Ada in Kunigami proclaims itself to be providing habitat for the Okinawan rail

Ada in Kunigami proclaims itself to be providing habitat for the Okinawan rail

On October 8, at Ada Public Hall in Kunigami, relevant parties renewed their pledge to protect the Okinawan rails.

October 13, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On October 8, the Ada District of Kunigami was declared as an official habitat of the Okinawan rail. The community is striving to protect the natural habitat of this rare bird.

That same day at Ada Public Hall a ceremony was held during which Ward Mayor Tanji Kamiyama stated that they would work to protect the endangered Okinawan rail. Takashi Nagamine, the director of the non-profit organization (NPO) called Dobutsutachi-no-byoin-Okinawa (Animal Hospital Okinawa), which has worked with Ada District, reported that the district’s efforts to repopulate the Okinawan rail are more advanced that other similar cases in Japan. These efforts have increased the rail’s population of around 700 in 2005, to current levels.

The chairman of the NPO Support Center for Yambaru Development, Akio Higa, stated that the local government has asked them to produce a general plan that matches the habitat declaration.

According to the Kunigami Municipal Office, they will establish an institution that exhibits pairs of Okinawan rails to promote a better understanding of the significance of the protection activities. The institution will be set up in the Okinawa Prefectural Livestock Improvement Center by the end of this year utilizing local government bonds available under the Act on Special Measures for Promotion for Independence of Under-populated Areas. Local people and tourists will then be able to observe the Okinawan rail and learn about the ecological system.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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