Biodiversity / Food / Water

January 21, 2009


Citizen Participation-Based Biodiversity Survey Starts

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Government NGO / Citizen 

JFS/Ikimono mikke
Copyright Biodiversity Center of Japan's Ministry of the Environment

The Biodiversity Center of Japan's Ministry of the Environment launched a citizen participation-based project called "IKIMONO-MIKKE - Biodiversity Observation by One Million People" from July,2008, and released a preliminary report concerning the summer 2008 on October 16, 2008. The program consists of two surveys: "IKIMONO-SHIRABE (I found it!)," in which citizens report the dates they identified three target species or natural phenomena selected for each season, and "Feel Warmer?," a survey to ask participants about the effects of global warming in their local area. As of October 14, 2008, the surveys had collected 8,233 and 1,966 reports, respectively.

"IKIMONO-SHIRABE" in the summer 2008 targeted three cicadas typically identified in the summer in Japan, Oncotympana maculaticollis, Meimuna opalifera, and Cryptotympana facialis, and participants recorded their first and last dates of chirping and associated changes. The results were compared with those of "Environmental Indicator Species," a survey conducted by the Center in 1995. Cryptotympana facialis, whose emergence is known to be more temperature-dependent than other two cicadas, tended to begin chirping at an earlier date in three prefectures where many reports were made. However, as the date of first chirping was delayed in some other prefectures, further detailed analysis will be made using data from smaller segments such as cities and towns.

The "Feel Warmer?" survey indicated that 93 percent of respondents recognized signs of global warming. Many noticed the changes in the bloom date of cherry blossoms and/or Japanese silver grass, both of which are closely associated with Japanese seasonal events including school entrance ceremonies and moon-viewing. The "IKIMONO-MIKKE" program is planned to be held each season.

- "IKIMONO-MIKKE" - Biodiversity Observation by One Million People

Posted: 2009/01/21 06:00:15 AM