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Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three Megafauna in Japan: An Exercise in Integrating Ideas of Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management, Satoyama, and SES Thinking

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The field of human-dimensions of wildlife management has traditionally not engaged in social-ecological system (SES) resilience thinking and adaptive management in a systematic way. This essay focuses on the resilience of mountain forest social-ecological systems in Japan by focusing on three interacting megafauna; sika deer (Cervus nippon), grey wolf (Canis lupus; extinct in Japan), and human hunters (Homo sapiens). We are particularly interested in framing this model in light of current work in the domain of the intersection between "Satoyama," the sustainable landscapes that result from Japanese traditional agriculture, and "Okuyama," the deep and primeval forests where people' s access is limited. We proposed four scenarios of likely futures in Japanese Satoyama/ Okuyama ecosystems; "Deer Dominance" , "Satoyama Revives through Resurgence of Hunters" , "Hunters Revive Satoyama & Wolves Restore Okuyama" , and "The Expansion of Wolves". Our scenarios, though fanciful and simplified, may help managers to see the issues and potential solutions from broader perspectives. Also the concepts herein bring up the importance of setting new goals for management about how to maintain and enhance the resilience of the system. This paper illustrates that by integrating a SES "humans in and of nature" approach, wildlife management techniques in Japan such as hunting can go beyond antagonistic discussion about humans vs ungulates, but rather include other aspect such as restoration of wolves and thinking about contextual nuances (such as those found within Okuyama and Satoyama) when making management decisions.
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ARTICLE
Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three
Megafauna in Japan:
An Exercise in Integrating Ideas of Human Dimensions
of Wildlife Management, Satoyama, and SES Thinking
Ryo SAKURAI, Keith G. TIDBALL, Richard C. STEDMAN,
Hiroshi TSUNODA
Abstract


    Cervus nippon 
Canis lupusHomo sapiens
    
       
   
        
     
   
       

     
        


1.Introduction
      
     
󰮏
 
         



Cervus nipponCanis lupusHomo
sapiens
    
󰮏

          
         

      




2.Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management and Social-Ecological Resilience
       
         
          
󰮏
        
      
       
       
   

   




          

       
     

   

        
     

政策科学 25 - 2, Feb. 2018
         
       
   
         
       
     


3.Forest Ecosystems in Japan as Model Social-Ecological Systems
   
    
       
      
 󰮏

        


     
           
       
    Sus
scrofa

          

3.1.Ecological Roles of Selected Megafauna
󰮏 
       
   󰮏   Cervus canadensis 
Bison bisonCanis latrans         
     
󰮏        
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      
Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three Megafauna in Japan(SAKURAI, TIDBALL, STEDMAN, TSUNODA)
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 󰮏         
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        
       

        




    󰮏     
         

3.2.Historical Backgrounds of Wildlife Management in Japan


           

         
         
      




政策科学 25 - 2, Feb. 2018
    
        
         
        

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

        
        
      
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          
  
        

      


󰮐

Figure 1:Examples of the shrine which has worshiped wolves as a god (Mitake Shrine in western Tokyo). Left and
right photos are statues of wolves build in front of the shrine. Photos were taken by the author (HT).
Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three Megafauna in Japan(SAKURAI, TIDBALL, STEDMAN, TSUNODA)
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󰮏        
   
󰮏

Figure 2:Typical examples of understory vegetation covers in Japanese deciduous forests with di󰮏erent density
of sika deer (
Cervus nippon
). In the forests with low deer-density (mostly<0.5 deer/km2), forest oor are
generally covered with shrubs or Sasa bamboos (left) while in high deer density (>10 deer/km2; right),
vegetation covers disappear. In the intermediate level, shrubs or Sasa bamboos are left, however, most
of their leaves are intensively browsed by deer (center). All photos were taken by the author (HT) in Gifu
Prefecture, central Japan.

政策科学 25 - 2, Feb. 2018
4.Models- Presses, Pulls, and Praxis
     




         
       
       
   
        
󰮏
        

     
    󰮏  

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         
Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three Megafauna in Japan(SAKURAI, TIDBALL, STEDMAN, TSUNODA)
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     
         

      󰮏  

5.Implications for HD and SES Thinking
       
       
󰮏
       



           
           
      

   󰮐

政策科学 25 - 2, Feb. 2018

        
     

        

     
     
         
   
          



       
      

6.Final Comments
       
        



󰮐              
  󰮐    
       
      


      
   
     
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        

Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three Megafauna in Japan(SAKURAI, TIDBALL, STEDMAN, TSUNODA)

References
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        


政策科学 25 - 2, Feb. 2018

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       

           Cervus Nippon
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           
145
Exploring Social-Ecological Resilience via Three Megafauna in Japan(SAKURAI, TIDBALL, STEDMAN, TSUNODA)
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         
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
政策科学 25 - 2, Feb. 2018
... Thus, it is imperative that more research be conducted from evolutionary and ecological perspectives. While data are available on the ecological impact of reintroduced wolves in North America and Europe (Ripple and Beschta, 2012;Callan et al., 2013;Ripple et al., 2014), only a few studies were conducted on the potential ecological impact of restoring wolves in Japan (Tsunoda and Enari, 2012;Sakurai et al., 2018) and further studies will also be based on hypothetical scenarios as wolves are absent in Japan. However, as restoration of the ecosystem remain a national policy goal (e.g., Nature Restoration Act), and as issues related to increasing ungulate populations prevail, such ecological research will be important. ...
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Japanese wolves (Canis lupus hodophilax) became extinct in the early 1900s. Because the country is experiencing growth in populations of ungulates, the potential of reintroducing wolves to promote self-regulating biodiverse ecosystems has been discussed by various Japanese and international researchers. However, limited research exists regarding public attitudes toward the reintroduction of wolves, which is indispensable to the success of such projects. We conducted a survey of 360 undergraduate students at a university in Japan and found that while most respondents believed that government officials and local residents should be responsible for the decision-making, a majority felt that this responsibility should not rest with the general citizens. Multiple regression analysis revealed that respondents disagreed with the reintroduction of exotic species generally, while those who thought wolves are necessary to a healthy ecosystem were supportive. Text mining analysis revealed that those who disagreed with the reintroduction were thinking about “people” while those who agreed emphasized the need to control an increasing deer population and to prevent related damage. In contrast to previous research, our survey revealed that it is not people's propensity for wolves (i.e., whether they like or hate wolves), but their understanding of the ecological impact of reintroduced wolves, that influences their support. In summary, our findings suggest that public attitudes toward the reintroduction of wolves may become more favorable if people were informed of the scientific findings that Japanese and continental wolves are the same species and that their presence will positively impact the ecosystem.
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This paper responds to calls for greater focus on societal (macro) and community (meso) levels of influence on hunter recruitment and retention. Based upon interviews and focus groups undertaken in two prefectures in Japan, this exploratory study identifies a range of factors that may contribute to Japan’s declining hunting participation. While some of these align with those identified elsewhere (e.g. demographic trends of aging and rural depopulation), the study reveals other barriers that are deeply rooted in Japan’s historic and contemporary socio-cultural practices. These include gun control, the consumption of game meat, and territorial hunting practices. Much of our knowledge about hunter recruitment and retention is based on research undertaken in Western contexts. These findings illustrate the need for a broader geographical scope in this research, and the importance of historic context in order to gain a holistic understanding of hunting and its connection with society and related ecologies.
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Human-wildlife conflicts have become the common issues in agricultural communities and in Japanese mountain villages. Understanding not only the ecological aspects of wildlife, but also the social aspects of the problem is important to mitigate the issues. Social-psychology is an academic discipline which aims to understand and predict people’s attitudes and behaviors. We conducted a questionnaire survey at Myojin district of Nikko city and Fukahodo district of Kanuma city in Tochigi prefecture to test two theories: the Theory of Planned Behaviors (TPB) and the Wildlife Acceptance Capacity Model (WAC), as well as additional factors (perception of government performance, perception of district issues, socio-demographics, and experience of damage), to understand and predict residents’ attitudes and behaviors regarding wildlife issues. We found that subjective norm was the only factor of TPB that significantly explained residents’ behavioral intentions in both districts, while factors of WAC (risk perception and attitudes toward wildlife) significantly explained residents’ acceptance capacity toward wildlife in one district. Additional variables such as damage experience and age significantly explained people’s behavioral intentions and acceptance capacity toward wildlife, suggesting the importance of using not only factors of theories and models but also various other factors to make more accurate predictions. The characteristics of the region, and the specific residents, need to be reflected in outreach programs to be effective.
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A dominant paradigm of large herbivores is that following introduction to new range, or release from harvesting, the herbivore population at a low level will increase rapidly to a peak, followed by a crash, then recover to a lower density than peak abundance. However, supporting evidence has tended to be anecdotal. We have been monitoring two sika deer (Cervus nippon) populations and their habitats over 20 years: a deer population introduced to Nakanoshima Island (NKI) and a naturally colonizing deer population on Cape Shiretoko (CS) on Hokkaido, Japan. Both populations built to peak abundance followed by a crash, which resulted in significant effects on the vegetation. There were, however, marked differences in post-crash behavior between the two populations. Following the crash, the NKI herd continued to increase with a lower growth rate and reached a higher peak population size than the first irruption, while the CS herd showed repeated irruptions and crashes with no decline in carrying capacity (K). The NKI herd exhibited density-dependent changes in population parameters such as delayed sexual maturity, lower calf:female ratio, and lower body and antler growth as deer exceeded carrying capacity in the initial irruption. As a result of the irruption there was a decline in both winter- and summer-range quality. Thus, competition for high-quality food among sika deer in the initial irruption could have been a limiting factor, whereas unlimited abundance of poor-quality forage permitted a slower growth to even higher density in the subsequent buildup. In contrast, the CS herd exhibited a high adult survival rate and calf:female ratio and good antler growth, which indicated high quality of summer range. In addition, mortality patterns in crash years were also different between the populations; for the NKI herd, mortality was composed of both sexes in all age classes throughout years, while for the CS herd, mortality was composed mainly of calves and adult males, with few adult females. Although density-dependent resource limitation through interaction with winter climate was the important limiting factor of peak density for both populations, the carrying capacity differences and lags between summer and winter might generate different fluctuations in numbers for the two populations.
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This paper proposes an appropriate mechanism for the maintenance of traditional knowledge (TK) associated with wild edible plants, seaweeds and mushrooms in the satoyama and satoumi ecosystems located in the Noto Peninsula, Japan. The conceptual framework of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was adapted to this study to examine the impact of the drivers of change on TK and components of human well-being, changes in TK and components of human well-being, and interrelations amongst them. Relevant data were collected through conducting in-depth interviews and administering a survey. The results of the survey revealed that 46 wild edible plants, 12 seaweeds, and 19 mushroom species are widely collected for a variety of purposes in the selected sites. Unfortunately, it was determined that the current trend in the study sites is increasing erosion of traditional knowledge and relevant traditional practices due to the impacts of the drivers addressed in this study (e.g. ageing and migration). Assessment of the linkages between TK and human well-being shows that both the decline in TK and the drivers of change adversely affect five fundamental components of human well-being (e.g. health, development of good social relations, and security). Recognizing this undesirable trend, a holistic strategy was developed to sustain, use, and transmit TK as a living cultural resource in society. Within this context, a number of potential responses (e.g. economic, tourism-related, social and behavioural) and instruments (e.g. Community Development Fund) for providing benefit sharing among the target groups were developed to achieve success in the effective maintenance and promotion of TK and also to contribute to sustainable development strategies in the Peninsula.
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The conservation of large carnivores is a formidable challenge for biodiversity conservation. Using a data set on the past and current status of brown bears (Ursus arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), gray wolves (Canis lupus), and wolverines (Gulo gulo) in European countries, we show that roughly one-third of mainland Europe hosts at least one large carnivore species, with stable or increasing abundance in most cases in 21st-century records. The reasons for this overall conservation success include protective legislation, supportive public opinion, and a variety of practices making coexistence between large carnivores and people possible. The European situation reveals that large carnivores and people can share the same landscape.
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Decades of decline in the number of hunters in the United States have made hunter recruitment and retention (HRR) a high priority within the North American wildlife management community. Sociodemographic changes (e.g., urbanization, shifting racial/ethnic composition, parcelization of rural properties) suggest a need to re-examine conventional knowledge of HRR processes and develop insight that reflects contemporary contexts. In this article, we emphasize the “social habitat” for hunting and adopt a social–ecological model of hunting behavior to explore the myriad factors that interact to influence HRR at multiple scales. We examine the dynamic, hierarchical social structures that influence HRR, including forces that operate at the individual, micro (e.g., family), meso (e.g., community), and macro (e.g., society) levels. The review suggests that future research addressing HRR could expand to account for a broader, more diverse social habitat for hunting that includes these multiple scales.
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The grey wolf (Canis lupus), sole top-predator of the Japanese forest ecosystem, had been eradicated from the Japanese archipelago by the early 20th century. The absence of wolves, combined with the dwindling number and aging of human hunters, have resulted in overabundance of their prey ungulates such as sika deer (Cervus nippon) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). Aside from ecosystem engineers which have a critical impact on indigenous forest ecosystem processes, in recent years these animals have been recognized as pest mammals that damage agricultural land. Countermeasures against such damage have been quite limited, depending only on human stewardship such as constructing guard fences and culling the population of pest mammals by local hunters. However, depopulation and aging in rural communities, which started in the 1960s, have accelerated and led to demographic changes nationwide since 2005. Further depopulation, tight national finances, abandonment of mountain communities, and loss of small settlements are expected to continue. This social background will inevitably lead to further shortages of manpower and budget for regional wildlife management, and inadequate sustainable conventional countermeasures based on human stewardship. One solution might consider an alternative to human stewardship, i.e., restoring the natural ecosystem function into forest ecosystem by reintroduction top-predator. Here, we review and discuss the need, effectiveness and feasibility of reintroducing wolves in Japan. In recent years, the reintroduction of wolves has been planned or already implemented in some former ranges of the species across North America and Western Europe. In Yellowstone National Park (YNP) in the U.S., where wolves were reintroduced in 1995-1996, the decline of overbrowsing by elk (C. canadensis), regeneration of native plant communities and restoration of the original landscape have been confirmed since 1995. Although the ecosystem changes have resulted from predation risk by reintroduced wolves, wolf predation has had less impact on the elk population than human hunting. Therefore, not only reintroduction of wolves but culling of pest mammals by human hunters is required for wildlife management in Japan. A policy that depends only on natural regulation, such as in YNP, would not be appropriate in rural Japan because of the highly mosaic landscape with forests and human settlements, as typified by Satoyama landscape. In this chapter, we suggest that the future policy should include both natural regulation by reintroducing wolves in mountainous forests and artificial population control by professional hunters in lowland Satoyama areas. Given that social attitude to the reintroduction of wolves in Japan is not yet accepted, further feasibility studies related to wolf reintroduction are required for education and consensus-building in Japanese society. Moreover, alternative population control systems (e.g. professional culling or sharpshooting) should also be developed to counter the decline of human hunters.
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We argue that purely deficit-based perspectives regarding urban social-ecological systems (SES) and the human populations within them represent barriers to these systems' ability to move from undesirable system states into more desirable, sustainable ones. We characterize issues such as individual ecological identity, human exemptionalism, anthropocentrism, and resource dependence. We examine notions found in the resource dependency literature, where we trace the roots of ideas about dependency. We use this literature as a spring board into the possibilities of an antipodal notion of resource dependency potentially applicable in urban contexts, what we call positive dependency. Next we describe two possible sources of positive dependency in urban SES, urgent biophilia and restorative topophilia, followed by a brief discussion applying positive dependence to urban systems challenges and management. We conclude with the importance of recognition of positive dependency as a precursor to the development of a heightened sense of ecological self and sense of ecological place in urban SES, and provide insights and suggestions for further research into civic ecology practices that may enhance positive dependency on and investment in ecological assets that contribute to positive ecological senses of self and place, and the importance of these to achieving sustainable, resilient urban futures.