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Shimada T.,The Miyagi Prefectural Izunuma Uchinuma Environmental Foundation | Hijikata N.,Keio University | Tokita K.-I.,Iwate University | Uchida K.,1 11 11 Midori | And 4 more authors.
Ornithological Science | Year: 2016

Japan hosts more than 40% population of Brent Goose Branta bernicla wintering in East Asia. We used satellite-tracking technology to monitor the seasonal movements and habitat usage of Brent Goose wintering in northern Japan. We marked five geese on the Oya sandy beach, Miyagi Prefecture, northeast Honshu, on 21 Janu-ary 2014. The geese utilized areas along the seacoast, especially concentrating at a small bay, close to the capture site. Most of the geese offshore were found at fishery rafts. No geese were found more than 2 km offshore or more than 6 km from the capture site along the seacoast. In early April, the geese left the southern Sanriku coast and moved up to eastern Hokkaido, crossing the sea directly or via the coastal areas of Iwate and Aomori Prefectures. The geese predominantly remained in the vicinity of the Veslovskiy Peninsula, Kunashiri (Kunashir) Island, while some were distributed along the northern coast of the Nemuro Peninsula. We identified eastern Hokkaido and Kunashiri Island as important stopover sites for Brent Goose wintering in Japan. © The Ornithological Society of Japan 2016. Source


Shimada T.,The Miyagi Prefectural Izunuma Uchinuma Environmental Foundation | Yamaguchi N.M.,University of Tokyo | Yamaguchi N.M.,Nagasaki University | Hijikata N.,University of Tokyo | And 14 more authors.
Ornithological Science | Year: 2015

We satellite-tracked Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus wintering in northern Japan to document their migration routes and timing, and to identify breeding areas. From 47 swans that we marked at Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma, Miyagi Prefecture, northeast Honshu, and at Lake Kussharo, east Hokkaido, we observed 57 spring and 33 autumn migrations from 2009-2012. In spring, swans migrated north along Sakhalin Island from eastern Hokkaido using stopovers in Sakhalin, at the mouth of the Amur River and in northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk. They ultimately reached molting/breeding areas along the Indigirka River and the lower Kolyma River in northern Russia. In autumn, the swans basically reversed the spring migration routes. We identified northern Honshu, eastern Hokkaido, coastal areas in Sakhalin, the lower Amur River and northern coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk as the most frequent stopover sites, and the middle reaches of the Indigirka and the lower Kolyma River as presumed breeding sites. Our results are helpful in understanding the distribution of the breeding and stopover sites of Whooper Swans wintering in Japan and in identifying their major migration habitats. Our findings contribute to understanding the potential transmission process of avian influenza viruses potentially carried by swans, and provide information necessary to conserve Whooper Swans in East Asia. © The Ornithological Society of Japan 2014. Source


Fujioka M.,University of Tsukuba | Don Lee S.,Ewha Womans University | Kurechi M.,Japanese Association for Wild Geese Protection | Yoshida H.,Japan National Agricultural Research Center
Waterbirds | Year: 2010

Rice (Oryza sativa) is the main cereal grown in the Republic of Korea and Japan and is planted on 54% and 36% of agricultural lands, respectively. Information on the status of birds that use rice fields in these nations was reviewed. More than 30%, or 135 species of 430 native avian species, excluding 152 accidental visitors, use rice fields. The fields serve primarily as foraging habitat, providing aquatic prey for passage, summer and resident species and residual grains for winter visitors. Some species, such as the Grey-faced Buzzard (Butastur indicus), require a mosaic of rice fields and forests for successful breeding. However, most waterbirds prefer rice fields in wide, open plains rather than narrow rice fields surrounded by forest. At least 32 (24%) of 135 species that use rice fields are designated threatened at the global or national scale, and eleven (22%) of 49 globally threatened species found in Korea and Japan use rice fields. Populations of most granivorous and piscivorous waterbirds such as geese, cranes and herons tend to be stable or increasing. The Baikal Teal (Anas formosa) is an exception. The breeding ranges or populations of some carnivorous and insectivorous birds, such as the Ruddy-breasted Crake (Porzana fusca), Greater Painted Snipe (Rostratula benghalensis) and many shorebirds have shrunk in recent decades. Some agricultural and conservation sectors have succeeded in attracting many waterbirds by flooding fallow fields in the rice-growing season and post-harvest rice fields. Further research on the direct and indirect effects of agricultural practices and conservation measures is needed in Korea and Japan. Source

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