Rare birds put paid to Toyota site

by Reiji Yoshida

Even Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s largest automaker, can’t win when it comes to preserving endangered wildlife.

The Aichi Prefectural Government announced Monday it will scale down a development project to build a new car test course for Toyota because nests of two kinds of endangered birds have been discovered in the planned construction site, which is thickly forested.

The construction area, which stretches over the cities of Toyota and Okazaki, both in central Aichi Prefecture, will be reduced to 280 hectares from the original 410 hectares, prefectural official Kiyokazu Uchida said over the phone.

This follows the discoveries of two nests of sashiba, or gray-faced buzzard eagles, and one nest of hachikuma, or oriental honey buzzards.

Both species are on the Environmental Ministry’s Red List of endangered species.