The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Kurashiki University of Science and The Arts

Researching, conserving and encouraging the breeding of melitaea protomedia, a category I endangered species found in the southernmost parts of Japan and Kusama, Niimi

Activity grant

Project Description

Melitaea protomedia is a category I endangered butterfly species that inhabits the highlands of Japan's Chugoku Mountains. The most southernly populations, found in Niimi, Okayama Prefecture, differ from other populations in both form and behaviour, but the aging and decline of the local human population is threatening their environments and they could become extinct within a few years. This project will engage in their conservation through regular habitat surveys, raising awareness among local people, maintaining and monitoring the grassy areas that make up their habitats, and artificial breeding activity.

Preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2007 Activity Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2008 - March 2011
Grant amount
1,300,000 yen
Activity region
The area around Kusamadai, Ikura, Niimi, Okayama Prefecture, and other areas in the Chugoku Mountains, Japan
Melitaea protomedia, a large butterfly found in Niimi, Okayama Prefecture

Overview of the Organization

Seiichiro Kawabe, Professor
Seiichiro Kawabe, Professor
Melitaea Protomedia Special Conservation Committee: 2002; Kurashiki University of Science and The Arts: 1995
Establishment purpose
The habitats of many animal species in Japan have become endangered by neglect, environmental destruction, and climate change. If this situation is not faced, it could also lead to the endangerment of humanity. There are many important animal and plant species found in Okayama Prefecture and its unique natural environments, but the melitaea protomedia that inhabits the highland plains in particular is one of Japan's most endangered buttefly species. Kurashiki University of Science and The Arts is working with research institutions at other universities, local residents, and nature lovers to protect, restore, and raise awareness about these butterflies.
Main area of activity
Kurashiki and Okayama, Okayama Prefecture, Japan
About 200 university staff members, 4 conservationists and volunteers
WEB site
Recent activity
Kurashiki University of Science and The Arts was established in 1995 to contribute to the vitalization of Kurashiki's local culture, traditions, and industry. Since then it has managed to make a significant contribution to the education and cultivation of human resources for various areas of artistic culture and scientific enlightenment. As part of research activities in many fields, the Department of Life Sciences is focused on field research aimed at conserving and restoring local environments. It is researching, conserving and encouraging the propogation of endangered species by developing initiatives that involve university members, people engaged in the conservation of endangered species and environments across Japan, local residents, and local government.