Abandoned Farmlands as a Potential New Habitat for Red-crowned Cranes
In Japan, whose population has begun to decline, there is a concern that abandoned and fallow farmlands will increase due to rapid population decline, and the resulting waste of national land will progress. However, if it is possible to properly manage land released from development pressure in the course of population decline, and regenerate it into a habitat for living organisms, it may be possible to restore ecosystems that have been degraded by past development. In this chapter, we focus on the red-crowned crane as an indicator species, whose nesting and breeding habitats have been lost due to past development in wetlands, and discuss the possibility of using abandoned or fallow farmlands for the nesting and breeding of the crane. We have found that it is possible to expand the nesting and breeding habitats of the red-crowned crane by regenerating abandoned or fallow farmlands into wetlands. However, as the use of abandoned farmlands produces only a marginal increase in such wetlands, it is necessary, in order to expand such habitats more effectively, to develop plans to augment wetland regeneration by using both abandoned and active farmlands.
KeywordsPopulation decline Land-use change Rewilding Restoration planning Wetland ecosystems
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