The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Hokkaido University, Laboratory of Wildlife Biology and Medicine, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine    Professor: Toshio Tsubota

Conserving rare species by assessing the risk of infection in an Asian biodiversity hotspot

Research grant

Project Description

The purpose of this study is to clarify the current situation and evaluate infection and extinction risk in regard to infectious diseases in rare species in Nepal, one of the biodiversity hotspots in Asia, through international joint research. Specifically, the study will focus on tuberculosis, which is having a severe effect on species such as the Asian elephant, Indian rhinoceros, Asian black bear, and sloth bear. The results will be used to formulate a vision and action plan with the aim of preventing rare species from going extinct. [No. R18-0029]

Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund FY2018 Research Grants List (PDF 193KB)

Global Environment
Grant year
FY2018 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years (April 2019 - March 2022)
Grant amount
Activity region
Wild animals representing Nepalese biodiversity (Indian rhinoceros)

Overview of the Organization

Professor: Toshio Tsubota
Project organization
Hokkaido University
Laboratory of Wildlife Biology and Medicine, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine
Professor: Toshio Tsubota
Specialist field: Zoo and wildlife medicine, conservation
Affiliated academic societies: Japanese Society of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Japanese Society of Veterinary Science, The Mammal Society of Japan, etc.
Background: Obtained a PhD in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Hokkaido School of Veterinary Medicine, where since 2007 he has subsequently served as assistant, assistant professor, and latterly in his continuing role as professor.
Research record
  1. Paudel, S., Nakajima, C., Mikota, S., Gairhe, K., Maharajan, B., Subedi, S., Poudel, A., Sashika, M., Shimozuru, M., Suzuki, Y. & Tsubota, T.: Mixed mycobacterium tuberculosis lineage infection in two elephants, Nepal. Emerg. Inf. Dis. 25(5): 1031-1032, 2019.
  2. Shimozuru, M., Shirane, Y., Tsuruga, H., Yamanaka, M., Nakanishi, M., Ishinazaka, T., Kasai, S., Nose, T., Masuda, Y., Fujimoto, Y., Mano, T. & Tsubota, T.: Incidence of multiple paternity and inbreeding in high-density brown bear populations on Shiretoko Peninsula, Hokkaido, Japan. J. Heredity 110(3): 321-331, 2019. doi: 10.1093/jhered/esz002
  3. Fuchs, B., Yamazaki, K., Evans, A. L., Tsubota, T., Koike, S., Naganuma, T. & Arnemo, J. M.: Heart rate during hyperphagia differs between two bear species. Biol. Lett. 15: 20180681, 2019. http:://
  4. Paudel, S., Mikota, S. K. & Tsubota, T.: Tuberculosis threat in Asian elephants. Science 363(6425), 356, 2019. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw2342
  5. Miyazaki, M., Shimozuru, M. & Tsubota, T.: Skeletal muscles of hibernating black bears show minimal atrophy and phenotype shifting despite prolonged physical inactiveity and starvation. PLoS ONE 14(4): e0215489, 2019. other 161 documents.
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