The Japanese Rock Ptarmigan is a special natural monument (protected species) of Japan, and has been placed on the red list for endangered species by the Ministry of the Environment. Toyama Prefecture has undertaken a number of initiatives to protect the rock ptarmigan, as well as the natural environment of Tateyama, which is the largest habitat of the rock ptarmigan in Japan.
Surveys and research
Population number and environment (vegetation) survey (1972-)
- A main source of data used to inform protection measures, carried out between late June and early July in mountainous regions throughout the prefecture (18 areas covering 20 mountainous systems).
- In 1992, all surveyed areas were checked, and since then, multiple surveys have been conducted in the Tateyama, Mt. Yakushi, and Mt. Asahi areas.
- In the Tateyama area, surveys are conducted every 5 years. (In 2001, because the expected population number sharply decreased, a supplemental survey was held in 2003)
■ Results of the population survey
Pathology surveys (1975-) (Tateyama area only)
- Conducted tests to observe whether visitors to the mountains bring in disease carrying bacteria (Collection of rock ptarmigan stool samples, E. coli bacteria testing, etc.)
Tateyama Rock Ptarmigan ecological survey, winter survey (1977-) (Tateyama area only)
- Surveys following territory, egg number, hatching percentage, living conditions of chicks (April-November)
Survey to grasp the living conditions throughout the winter season, place of habitation, feeding grounds (1978-) (February-March)
Rock ptarmigan protection measures
Creation of the Toyama Rock Ptarmigan Support Group (2016-)
The Toyama Rock Ptarmigan Support Group was created to conduct lectures on the rock ptarmigan's ecosystem, for volunteers who are interested in helping protection efforts. The Support Group's main activities are installing wildlife fences and spreading observation manners. The Group also participated in joint activities with the Nagano Prefecture Rock Ptarmigan Supporters during the 2017 fiscal year.
Installation of barriers to protect the rock ptarmigan (1973-)
Efforts to restore vegetation (1982-)
Establishment of limited ski zones (1975-)
Installation of an environmentally friendly toilet
"Take home your own trash" campaign
Breeding of the rock ptarmigan
In order to protect the rock ptarmigan, various initiatives are being undertaken across the country; these include research about breeding and designation of the bird's natural habitat as national parks and wildlife reserves.