NPO picchio Wild Bear Mt.Asama
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Meadow Ecosystem
Forest Ecosystem

Montane Brown Frogs (Rana ornativentris)

The ecology of these frogs still remains fairly unknown. Our studies have tried to explain some of the mysteries circulating these species; tadpole life history, migration of breeding individuals, activities of non-breeding individuals (using radio-tag methods), patterns of over wintering site choices, and differences in reproductive strategies of both males and females are just to name a few. The Montane frogs are part of an intricate food web in which they play an intermediate role, thus acting as an important keystone species.

Japanese Cobra Lilies (Arisaema ringens)

In the area of Yachou-no-mori, there are three species of cobra-lilies including the Karuizawa cobra-lily. Distribution patterns of these peculiar plants have only recently been recognized and understood. Furthermore, labeling individual plants to investigate the relationships between sex determination (sex determination is dependent on the nutrition acquired annually) and habitat is an ongoing project.

Japanese Oaks

Qercus mongolica
Flora and fauna of Mt. Asama was once completely wiped out after the eruption of Asama volcano and later regenerated, becoming the ecosystem we see today. Thus the regeneration patterns of this area are of great interest to us. Our study focuses on the germination patterns of oak (Qercus mongolica) seedlings in the forest of Yachou-no-mori. A quadrat study is used in this analysis; newly germinated seedlings are individually labeled and the number of successful and unsuccessful trees, harvest size, et cetera are recorded. We hope to elucidate the population dynamics of the Japanese oak trees in the light of the history of Mt. Asama, including the mass fruiting and the complex interactions with other members in the biological communities.

Butterflies & Moths

Chrysozephyrus smaragdinus
Numerous species of butterflies and moths were first identified in Karuizawa. Nevertheless, many of these species are at the verge of extinction. Our team is thus involved in carrying out line transect studies in the forests and the ever-decreasing meadows. These studies will help to compare the effects of different environmental conditions on the population of butterflies and moths. Furthermore, similar studies concerning dragonflies are also underway.


Lasius fuliginosus
Forests and surrounding areas are home to numerous species of ants. Our team have recorded the presence of some ants such as slave hunting ants, mutualistic ants that live with butterfly or moth larvae, and an ant species never before found in the Nagano prefecture.