Episode 1: Prologue
We will now share the story of the Animal-pathway development. This takes place in Hoshimari City, Tsukimori Prefecture, located at the southern foothills of the Yatsugatake Mountains (currently known as Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture). The story we will tell today is about the development of a toll road. Let’s start with the “Dormouse Bridge,” which was constructed in 1998 and served as the trigger for the Animal-pathway development.
Episode 2: Dormouse and the Animal Tunnel
Before we delve into the development of the Animal-pathway, let’s talk about the “Dormouse and the Animal Tunnel,” which was built after discussions with the prefecture’s road corporation the year before the construction of the Yamane Bridge.
Episode 3: Establishment of the “Animal-pathway Study Group”
The construction of the Dormouse Bridge cost about 20 million yen. This paved the way for NGOs and major construction companies to discuss beyond boundaries at the Japan Business Federation’s Nature Conservation Symposium. The head of the Dormouse Research Institute, Chairman Minato, then requested a new pedestrian bridge for arboreal animals from a major construction company’s environmental issues department. S. and T. companies answered this call, leading to the formation of the “Animal-pathway Study Group” in 2004.
*BYOND THE BORDER: Building the Future of the Global Environment through Partnerships between Corporations and NGOs / Edited by the Japan Business Federation Nature Conservation Fund and the Japan Business Federation Nature Conservation Council 15th Anniversary Issue Editorial Committee
Episode 4:Various discussions at the Animal-pathway Research Group
At the Animal-pathway Study Group, discussions were held on the shape, structure, and monitoring mechanisms of Animal-pathways.
The decision was made to construct an Animal-pathway with a truss structure. The structure has a side length of 25cm, which makes it easy to build even on existing roads. It has a durable and inexpensive structure and takes into account snow and icicles. Additionally, it has measures against natural enemies.
Episode 5:Indoor experiments on Animal-pathway
After discussions at the study group, indoor experiments were conducted to develop an “Animal-pathway.” The aim was to make it suitable for a wide variety of arboreal wildlife, safe for cars and pedestrians passing through roads, extremely low-cost (aiming for 1/10th the cost of the Dormouse Bridge), and with minimal maintenance requirements.
We observed wildlife behavior towards artificial materials in cages overnight (for nocturnal animals) and noted their preferred thickness of material. A physical model was also created and observed to understand how wildlife utilized artificial materials in the cage.