The non-migratory population of the Tancho or Japanese Crane, Grus japonensis, was on the brink of extinction in the late 19th century because of habitat loss and deterioration and over-hunting. Since the 1950s, however, the population has increased to over 1,300 due to supplemental feeding in winter. Unfortunately, about 70% of the wetlands in Hokkaido have been destroyed. Consequently, the density of breeding pairs in the remaining wetlands continues to increase, and cranes are now feeding closer to people during the spring and summer months and using small wetlands near humans as breeding sites. Ironically, this habituation to humans was promoted by the protection provided to cranes by local people, which caused the cranes to become more tolerant of human disturbance. Therefore, it is necessary for humans to develop new attitudes in order to promote the welfare of the cranes. For their safety, cranes must be conditioned to keep their distance from humans. In addition, existing wetlands throughout Hokkaido must be protected and, where possible, destroyed wetlands should be restored to provide breeding habitats for the expanding crane population. These goals can be achieved through the active commitment not only of a few specialists and administrators, but also of all local people and stakeholders, to furthering adaptive management procedures.
Masatomi, H., & Masatomi, Y. (2009). Promoting the coexistence of humans and Tancho in Japan. Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology, 14(2), 223–242.