Sika Deer pp 347-363

Sika Deer in Nara Park: Unique Human-Wildlife Relations

  • Harumi Torii
  • Shirow Tatsuzawa

Sika deer have had a long history of cultural importance in Nara Park, beginning in the eighth century with a legend that a god rode into the park on the back of a white deer. With protection for religious reasons, the population built up and became tame because of its frequent interaction with people visiting the religious shrines at the park. The interface of sika and humans at such close proximity over the years inevitably led to harmony or conflict depending on the goals and motivations of people. Nara Park in its modern form was established in 1880, and these conflicting values of sika deer in the park have continued into modern times. However, the long history of known numbers, and approachable tame deer, have yielded an unusually long and detailed record of population dynamics, ecology, and behavior. It has also led to high populations of deer with consequent impacts on their habitat. In this chapter we review and summarize this unique record of cultural and biological interrelations between sika deer and humans.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Doi, T., K. Inakazu, Y. Ono, and H. Kawahara. 1985. A preliminary study on the effects of sika deer on natural regeneration of forest. Bulletin of the Nagasaki Institute of Applied Science26:13–18. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  2. Fujita, K. 1997. The millennium history of the relationship between deer and people in Nara. Deer My Friend, Nara, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  3. Inoue, Y., and T. Kawamichi. 1976. Behavioral development of the fawns on Nara deer Cervus nippon. Annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park1975:31–46. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  4. Kaji, K. 1986. Population dynamics and management of sika deer introduced into Nakanoshima Island in Lake Toya. Honyurui Kagaku(Mammalian Science) 5:25–28. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  5. Kawamura, S. 1950. Preliminary report of social life of Nara deer. Seiri Seitai(Physiology and Ecology) 4:75–87Google Scholar
  6. Kawamura, S. 1957. Deer in Nara Park. Japan Mammal Series4:1–166. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  7. Kawamura, S. 1959. Personality in the community and behavior of mammals. Pages 6–30 in K. Imanishi, editor, Animal community and individuals. Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, Japan. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  8. Koganezawa, M., and C. Satake 1996. Effect of grazing by sika-deer on the vegetation of Oku-Nikko and their management. Annual Report of Pro-Nature Fund5:57–66. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  9. Maesako, Y. 2001a. Fraying by sika deer (Cervus nipponTEMMINCK) and tree species preference in a warm-temperate evergreen forest on Mt. Kasugayama, Nara, Japan. Bulletin of Stories Nara Saho College9:9–15. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  10. Maesako, Y. 2001b. Vegetational changes effected by sika deer in the Nara Park and Kasugayama. Nara Botany23:21–25. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  11. Maesako, Y. 2002. Current-Year seedlings in a warm-temperature evergreen forest Mt. Kasugayama, a World Heritage Site in Nara, Japan. Bulletin of Stories Nara Saho College10:29–36. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  12. Maesako, Y. 2003. Community dynamics during a 17 Year period in a specific plant community (a Castanopsis cuspidataforest) in Kasugayama Forest Reserve, Japan. Bulletin of Stories Nara Saho College11:37–43. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  13. Maesako, Y., and H. Torii. 2000. Tree barking by sika deer Cervus nipponin warm temperate evergreen forest in Mt. Kasugayama, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation22:3–11. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  14. Matsuno, K., and M. Urabe. 1999. Male-female interactions of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Nara Park through allogrooming during breeding and rutting seasons. Journal of Ethology17:41–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Miura, S. 1976. Ecological studies on sika deer in Nara park with reference to spatial structure. Annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park1975:47–61Google Scholar
  16. Miura, S. 1980. Correlation between body weight and antler length of sika deer bucks. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan8:78Google Scholar
  17. Miura, S. 1983. Grouping behavior of male sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Nara Park, Japan. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan9:279–284Google Scholar
  18. Miura, S. 1984. Social behavior and territoriality in male sika deer (Cervus nippon) during the rut. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie64:33–73Google Scholar
  19. Miura, S. 1984. Annual cycles of coat changes, antler regrowth and reproductive behavior of sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Nara Park, Japan. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan10:1–8Google Scholar
  20. Miyazaki, A., S. Kasagi, and T. Mizuno. 1984. Digestibility of Zoysia-type grass by Japanese deer (Cervus nippon). Japanese Journal of Zootechnical Science55:661–669. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  21. Miyazaki A. 1978. On the productivity of Zoysia-type grass land: Carrying capacity for deer based on the productivity of Zoysia-type grass in Nara Park (from the results of the study during 1976–1977. Annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park 1977: 45–148. Kasuga Manifestation Society. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  22. Minami, M., and T. Kawamichi. 1992. Vocal repertoires and classification of the sika deer Cervus nippon. Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan17:71–94Google Scholar
  23. Nanami S., T. Yamakura, A. Itoh, and H. Kawaguchi. 2002. Population structure of Podocarpus nagiand Neolitsea aciculataat Mikasayama hill, Nara, Japan. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation24:29–43Google Scholar
  24. Ohtaishi, N. 1978. Ecological and physiological longevity in mammals from the age structures of Japanese deer. The Journal of the Mammalogical Society of Japan7:130–134Google Scholar
  25. Shimoda, K., K Kimura, M. Kanzaki, and K. Yoda. 1994. The regeneration of pioneer tree species under browsing pressure of sika deer in an evergreen oak forest. Ecological Research9:85–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Takaragawa N., and T. Kawamichi. 1977. Rutting behavior of Cervus nipponin Nara Park. Annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park 1976:43–61, Kasuga Manifestation Society. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  27. Takatsuki S. 1979. The vegetation of Nara Park with reference to the grazing effects of sika deer (Cervus nippon). Nara Park, annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park1978:113–132, Kasuga Manifestation Society. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  28. Takatsuki, S. 2001. Assessment of nutritional condition in sika deer by color of femur and mandible marrows. Mammal Study26:73–76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Takatsuki S., and M. Asahi. 1977. Food habits of sika deer in Nara Park, assessed by fecal analysis (I). Nara Park, Annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park 1976:129–141, Kasuga Manifestation Society. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  30. Takatsuki S., and M. Asahi. 1978. Food habits of sika deer in Nara Park, assessed by fecal analysis (II). Nara Park, Annual report of the study of deer in the Nara Park 1977:25–37, Kasuga Manifestation Society. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  31. Tatsuzawa S., K. Fujita, and M. Itoh. 2002. Population dynamics of sika deer Cervus nipponon the flat part of the Nara Park. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation24: 3–14. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  32. Tatsuzawa S., and K. Fujita. 2001. Conservation and integrated management of deer of Nara: Ecological and historical viewpoints from citizens' researches. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation23:127–140. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  33. Torii, H. 2006. Life table and population dynamics. Research Report of Natural Monument “Deer of Nara” Nara Prefecture Board of Education:1–9. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  34. Torii H., K. Suzuki, Y. Maesako, and N. Ichimoto. 2000. Stomach contents of the sika deer in Nara Park, Nara Prefecture. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation22:13–15. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  35. Yabu N., and K. Wada. 1996. Spatial patterns of individuals within resting groups of sika deer in Nara Park. Nankiseibutsu38:79–86. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  36. Yamada M., and M. Urabe. 1998. Allogrooming of sika deer Cervus nipponin Nara Park. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation20:59–66. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar
  37. Yamakura T., T. Kawasaki, N. Fujii, T. Mizuno, D. Hirayama, H. Noguchi, S. Nanami, A. Itoh, K. Shimoda, and M. Kanzaki. 2001. Predictive discussion on the fate of an evergreen broadleaf forest at Kasugayama. Bulletin of Kansai Organization for Nature Conservation23:157–167. (In Japanese.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harumi Torii
    • 1
  • Shirow Tatsuzawa
    • 2
  1. 1.Associate Professor, Education Center for Natural EnvironmentNara University of EducationTakabatakeJapan
  2. 2.Assistant Professor, Research Group of Regional SciencesGraduate School of Letters, Hokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

Personalised recommendations