known. On May 2003, an observation of a chick was reported in the south of Boso Peninsula, southeast Japan. On 16 May 2006, I observed two adults and two putative chicks of the Japanese Murrelet, on the coast of Tateyama City at the south end of Boso peninsula. This site is c. 70 km away from the nearest islands where this species is known to breed.
We report a successful breeding of the Japanese Night Heron in 2007 within a remnant broad-leaved forest at the centre of a recently developed city area in Sanda, Hyogo Prefecture. One chick fledged and three eggs failed to hatch. It is suggested that those restricted natural environments left in the vicinity of human residences play an important role for conservation of endangered bird species.