The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Yamashina Insititute for Ornithology

Reintroducing short-tailed albatrosses to the Mukojima Group in the Ogasawara Islands

Activity grant

Project Description

Half a century ago, there were only a few dozen short-tailed albatrosses left, but now their populations have recovered to around 2,000 birds. However, they currently only breed in two locations, volcanically active Torishima and the politically threatened Senkaku Islands, meaning fears regarding their extinction have not disappeared completely. A third breeding ground is necessary to ensure the stability of these populations. The Yamashina Institute is working to create a third breeding ground by developing artificial chick-rearing techniques. In 2008, it moved 10 chicks from Torishima to a historical breeding site on Mukojima, and after three months of artificial rearing, all ten successfuly fledged. This project aims to continue rearing chicks from Torishima at locations in the Mukojima island group. If it can succesfully raise 15 chicks a year over three years, it will produced a total of 55 fledged birds and increase the likelihood of the Mukojima Group once again becoming a short-tailed albatross breeding site.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2008 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2009 - March 2012
Grant amount
24,399,000 yen
Activity region
Torishima, Izu Islands, and the Mukojima Group, Ogasawara Islands, Tokyo, Japan
A short-tailed albatross chick brought to Mukojima from Torishima

Overview of the Organization

Hisanaga Shimazu, Director
Hisanaga Shimazu, Director
Establishment purpose
Carrying out scientific research on animals, especially all bird species, with the aim of contributing to Japanese culture and industry.
Main areas of activity
Across Japan and overseas (primarily other parts of Asia)
20 full-time staff members
Annual operating budget
290.46 million yen in 2006, 279.72 million yen in 2007, 295.03 million yen in 2008
WEB site
Recent activity
  • (1) Conducting zoological research, particularly ornithology, and announcing research results
  • (2) Collecting and conserving samples and texts on bird species and other animals
  • (3) Supporting zoological researchers, particularly ornithologists
  • (4) Any other activity that is deemed necessary for acheiving the institute's goals