Aomori Pref. to capture deer to protect World Heritage site
the-japan-news.com -- May 07
The Aomori prefectural government is gearing up to capture all Japanese deer inside the prefecture. The prefecture had not been the animal's habitat for a long time, but it has reappeared in recent years.

As the number of deer increases nationwide, damage also increases as the deer feed on tree buds and crops. The Shirakami-Sanchi mountain range, registered as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site, is no exception as deer have also been observed in the primeval beech forest, which straddles Aomori and Akita prefectures.

In the latest initiative, officials aim to protect the precious natural environment by hunting the deer before the population surges. The prefectural government said it will draw up a management plan by autumn that will cover methods to begin hunting as early as the end of this year.

According to the Environment Ministry and other sources, Japanese deer range across the nation and the population - thought to have roughly doubled in the past 10 years - is estimated at about 3.5 million. Some reach breeding age at 1. In Aomori Prefecture, deer were said to be locally extinct about 100 years ago, mainly because of excessive hunting. However, around 2005, the authorities began receiving reports of sightings.

The prefectural government believes the number of deer originally increased in the Kitakami mountains, including Goyozan mountain in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, and later expanded its habitat to Aomori Prefecture, an official said.

News source: the-japan-news.com
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