“Reintroduction of the Oriental White Stork, an example of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature in Japan”
The Oriental White Stork (OWS) Ciconia boyciana is believed to have been breeding all over Japan until Edo period. But after Meiji era, breeding populations are almost limited to Tajima District, the northernmost part of Hyogo Prefecture, and the last wild stork disappeared in 1971. Owing to the effort of captive breeding at Toyooka in Tajima District under a strong cooperation between Hyogo Prefecture and Toyooka City helped financially by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the captive population increased its size after 1990’s and HPOWS (Hyogo Park of the Oriental White Stork) started reintroduction of OWS within Tyooka Basin in 2005. At present, 9 pairs are breeding and about 70 storks including young floaters are flying the sky not only of Tajima District but also of many regions all over Japan. This success is a product of close cooperation between various stakeholders including bureaucrats, scientists and local people. It can be recognized as a definite step towards “harmonious coexistence between humans and nature in Japan.” In this presentation I give a lecture on the history of OWS and the fruit of our reintroduction project.