Monday, August 29, 2011

Restoration in Japan: final stop on the 38th Parallel

On September 7 we fly to Tokyo from San Francisco to explore the 38th Parallel across Japan, including two stories of recovery and restoration.  We will meet with Ministry of Environment officials in the national headquarters in Tokyo to learn about the Japanese Crested Ibis breeding and release program and also the new Sanriku Reconstruction National Park that is planned for the northeast coastline where the tsunami hit last March.  During the following week, we will to go Sado Island (off the west coast of the main island; see map) where the Crested Ibis Conservation Center is located.  Our hosts say that we may tie in with a university group doing a habitat project when we arrive and we also hope to attend a community get-together that evening for those students and locals.  The ibis went extinct in Japan, so this recovery program, begun with a few birds provided by China, is something like our California Condor breeding and release program.  The water connection here is the need to switch locally to organic rice farming, as the birds feed on frogs, fish, etc. in nearby rice paddies.
     Returning to the main island, we will travel through the mountains to Sendai, on the Sanriku coast where the tsunami had such devastating impacts after the March 11 earthquake.  We hope to visit at least one of the national parks (Matsushima) being consolidated into the new park along the affected coastline.
     With the final chapter complete, our book will move ahead with editing and production at University of California Press (publication will be in 2012).  Watch for our blogs from Japan between September 8 and the 15th.
(Our thanks to Javier Grijalbo of Madrid, Spain, for preparing the map in this message, one of 5 that he created for our book)