Understanding the complex web of life

| Oct 25, 2014

Understanding the complex web of life

by Stephen Hesse

“Biodiversity provides the foundation on which all life depends, including human societies,” writes Nik Sekhran in the opening pages of “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development,” a captivating book released earlier this month by the United Nations Development Programme. “Ecosystems and biodiversity provide our food, water, ...

An audience with an island menace

| Jul 12, 2014

An audience with an island menace

by Mark Brazil

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 ...

Japan's efforts bring back 'extinct' species

| Jun 7, 2014

Japan's efforts bring back 'extinct' species

by Mark Brazil

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 ...

Swimming upstream to become a dragon

| Apr 12, 2014

Swimming upstream to become a dragon

by Mark Brazil

While shuffling back from my early-morning dip in a hot spring at Kambayashi Onsen, I noticed the fish in the garden pond. They had gathered, heads together, in a strange starlike cluster, as if for a piscine tête-à-tête. They were languorously wafting their tails ...

Mar 26, 2014

Eased hunting law eyed to cull deer

The government will seek to revise existing wildlife hunting laws in the current Diet session to halve Japan’s population of wild deer and boar over the next decade due to the widespread damage the animals cause to forestry and agriculture. The Environment Ministry estimated ...