What you can do to protect the nature of Ogasawara
There are ways to protect Natural World Heritage sites even when you are away from the islands.
Ogasawara Cat Project
On the Ogasawara Islands, feral cats preyed on wild animals. Therefore, people of the islands took action by starting a project with the cooperation of the Tokyo Veterinary Medical Association to capture feral cats on the islands, then transport them to the mainland for training to live with people, and look for new families to welcome them. As a result, the number of endemic Japanese wood pigeons (Columba janthina nitens), which were facing extinction, is recovering.
The capture of feral cats is still ongoing, and new families welcoming them are sought.
For details, please visit the following website.
Ogasawara Cat Project
https://www.ogasawaraneko.jp/ (Japanese only)
Ogasawara Village Hometown Tax Program
Ogasawara Village is proud of the rich nature of the Ogasawara Islands, which is an irreplaceable asset common to all humankind, and hopes to protect it for future generations by striving to make the village attractive as a lifelong home and a place people want to revisit.
One example of the use of the hometown tax program is for projects related to the promotion of environmental conservation in Natural World Heritage sites.
The strong support of people from all over Japan is appreciated for community development of Ogasawara Village.
For details, please see the websites of Ogasawara Village and various hometown tax programs.
https://www.vill.ogasawara.tokyo.jp/furusato/ (Japanese only)
Crowdfunding and other projects
Various crowdfunding campaigns, such as those for the conservation of the endangered endemic greenfinch Chloris sinica kittlitzi, have been used.
Although crowdfunding campaigns are occasionally held, if you find a project which interests you, your cooperation is very much appreciated.
For more details, please see the various crowdfunding websites.
Captive breeding of land snails at zoos and aquarium in Tokyo
Land snails are of important value to the Ogasawara Natural World Heritage site.
However, the habitat conditions continue to deteriorate owing to the introduction of predatory planarians.
The Ministry of the Environment is working on ex-situ conservation of endemic land snails at the Ogasawara World Heritage Centre. On the other hand, keeping valuable species in one place incurs the possibility of extinction due to accidents, disasters, and infectious diseases, and the management risk is very high.
In September 2017, with the cooperation of the Tokyo Zoological Park Society, some of the endemic land snails bred at the Ogasawara World Heritage Centre were transferred, and captive rearing in Tokyo began: Mandarina hirasei to Ueno Zoological Gardens and Tama Zoological Park, and Mandarina mandarina to Inokashira Park Zoo and Tokyo Sea Life Park.
Exhibition at each park started from 2021: The Mandarina mandarina is displayed at Inokashira Park Zoo, and the Mandarina hirasei is displayed at Ueno Zoological Gardens, Tokyo Sea Life Park, and Tama Zoological Park.
Land snails of the Ogasawara Islands are not showy like other animals, but it is the first step toward conservation to make visitors aware of the significance of land snails of the Ogasawara Islands being reared at those parks in Tokyo.
For more details, check the website below.