・Tetsuya Sato (Director of Nasu Animal Kingdom／Vice Chairman of Conservation Committee, Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums)
“Ex-situ conservation of Tsushima leopard cat”
The Tsushima leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) is a wildcat species inhabiting Tsushima islands, Nagasaki prefecture. As the population size is estimated to be 70 or 100 animals, this species is faced with extinction.
The Ministry of the Environment started the Program for the Rehabilitation of Natural Habitats and Maintenance of Viable Populations in 1995 which includes in-situ and ex-situ conservation project in order to maintain the stable population.
Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA) has been undertaking the ex-situ conservation project for Tsushima leopard cat based on the agreement on conservation of biodiversity with the Ministry of the Environment. Therefore JAZA is trying to increase the captive population through setting up a captive breeding program and fixing the technical issues with a view to reintroduce this species into the wild in the future.
In this presentation, I will introduce the Tsushima leopard cat project as an example of the ex-situ conservation efforts for the native endangered species in Japan.