Kushiro Zoo

Kushiro, Japan

Kushiro Zoo

Kushiro, Japan
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PubMed | FILIN, Kushiro Zoo, Institute for Raptor Biomedicine and Hokkaido University
Type: | Journal: Zoological letters | Year: 2015

Quantifying intraspecific genetic variation in functionally important genes, such as those of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), is important in the establishment of conservation plans for endangered species. The MHC genes play a crucial role in the vertebrate immune system and generally show high levels of diversity, which is likely due to pathogen-driven balancing selection. The endangered Blakistons fish owl (Bubo blakistoni) has suffered marked population declines on Hokkaido Island, Japan, during the past several decades due to human-induced habitat loss and fragmentation. We investigated the spatial and temporal patterns of genetic diversity in MHC class II genes in Blakistons fish owl, using massively parallel pyrosequencing.We found that the Blakistons fish owl genome contains at least eight MHC class II loci, indicating recent gene duplications. An analysis of sequence polymorphism provided evidence that balancing selection acted in the past. The level of MHC variation, however, was low in the current fish owl populations in Hokkaido: only 19 alleles were identified from 174 individuals. We detected considerable spatial differences in MHC diversity among the geographically isolated populations. We also detected a decline of MHC diversity in some local populations during the past decades.Our study demonstrated that the current spatial patterns of MHC variation in Blakistons fish owl populations have been shaped by loss of variation due to the decline and fragmentation of populations, and that the short-term effects of genetic drift have counteracted the long-term effects of balancing selection.

Teraoka H.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Teraoka H.,NPO Tancho Protection Group | Tagami Y.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Kudo M.,Rakuno Gakuen University | And 12 more authors.
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2012

Red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) are native to eastern Hokkaido (island population), in contrast to the mainland, which migrates between the Amur River basin and eastern China-Korea peninsula. During the 1990s we found that Red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido were highly contaminated with mercury: however, the source was unknown. We investigated the time trend of mercury contamination in Red-crowned cranes. Total mercury levels in the livers and kidneys from cranes dead in the 2000s were lower than those dead in the 1990s. Feather is a major pathway of mercury excretion for many bird species and is used as an indicator of blood mercury level during feather growth. As internal organs from the specimens collected before 1988 were not available, we analyzed the flight feather shavings from stuffed Redcrowned cranes dead in 1959-1987 and found that the mercury level of feathers from cranes dead in the 1960s and 1970s was not more than those from the cranes dead in the 2000s. These results suggest that mercury contamination in Red-crowned cranes in Hokkaido decreased temporally during the 1990s-2000s. This indicates the possible occurrence of some mercury pollution in Red-crowned cranes' habitat in this region in the 1990s or before. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Ejiri H.,Nihon University | Sato Y.,Nihon University | Kim K.S.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | Tsuda Y.,Japan National Institute of Infectious Diseases | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2011

In Japan, the prevalence of avian Plasmodium in birds and mosquitoes has been partially examined in the temperate and subtropical zones; however, mosquitoes in the Japanese subarctic zone have not been adequately investigated. In this study, mosquito collections and avian Plasmodium detections from the mosquito samples were carried out to demonstrate the avian Plasmodium transmission between vector mosquitoes and birds inhabiting in Kushiro Wetland, subarctic zone of Japan. A total of 5,657 unfed mosquitoes from 18 species and 320 blood-fed mosquitoes from eight species was collected in summer 2008, 2009, and 2010. Three Aedes esoensis that fed on Hokkaido Sika Deer and one unfed Culex pipiens group were found to be positive for avian Plasmodium by polymerase chain reaction. This is the first report of the detection of avian Plasmodium DNA from mosquitoes distributing in the subarctic zone of Japan. The blood meals were successfully identified to captive or wild animals, including seven mammalian species, four bird species, and one amphibian species. These results indicated that infected birds with avian Plasmodium inhabited and direct contacts occurred between the infected birds and mosquitoes in Kushiro Wetland, Hokkaido, Japan. © 2011 Entomological Society of America.

Inoue M.,Kushiro Zoo | Inoue M.,NPO Tancho Protection Group | Shimura R.,Kushiro Zoo | Uebayashi A.,Kushiro Zoo | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science | Year: 2013

Red-crowned (or Japanese) cranes Grus japonensis are native to eastern Hokkaido, Japan-the island population, and mainland Asia-the continental population that migrates from breeding grounds along the Amur River Basin to winter in east China and the Korean Peninsula. The island population was reduced to about 50-60 birds in early part of the 20th century. Since 1950s, the population has increased to more than 1,300 as a consequence of human-provided food in winter, resulted in change of their habitats and food resource. From the carcasses of 284 wild cranes from the island population, collected in Hokkaido since 1976 until 2010, we measured six physical parameters (body weight and lengths of body, wing, tarsus, tail and exposed culmen) and divided into groups by sex and three developmental stages (juvenile, yearling and adult). All parameters of males were larger than those of females at the same stage. Total body length of females tends to grow up earlier than males, in contrast to body weight. Obvious time trends were not observed in these all parameters during 34 years for these six categories measured, except total length of male juveniles, which showed a signifcant increasing trend. These results provide the first extensive data on body size and mass in the wild red-crowned cranes. © 2013 The Japanese Society of Veterinary Science..

Hiraga T.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Sakamoto H.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Nishikawa S.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Muneuchi I.,Rakuno Gakuen University | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science | Year: 2014

Red-crowned cranes (Grus japonensis) are distributed separately in the east Eurasian Continent (continental population) and in Hokkaido, Japan (island population). The island population is sedentary in eastern Hokkaido and has increased from a very small number of cranes to over 1,300, thus giving rise to the problem of poor genetic diversity. While, Hooded cranes (Grus monacha), which migrate from the east Eurasian Continent and winter mainly in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan, are about eight-time larger than the island population of Red-crowned cranes. We collected whole bodies of these two species, found dead or moribund in eastern Hokkaido and in Izumi, and observed skeletons with focus on vertebral formula. Numbers of cervical vertebrae (Cs), thoracic vertebrae (Ts), vertebrae composing the synsacrum (Sa) and free coccygeal vertebrae (free Cos) in 22 Red-crowned cranes were 17 or 18, 9-11, 13 or 14 and 7 or 8, respectively. Total number of vertebrae was 47, 48 or 49, and the vertebral formula was divided into three types including 9 sub-types. Numbers of Cs, Ts, vertebrae composing the Sa and free Cos in 25 Hooded cranes were 17 or 18, 9 or 10, 12-14 and 6-8, respectively. Total number of vertebrae was 46, 47, 48 or 49, and the vertebral formula was divided into four types including 14 sub-types. Our findings clearly showed various numerical vertebral patterns in both crane species; however, these variations in the vertebral formula may be unrelated to the genetic diversity. © 2014 The Japanese Society of Veterinary Science.

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