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Mark Brazil

Mark Brazil, a Briton based in Hokkaido, has written about the natural history of Japan in his Wild Watch column for over 30 years. After careers in conservation and natural history television, Mark taught for nine years at a university in Hokkaido before going freelance. He now travels the world as a lecturer and leader on wildlife-focused expeditions.

For Mark Brazil's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Modern technology aids whale research

| Jan 10, 2015

Modern technology aids whale research

In my last column of 2014, “Twelve ways to spend 2015 with nature,” I mentioned the possibility of taking a whale-watching trip to the Ogasawara Islands. Ignore the international media hype about the country’s pelagic whaling industry — it’s a dying custom; instead, focus ...

Twelve ways to spend 2015 with nature

| Dec 13, 2014

Twelve ways to spend 2015 with nature

As 2014 winds down and the promise of another year lies ahead, it’s time to come up with a few New Year’s resolutions. Instead of planning for the future or trying some new-fad diets or exercise regimes, how about a resolution to spend a ...

Hanging around the threat of extinction

| Nov 8, 2014

Hanging around the threat of extinction

Night falls; stars are showing; yet I’m still perspiring. We set off in darkness into a night filled with hope. Our goal is to see one of the rarest creatures on Earth, a species once considered extinct, and for which even now fate hangs ...

A perilous flight path of life and death

| Oct 11, 2014

A perilous flight path of life and death

As I emerged into the pre-dawn darkness of Sept. 13, I was greeted by a brief flicker of movement. I wandered along one of the upper decks of The World, past the gently slopping pool with its ring of still-vacant sun loungers. I peered ...

Losing count of words for groups of animals

| Sep 13, 2014

Losing count of words for groups of animals

A recent brief visit to eastern England, my annual pilgrimage to speak at the British Birdwatching Fair, has stirred childhood memories of a nursery rhyme, stirred teenage memories of my first natural-history rambles, and was a subtle reminder of how quickly our language is ...

An audience with an island menace

| Jul 12, 2014

An audience with an island menace

By 8 o’clock on a warm early summer morning on Chichijima, one of Tokyo’s Ogasawara Islands, bright sunshine was already threatening to overwhelm my light-sensitive eyes and the heat was cranking up in preparation for what I refer to as reptilian warmth. The panoramic ...

Off the beaten path on Japan's paper trail

Jul 5, 2014

Off the beaten path on Japan's paper trail

At a little roadside store in rural Nagano, a foreign tourist is miming a rice bowl with her cupped left hand. Firm in the belief that Japanese washi (paper — wa meaning Japanese and shi meaning paper) was made from rice, she waves her ...

Japan's efforts bring back 'extinct' species

| Jun 7, 2014

Japan's efforts bring back 'extinct' species

Oriental stork 73; crested ibis 82; red-crowned crane 1,143; short-tailed albatross estimated 3,550. Those numbers of wild birds in Japan seem perilously low — and they are, especially when considered alongside the Japanese population of 126.75 million people — but in reality they are ...