Analyzing the change in long-term information provision on cat management around a world natural heritage site


Providing accurate long-term information is essential in enhancing invasive species management. The management of invasive species—for example, outdoor cats—depends on human behavior and requires cooperation among stakeholders. Previous studies have evaluated stakeholders’ attitudes concerning invasive species, however, far too little attention has been paid to long-term information provisions. This study analyzes the information on cats in the Ogasawara Islands, a World Natural Heritage Site in Japan. We used monthly newsletters published by the local government for 21 years, which contain 150 articles about cats. We then applied content analysis to the data to assess both the frequency of keywords and co-occurrence network of words in order to understand the trends in keywords’ appearances and changing contexts. We categorized the data into three periods of seven years each, and found distinct differences. Results showed that information on cat management has gradually changed, as policies have changed. In the first period, there were three co-occurrence networks, which focused on capturing outdoor cats, proper keeping of pet cats, and veterinary care. During the second period, there were two networks, which focused on cat and World Natural Heritage Site management. During the third period, all keywords were connected into one network that included the words “outdoor cat,” “pet,” and “World Natural Heritage Site.” The changes imply that contents of information have shifted from pest management to ecosystem management. Visualizing how this information is provided over the long-term can remind stakeholders of previous communication efforts and enhance their cooperation on future conservation.

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We are grateful to the Ministry of the Environment, the Forestry Agency, Ogasawara Branch of the Tokyo Metropolitan Office, Ogasawara Village, and Institute of Boninology for their help to collect the data. We thank Shoji, Y. and Mameno, K. for their helpful comments on early draft of the manuscript. We gratefully acknowledge funding provided by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (Grant Number 16K00697).

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Correspondence to Satomi Mitsui.

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Mitsui, S., Kubo, T. & Yoshida, M. Analyzing the change in long-term information provision on cat management around a world natural heritage site. Eur J Wildl Res 64, 9 (2018) doi:10.1007/s10344-018-1170-5

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  • Communication
  • Content analysis
  • Invasive species
  • Local newspaper
  • Ogasawara Islands
  • Stakeholders