Japan Fund for Global Environment Home Page

Brown Bear Society

Examples of Granted Projects

Building a Forest Where Bears can Find a Home -JAPAN-

Brown Bear Society Secretariat Nahoko Maeda

For Coexistence with Bears

Learning how to handle a telemeter

The Brown Bear Society was founded in 1979. Its mission is coexistence with bears. Back at the time establishment, such notions were considered insane, but far-sighted hunters were apprehensive that Hokkaido's brown bear would become extinct if something was not done.

Those who feared the extinction of the brown bear conducted independent surveys, exchanged information and began study groups. These activities marked the dawn of our organization. However, it was, by no means, difficult to learn about the ecology of brown bears and few public organizations were engaged in such studies.

Voluntary Activities of Student Groups

At the time, the Hokkaido University Brown Bear Research Group, an unauthorized group independently launched by students, had just begun to study traces of brown bears in the by entering the bear grounds themselves and was in the midst of fostering a close relationship with local residents. They turned to foreign documents to learn how to capture bears or pursue them using a telemeter, and through repeated trial and error, acquired knowledge and management skills regarding the brown bear. The Brown Bear Society was established with a membership composed of people representing various spheres, including ex-members of the research group, local residents, hunters and concerned citizens.

Encouraging Administrative Involvement

Conducting measurements for the restoration of natural forest

These past ten years, the organization has addressed mainly officers from the national and local governments involved with bear matters at forums in which we have introduced brown bear protection and management methods and case examples from more advanced regions. The administration and citizens have been learning together for the prevention of damage and accidents caused by brown bears and for their sound inhabitation. Moreover, we are recently engaged in forest-building and "Satoyama"-building activities for the regeneration of the natural forests (mainly broad-leaved trees) deep in the mountains, where brown bears originally live.

We expect that if our work can be highly appreciated in society as a model activity, the administration's recognition of the issue will become more enhanced, thus letting it take root as an administrative project in the future.


Brown Bear Society
Address:330 Toratsuehama, Shiraoicho, Hokkaido
TEL/FAX: +81-144-87-4360

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