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Can we see wolfs and otters again at Shiretoko Peninsula ? a study on sociological and legal aspects of the reintroduction of extinct species

, : Can we see wolfs and otters again at Shiretoko Peninsula ? a study on sociological and legal aspects of the reintroduction of extinct species. Bulletin of the Shiretoko Museum, 26: 47-54

Shari town office has promoted the 100 square meter forest trust, which focuses on reforestation of abandoned farmland, in Shiretoko Peninsula. The recovery of the forest ecosystem is another aim of this movement, and the possibility of reintroduction of locally extinct animals such as the wolf and the otter has been discussed. This paper examines possible issues of current law or social tolerance on the assumption that the wolf and the otter are reintroduced. Firstly, both of "The Law for Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Conservation Act" and" Invasive Alien Species Act" does not designate the wolf and the otter as target species. Secondary, although "Natural Parks Law" does not refer to reintroduction of extinct species, it regulates release of alien species, which includes extinct species. Thirdly, "The Law for Protection and Management of Animals" includes regulations in handling and feeding animals. If reintroduction of locally extinct species are considered as animal breeding, "The Law for Protection and Management of Animals" will regulate the reintroduction of extinct species. From the social tolerance point of view, reintroduction can be considered as a release of alien species. People also fear predation on livestock or human injuries. In conclusion, considering legal and social conditions, there are a lot of problems in the reintroduction of the wolf and the otter. Hence, the present situation is not yet suitable to proceed the reintroduction of locally extinct species to a practical stage.

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