The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University Associate Professor Yoshikazu Sato

Conservation biology of white-colored brown bears of Kunashiri and Etorofu Islands

Research grant

Project Description

Brown bears (Ursus arctos) with white pelage (coloration) are found in Kunashiri Island and Etorofu Island, both of the Southern Kuril Islands. While brown bears are distributed widely over the northern hemisphere, we have very little information on those with a white pelage. Here, the researcher investigates and reports on these rare creatures, comparing the salmon catching proficiency of white-colored brown bears and conventional brown bears, examining the genetic makeup of white-colored brown bears, and investigating their conservation ecologies. It is the author's hope that the availability of such information will encourage efforts to protect brown bears and their habitats on both islands.

Climate changePreservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Research Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2010 - March 2012
Grant amount
3,486,000 yen
Activity region
Kunashiri Island, Etorofu Island, Japan
Brown bear with white pelage, Kunashiri Island

Overview of the Organization

Associate Professor Yoshikazu Sato
Associate Professor Yoshikazu Sato
Specialist field
Animal ecology, wildlife management, conservation ecology
Affliated academic socities
The Mammal Society of Japan, The Ecological Society of Japan, The Japanese Forest Society
In 1996 Graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture at Hokkaido Universit. Completed a Doctorate in 2002 from the Department of Applied Zoological Sciences, School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo. In 2002, became a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science until 2003, when position of Associate Professor was taken at the College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University. Became a Professor Nihon University in 2007, and in 2008 was a recipient of Mammal Society of Japan encouragement award.
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Noriyuki OHTAISHI; Chairman, Kita-no-kai Animal Center; Tsutomu MANO; Researcher, Hokkaido Research Organization; Masami YAMANAKA; Administrative Director, Shiretoko Nature Foundation
Research record
Research on the ecology, conservation and management of brown bears in Hokkaido
  • (1) Home range and habitat use of female brown bear (Ursus arctos) in Urahoro, eastern Hokkaido, Japan. Mammal Study 33: 99-109, 2008.
  • (2) Relationship between crop use by brown bears and Quercus crispula acorn production in Furano, central Hokkaido, Japan. Mammal Study 31: 93-104, 2006.
  • (3) Stomach contents of brown bears Ursus arctos in Hokkaido, Japan. Wildlife Biology 11: 133-144. 2005.
  • (4) Temporal changes in the population density and diet of brown bears in eastern Hokkaido, Japan. Mammal Study, 29: 47-53, 2004.