Japan’s trade in rare species

Japan is a major importer of rare plants and animals whose international trade is restricted under a convention on endangered species, according to a new report.

The report, prepared by Traffic East Asia-Japan, a group that monitors wildlife trade, was released last week in conjunction with the COP10 international conference on biological diversity being held in Nagoya.Titled "State of Wildlife Trade in Japan," the report says Japan was the world’s No. 2 importer of living tortoises and birds, and No. 3 in importing orchids in 2007.

Read the rest of the story: Japan trade in rare species hit.

Japan’s Biodiversity Duty

Major international talking shops often attract protesters, but those that took to the streets on the opening day of the COP10 biological diversity conference displayed a more voracious appetite than the usual activists.

Hundreds of kilometres from the congress centre in Nagoya, two female bears were spotted Monday combing for food near a primary school in Sharicho, Hokkaido. They were shot and killed before anyone was injured. And in the early hours of Tuesday, three bears were sighted roaming the streets of a town in Fukushima Prefecture.

Sightings of bears on streets across the country have reportedly increased in the past few months as the bears find food sources such as acorns increasingly scarce in their natural habitats of mountain forests and satoyama.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Biodiversity Duty.