Early in 1955, the International Union for the Protection of Nature, whose head office is in Brussels, Belgium, wrote a letter of inquiry to the Japanese member organization, the National Parks Association, in which they said that they wanted the animals and plants which were facing the danger of extinguishment, how the situation stood and what they were doing to protect them. In reply to it, the National Parks Association informed them that they were Common Otter Lutra lutra lutra (Linné) and Yezo Sable Mustela zibellina brachyura (Temminck et Schlegel)-mammal-; Japanese Stork Ciconia ciconia boyciana Swinhoe, Japanese Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon (Temminck), Tristram's Woodpecker Dryocopus richardsi Tristram, Eastern Ring-dove Streptopelia decaocto stoliczkae (Hume) and Steller's Albatross Diomedea albatrus Pallas-fowl-; Parnassius eversmanni daisetsuzana Matsumura-insect-. Among the five species of fowl, Steller's Albatross are expected to have a hopeful future, as the measures of protection for them have fortunately proved to be effective. The same thing goes for Eastern Ring-dove, though not so hopeful as Steller's Albatross. As regards Tristram's Woodpecker in Tsushima Island, however, they are supposed to have died out rather than they are in the danger of extinguishment. Those which need measures of protection badly, are the Japanese Stork in Hyôgo Pref. (less than 20), and the Japanese Crested Ibis in Niigata Pref. and Ishikawa Pref. (less than 30). The one which should be noted as well as the Japanese Crested Ibis, is the White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephala (Latham). We would protect it if there were one, but in Japan, there remains none of them. There supposed to be very few of them in Riu Kiu and Formosa. It is clear, when referring to the old records, that they had come as summer visitants to the Mainland of Japan-chiefly to the southern part of Kantô Area-and seem to have had their own breeding place before the Meiji Era. Namely, before the Meiji Era, they are supposed to have lived, built their nests and bred in Sagiyama (that means Egrets' Hill), Noda, Saitama Pref., together with some species of Egret and Night-heron. Egrets in Sagiyama are in good condition, and they have now come up to 10, 000 in number, being a speciality of the place. White Ibis, however, have disappeared entirely, and we miss them very much. Although we do not know exactly the reason of their disappearance, it might have driven them out of our country that they were shot directly they had come into man's sight, together with the fact that originally there were not so many that had come over to Japan. A stuffed skin of White Ibis which was caught in Kameido on Jan. 22, 1883 is kept in our institute, and this is considered to be the last White Ibis which was caught in Tokyo. It must be noted, however, that the members of the Japan Bird-lovers' Association caught in their sight on May 23, 1954, near the shore of Shinhama, Chiba Pref., a White Ibis flying toward them and flying off. Although this species has now almost no connection with Japan, yet it makes us very happy to see one of them come this way on an unexpected occasion
An attempt was made to prepare a dried food, commonly known as dry ration, that are to be produced healthy rats and mice, because raw meat has been used with less advantage, since it tends to ferment or decompose after a few hours. After several trials it was found that the food elements to produce combinations which are attractive and effective to animals are as follows: Wheat meal 3kg, rice dust 1.5kg, wheat dust 1.5kg, corn meal 1kg, soy bean dust 2kg, fish meal 1kg and salt 0.1kg. After the elements were mixed well with the addition of 7 litre of water, the dough-like mass is spread out in layers and dried in an electric oven.
With the purpose to obtain a concept of the essential continuous process of fertilization in rat eggs, the present study was undertaken with the aid of the phase-contrast microscope. A method is described whereby living eggs can be observed under the microscope. Wistar albino rats (W. K. A.) provided the eggs for this study. The female rats at the late proestrous stage were ovulated by the application of gonadotrophin 'synaphorin', 5 R. U. for each. Twenty to twenty four hours after injection, the eggs were dissected out of the fallopian tubes in Gey's solution in a petri dish, and transferred to a slide together with some of the fluid in which the eggs were suspended. Diluted sperm emulsion was prepared by adding Gey's solution. By transferring the eggs to the sperm solution, the eggs were inseminated under the microscope and the second polar body was found formed at about 160 minutes after insemination (Fig. 1).
In 1956, nineteen nest-boxes were set up (2 not utilized, 1 abandoned) in a nesting colony of the Grey Starling Sturnus cineraceus T., near Tokyo (Figs. 1, 2, 3). Observations, measuring of eggs and chicks and some experimental treatments were made and the general process is shown summarized in Figs. 4, 5. The present article is an introductory part and the general summaries of the result of study will be given in the next issue.