Animal-pathway Development Story – Part 4

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Episode 16:Animal-oathways Abroad

There is a case on the Isle of Wight planned by the UK NGO, PTES (People’s Trust for Endangered Species). They had installed several bridges before, but they didn’t work well, so they sent the design drawings from Japan. They produced a similar structure and installed the animal pathway on the railway line. Shortly after installation, European badgers and red squirrels started using the pathway. The scene was broadcasted as a long program on BBC and viewed by many people.

◆ Isle of Wight Animal-pathway Structure

◆ ワイト島のアニマルパスウェイの構造

Episode 17:Establishment and Promotion Activities of “Animal-pathway and Wildlife Association”

In May 2012, the “Animal Pathway and Wildlife Association” was established by researchers, corporate retirees, consulting firms, and general citizens. It is an organization that aims to develop and promote animal pathways as a platform for many interested parties. As the total length of roads in Japan is about 128 km, various divisions occur at many locations, resulting in many road kills and traffic accidents of wildlife.

“Animal Pathway to Save Animals” (published by Bunken Juvenile) was published to encourage future generations of children to become interested in the issue. The book is also available as a picture book and a comic book.

This time, an anime production will be attempted to raise awareness of road kills and animal pathways for even more children.

◆ Animal-pathways to Save Animals by Aki Minato (published by Bunken Juvenile)

Episode 18:Best Poster Award at IENE2016

In September 2016, we participated in IENE (Infrastructure Ecology Network Europe) 2016 held in Lyon, France, and presented our animal pathway initiatives on a poster. Chairman Minato explained earnestly, and the representative director supported with video on a PC. As a result, we unexpectedly received the Best Poster Award. As a prize, we received a copy of the “ROAD ECOLOGY” handbook.

◆Presentation by Chairman Minato at the IENE2016 Poster Session

◆IENE2016 Exhibition Poster: “Research and Popularization, for Dormouse Bridge and Animal Pathways as Corridor for Protecting Arboreal Animals.”

◆ IENE2016 Best Poster Award Ceremony

Episode 19 (End): Future Animal-pathways

On the Kii Expressway, reforestation for arboreal animals such as Japanese dourmouse is being carried out in areas that were clear-cut during construction. During the forest’s recovery period, Animal-pathways that can even decay naturally (called the “Mie-no-Wa Animal-pathway”) have been developed and installed.

In August of this year (2022), the achievements of past initiatives such as the Japanese dourmouse tunnels, dourmouse bridges, and Animal-pathways were published as a paper in the “Canopy Bridge” feature of the international primatology journal “Folia Primatologica.”

◆「Mitigating the effects of road construction on arboreal Japanese mammals: benefits for both wildlife and people」

Furthermore, last year, animal pathways were also featured on the government’s Twitter and Facebook pages for overseas audiences, and awareness is slowly increasing. However, the necessity and significance of animal pathways have not yet been widely recognized. We hope that animal pathways in the broad sense will be installed in more areas where forests and ecosystems are divided.

Bonus Episode:  Deer crossing the road – A herd of deer crossing the road

Sometimes unexpected things appear on the monitoring cameras installed on Animal-pathways. A group of deer boldly crossing the road is captured on camera.

◆Image: A deer family appearing in a residential area.

The location of the Animal-pathway installation is close to where deer roadkill has been observed in the past, so it may have originally been a “wildlife path” in the forest.

Collisions with large wild animals can sometimes result in serious accidents involving humans. If possible, I hope that drivers will slow down in areas where there is a risk of encountering wild animals. I think it’s possible to avoid collisions with brake operations, and drivers can pass each other safely.