Details of the Initiative

To help conserve biodiversity, our science lab has been studying endangered species, such as Aster kantoensis on the river-bed of the Tama River and Aster tripolium on tidal flats. Researching endangered species as a graduation research project is challenging, but despite this we have been actively studying Eusphingonotus japonicus and Hynobius tokyoensis. It is thought that commonly seen species such as these form part of a framework of an ecosystem. Nature observation programs collaborating with Mita Machimori Terakoya near Ikuta Campus, the students of nearby Mita elementary school to survey distributions of Japanese pipistrelle using bat detectors and seed dispersals using the MVS method, which catches seeds dispersed by wind on artificial turf. We presented these results as a product of citizen science, that is, where citizens are involved in the research.

Collecting seeds by the MVC method (Katayama 2023). They were flying onto the roof of Building No. 1 at the Ikuta Campus.
Holding a Japanese pipistrelle observation event for elementary school students, working together with Mita Machimori Terakoya teachers. Perhaps due to high temperatures, we did not find any Japanese pipistrelle in the area of the Ikuta Campus, where we had always observed them previously. We then moved to a playground on the Tama River riverbed for further observation.
Furen-ko lake divided by the Shunkuni-tai sands. A survey of the tidal flat plant Aster tripolium, which has been damaged by the feeding of Yezo shika deer.
Tama River Field Observation (In the gravel riverbed during the blooming season of the endangered plant Aster kantoensis). The wild population of Aster kantoensis in the Tama River became extinct due to flooding in autumn 2019. Citizens, local government, and researchers are working together on its regeneration.
A plantain at the edge of a sidewalk near the Ikuta Campus. Plantain seeds become sticky when wet and can be carried on the soles of shoes. For our graduation research project, we measured how far the seeds are carried using a measuring wheel. When looking carefully, we found that most plantains were growing at the same height soles of shoes. We were able to make this discovery thanks to our graduation research.