Skip to main content


Log in

Usefulness of a Japanese internet community for fish conservation

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Biodiversity and Conservation Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Large biodiversity datasets are currently being collected not only by experts and amateur researchers, but also by the general public. In this study, records of non-native and Japanese Red List fishes observed by citizens were extracted from all 85,453 posts on the bulletin board system of WEB sakana-zukan, a web-based encyclopedia of Japanese fishes that went online in 2002. We found 681 (0.8%) and 549 (0.6%) posts containing attached images of non-native and Red Data Book fishes, resulting in 418 and 362 Japanese distributional records respectively. The number of posts and the composition of non-native species reflected the Japanese inland fisheries policy to increase target species. These data included records of exotic species (eleven taxa) whose introduction to Japan had been unknown previously, as well as records of nine exotic/domestic species whose introductions into specific Japanese regions had been unknown. Additionally, we identified the range extension of one Red Data Book species. These photographs were stored in a public museum’s photographic collection for ongoing scientific use. Three heavy users of the website combined contributed 26.7% of the new distribution records (8/30 lots), while 15 light users contributed 50.0% (15/30 lots), suggesting that overall there is a greater contribution by light users. This indicates that a web community with abundant users can accumulate new biodiversity observations better than one with fewer users but many posts per user. Our results show that this web-community was able to contribute to monitoring non-native and Red List fishes in conjunction with expert participation, and therefore that web-communities targeting living organisms can contribute to biodiversity conservation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others


Download references


We would like to thank K. Matsuura, R. Takahashi, H. Konishi, H. Izumi, N. Miwa, S. Matsui, R. Nakashiro, K. Naoe, M. Shiina, M. Watai, and all users of both databases for helping provide reliable data on stable online platforms. We appreciate R. Inui, Y. Kai, Y. Kano, H. Miyahara, H. Motomura, T. Nakabo, Y. Sakurai, K. Shibukawa, T. Suzuki, and T. Yodo for their helpful advice and comments including identifications. We are sincerely grateful to G. Yearsley (Ellipsis Editing), K. French, R. Akcalaya, M. Burgman, and annonymous reviewers for their careful reviews and valuable comments. This work has been partly supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to Y. Miyazaki (Research Fellowship for Young Scientist, No. 25, 11038) and by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan to H. Senou (Grants-in-Aid, No. 24501278) and Y. Miyazaki (same as Nos. 13J11038 and 16K16225).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yusuke Miyazaki.

Additional information

Communicated by David Hawksworth.

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Coastal and marine biodiversity.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.


Appendices S1, S2, and S3 presents details of the information for non-native and Red List fishes extracted from the BBS of WEB sakana-zukan during 2002–2012. These tables include the (1) scientific name, (2) locality, (3) date, (4) year posted, (5) URL in, (6) URL of the original post on the BBS, (7) number of images, and (8) remarks. In addition, the museum collections of KPM-NR are available as an online website, FishPix ( Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 167 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Miyazaki, Y., Murase, A., Honda, J. et al. Usefulness of a Japanese internet community for fish conservation. Biodivers Conserv 29, 625–642 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: