Ecological Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 11–18 | Cite as

Population dynamics of japanese serow in relation to social organization and habitat conditions. I. Stability of Japanese serow density in stable habitat conditions

  • Keiji Ochiai
  • Satoru Nakama
  • Sin-Ichi Hanawa
  • Toshifumi Amagasa


The density of a Japanese serow (Capricornis crispus) population, which has been in stable habitat conditions and free from hunting and predation, was investigated by direct observation of serows at Kusoudomari (336 ha), Wakinosawa village, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, during 1977–89. The vegetation, composed of mature mixed forest ofThujopsis with deciduous trees (43.2%), secondary forest of deciduous trees (23.4%) and a plantation of coniferous trees (30.0%) showed little change during the study period. The serows were counted 17 times each winter for 14 consecutive years. The serow population maintained a stable density with a mean of 12.5 individuals km−2 (SD=1.4) ranging from 8.6 to 14.6 km−2. The ratio of the proportion of kids (<1 year old) to serows more than 1 year old decreased, but density did not decrease during the study period. Though extremely severe winters with heavy snowfall in 1984–86 caused a decline in serow density, the density recovered within a few years. It was considered that the stability of the serow density resulted mainly from the stable food supply and the lack of human disturbance, such as forest cutting in the habitat. Stable population density for a long period is probably related to the social organization of the serow.

Key words

density stability habitat Japanese serow (Capricornis crispuspopulation dynamics social organization 


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Copyright information

© Ecological Society of Japan 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keiji Ochiai
    • 1
  • Satoru Nakama
    • 2
  • Sin-Ichi Hanawa
    • 3
  • Toshifumi Amagasa
    • 4
  1. 1.Natural History Museum and InstituteChibaJapan
  2. 2.Chiba Girls' High SchoolChibaJapan
  3. 3.World Wide Fund for Nature JapanTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Hikawa Primary SchoolTokyoJapan

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