Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center

Kunigami, Japan

Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center

Kunigami, Japan
Time filter
Source Type

Yamada F.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Kawauchi N.,Island Ecology Institute | Kawauchi N.,Yachiyo Engineering Co. | Nakata K.,Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center | And 5 more authors.
Mammal Study | Year: 2010

The Okinawa spiny rat, Tokudaia muenninki, is a critically endangered species endemic to the northern part of Okinawa Island and may be extinct in the wild as there have been no recent sightings of the animal in its natural habitat. We initiated the present search to determine whether the spiny rat still exists in the northern part of Okinawa Island. Sensor cameras and traps were distributed across areas in which past studies had identified the location of occurrence of spiny rats. From a total of 1,276 camera-nights and 2,096 trap-nights from 2007 to 2009, we captured 24 spiny rats; however, we were only successful in identifying spiny rats in the northernmost of the areas sampled, with no indications of the spiny rat in the more southerly areas. The area in which the spiny rats were still present was estimated to be only 13 km 2 and is comprised of forest dominated by Castanopsis sieboldii, Lithocarpus edulis, Distylium racemosum and Schima wallichii. The trees range in age from about 30 to more than 100 years old, and have an average height of 12 m (range 7 m16 m). Our rediscovery of the spiny rat in 2008 comes after an interval of 30 years since the previous trapping study in 1978 and seven years since indirect survey evidence from analysis of feral cat feces 2001. Measures for conservation of the location of the spiny rats are urgently required. © 2010 the Mammalogical Society of Japan.

Tominaga A.,University of Ryukyus | Matsui M.,Kyoto University | Nakata K.,Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center
Zoological Science | Year: 2014

We surveyed the genetic diversity and genetic differentiation of an endangered frog, Babina holsti, endemic to Okinawajima and Tokashikijima Islands of the Ryukyus, to elucidate its divergence history and obtain basic data for its conservation. Genetic differentiation between the two island lineages is moderate (3.1% p-distance in the cyt b gene). This result suggests that the two island lineages have been isolated between the late Pliocene and the middle Pleistocene and have never migrated between the current northern part of Okinawajima and Tokashikijima Islands, which were once connected in the late Pleistocene glacial age. On Okinawajima Island, the southernmost sample was constituted by a unique haplotype, without considerable genetic distance from haplotypes detected from northern samples. This unique haplotype composition in the southernmost sample would have resulted from the restricted gene flow between the southernmost population and the other populations in Okinawajima Island. Furthermore, the absence of genetic diversity within the southernmost sample indicates that this population has recently experienced population size reduction, possibly by predation pressure from an introduced mongoose, which is more abundant in the southern part than in the northern part of the island. Lower genetic diversity in the Tokashikijima sample implies a small effective population size for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in B. holsti on the island. Immediate conservation measures should be taken for the populations from the southernmost range in Okinawajima and Tokashikijima. © 2014 Zoological Society of Japan.

Hirayama T.,University of Ryukyus | Fukuda M.,Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center | Hirakawa M.,University of Ryukyus
Journal of the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology | Year: 2013

We studied the relationship between activities and seasonal changes of vocalization of the Okinawa Rail(Gallirallus okinawae) in northern Okinawa Island. The vocalization of this species is recognizable as three patterns: 'kek', 'krr' and a duet song of a pair. The 'kek' song was most frequently recorded from April to June. Moreover, the time period when the 'kek' song was heard changed with seasons. In March to June, August to October, and November to February, the 'kek' song was heard most frequenctly from 6: 00 to 9: 00 and 15: 00 to 18: 00, 18: 00 to 21: 00, and from 12: 00 to 15: 00, respectively. Because the 'kek' song was recorded in April to June, the breeding season, a relationship between the 'kek' song and breeding behavior was suggested. © Yamashina Institute for Ornithology.

Murata C.,Tokushima University | Sawaya H.,Hokkaido University | Nakata K.,Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center | Yamada F.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Chromosoma | Year: 2016

In initial studies of the eutherian small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), the Y chromosome could not be identified in somatic cells. The male chromosome number is uniquely odd, 2n = 35, whereas that of females is 2n = 36. Previous reports indicated that this unique karyotype resulted from a translocation of the ancestral Y chromosome to an autosome. However, it has been difficult to identify the chromosomes that harbor the translocated Y chromosomal segment because it is an extremely small euchromatic region. Using a Southern blot analysis, we detected four conserved Y-linked genes, SRY, EIF2S3Y, KDM5D, and ZFY, in the male genome. We cloned homologues of these genes and determined their sequences, which showed high homology to genes in two carnivore species, cat and dog. To unambiguously identify the Y-bearing autosome, we performed immunostaining of pachytene spermatocytes using antibodies against SYCP3, γH2AX, and the centromere. We observed trivalent chromosomes, and the associations between the distal ends of the chromosomes were consistent with those of Y and X1 chromosomes. The centromere of the Y chromosome was located on the ancestral Y chromosomal segment. We mapped the complementary DNA (cDNA) clones of these genes to the male chromosomes using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and the linear localization of all genes was confirmed by two-colored FISH. These Y-linked genes were localized to the proximal region of the long arm of a single telomeric chromosome, and we successfully identified the chromosome harboring the ancestral Y chromosomal segment. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Kambe Y.,Hokkaido University | Nakata K.,Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center | Yasuda S.P.,Hokkaido University | Suzuki H.,Hokkaido University
Genes and Genetic Systems | Year: 2012

We examined pelage color variation in wild populations of black rats (the Rattus rattus species complex) in the Yambaru forest area, northern Okinawa Island, Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan. Our field study revealed that 8.7% (38/438) and 0.2% (4/2500) of rats exhibited two types of coat color: white spotting and melanism, respectively. Using 34 representative animals, the phylogeography of the population was inferred using a nuclear gene marker, i.e., sequences (954 bp) of the melanocortin-1 receptor (Mc1r) gene responsible for the melanistic form in black rats. Four sequences from Okinawa were characterized as R. tanezumi, the Asian strain of black rat. Notably, neither of the phenotypic characters of white spotting or melanism was associated with the Mc1r haplotypes. Analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb) sequences (1140 bp) revealed that four haplotypes recovered from Okinawa clustered with the clade of R. tanezumi and differed by one or more bases from haplotypes at other localities in Japan and Asian countries. Thus, both variants may have arisen in the native rat population of Okinawa without interaction with the lineage of R. rattus, which exhibits a worldwide distribution and displays such coat color variants. The Yambaru population of black rats has thus experienced its own evolutionary history in allopatry for a substantial period of time (e.g., 10,000 years), which has preserved valuable genetic polymorphisms and will be useful for assessing the ecological consequences of genetic variation in natural populations.

Loading Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center collaborators
Loading Yambaru Wildlife Conservation Center collaborators