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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.

Eda M.,Kyushu University | Eda M.,Hokkaido University | Shimada T.,The Miyagi Prefectural Izunuma Uchinuma Environmental Foundation | Amano T.,University of Tokyo | And 4 more authors.
Ornithological Science | Year: 2013

Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons has a holarctic breeding distribution and is polymorphic. Three subspecies winter in the Palaearctic region, one of which also winters in the Nearctic region: European White-fronted Goose A. a. albifrons breeds in the far north of Europe and Asia and winters in the south and west of Europe; Pacific White-fronted Goose A. a. frontalis breeds in east Siberia and Arctic Canada and winters in East Asia and United States; and Greenland Whitefronted Goose A. a. flavirostris breeds in Greenland and winters in Ireland and western Scotland. The phylogenetic relationships among these three subspecies are unclear. We determined the mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of Pacific Whitefronted Goose, using 66 shed feathers collected from wintering sites in Japan, and compared the sequences with those previously published for Greater White-fronted Goose subspecies. Phylogenetic trees and networks revealed that there are three clades within the species. The sequence divergence among the clades corresponds to divergence long before the last glacial maximum (15 25 thousand years ago), which suggests the existence of at least three ancient refugia for the species. However, all three subspecies consist of haplotypes from two of the three clades. This suggests that they originated from individuals that survived in two refugia during the last glacial period. © The Ornithological Society of Japan 2013.

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.

Hupp J.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Yamaguchi N.M.,University of Tokyo | Yamaguchi N.M.,Nagasaki University | Ozaki K.,Yamashina Institute for Ornithology | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2015

We compared migration movements and chronology between Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) marked with dorsally mounted satellite transmitters and pintails marked only with tarsus rings. During weekly intervals of spring and autumn migration between their wintering area in Japan and nesting areas in Russia, the mean distance that ringed pintails had migrated was up to 1000 km farther than the mean distance radiomarked pintails migrated. Radiomarked pintails were detected at spring migration sites on average 9.9 days (90 % CI 8.0, 11.8) later than ringed pintails that were recovered within 50 km. Although ringed and radiomarked pintails departed from Japan on similar dates, the disparity in detection of radiomarked versus ringed pintails at shared sites increased 7.7 days (90 % CI 5.2, 10.2) for each 1000 km increase in distance from Japan. Thus, pintails marked with satellite transmitters arrived at nesting areas that were 2500 km from Japan on average 19 days later than ringed birds. Radiomarked pintails were detected at autumn migration stopovers on average 13.1 days (90 % CI 9.8, 16.4) later than ringed birds that were recovered within 50 km. We hypothesize that dorsal attachment of 12–20 g satellite transmitters to Northern Pintails increased the energetic cost of flight, which resulted in more rapid depletion of energetic reserves and shortened the distance pintails could fly without refueling. Radiomarked pintails may have used more stopovers or spent longer periods at stopovers. causing their migration schedule to diverge from ringed pintails. We urge further evaluation of the effects of dorsally mounted transmitters on migration chronology of waterfowl. © The Author(s) 2015.

Yamaguchi N.M.,University of Tokyo | Yamaguchi N.M.,Nagasaki University | Hupp J.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Flint P.L.,U.S. Geological Survey | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Field Ornithology | Year: 2012

We marked 198 Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) with satellite transmitters on their wintering areas in Japan to study their migration routes and habitat use in spring staging areas. We hypothesized that the distribution of pintails during spring staging was influenced by patterns of land use and expected that the most frequently used areas would have more agricultural habitat than lesser-used areas. We obtained 3031 daily locations from 163 migrant pintails marked with satellite transmitters and identified 524 stopover sites. Based on a fixed kernel home range analysis of stopover utilization distribution (UD), core staging areas (areas within the 50% UD) were identified in northern Honshu and western Hokkaido, and were used by 71% of marked pintails. Core staging areas had a greater proportion of rice fields than peripheral (51-95% UD) and rarely used (outside the 95% UD) staging areas. Stopover sites also contained more rice fields and other agricultural land than were available at regional scales, indicating that pintails selected rice and other agricultural habitats at regional and local scales. Pintails remained at spring staging areas an average of 51 d. Prolonged staging in agricultural habitats of northern Japan was likely necessary for pintails to prepare for transoceanic migration to Arctic nesting areas in eastern Russia. © 2012 Association of Field Ornithologists.

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