Developing wildlife bridges to connect fragmented forests



What is Animal-pathway ?

When forests are fragmented or divided by linear structures such as roads, it has various impacts on arboreal animals like Japanese macaques and squirrels.

  • Reduced foraging areas Decreased breeding opportunities
  • Occurrences of roadkill (wildlife mortality due to vehicle collisions) and more
  • To mitigate these issues, artificial pathways installed between fragmented forests are called “Animal-pathways.”


Currently, there are nearly 20 cases of Animal-pathway implementations both domestically and internationally.

About Animal-pathway Research Society


The Animal-pathway Research Association aims to develop affordable “Animal-pathways” for arboreal small animals inhabiting fragmented forests caused by linear structures such as roads. This voluntary research association conducts practical research to conserve forest ecosystems and promotes their implementation domestically and internationally through various initiatives.

Ensuring the safety of pedestrians and vehicles on existing roads and minimizing maintenance costs after installation—these are key goals for the widespread adoption of Animal-pathways across the country!

With the goal of proposing specific plans for “popularized Animal-pathways,” the research association was established in 2004.

As founding members, the Japanese Macaque Conservation Research Group (formerly KEEP Yamanashi Macaque Museum), Shimizu Corporation, Taisei Corporation, and Enwitt actively contribute to the research, practical implementation, and promotion of Animal-pathways from various perspectives based on their respective expertise.


  • January 13, 2004: Meeting between the Natural Conservation Council of Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) and NGOs in the construction industry, establishment of the Animal-pathway Research Society.
  • April 2004 – August 2005: Demonstration experiments of Animal-pathways.
  • October 2005: Construction of a demonstration Animal-pathway on a private road within the KEEP Association’s facility in Kirigamine, Hokuto City, monitoring equipment installation. March 2006: Cooperation request made to the Japan Federation of Construction Contractors (Nichicon).
  • May 2-4, 2006: First confirmation and photography of a Japanese squirrel using the Animal-pathway.
  • December 2006: First joint exhibition with the Japan Federation of Construction Contractors at the Eco-Products Exhibition.
  • July 23, 2007: Installation of the first Animal-pathway on a municipal road in Hokuto City (realized with the cooperation of the mayor).
  • May 30, 2008: Recipient of the Civil Engineering Society’s Environmental Award.
  • January 2009: NTT East joins the research association.
  • July 5, 2009: Broadcasting of Animal-pathways on NHK’s “Darwin’s Tales” news program.
  • March 2-3, 2010: Introduction of Animal-pathways on Fuji TV’s FNN News and “Mezamashi TV.”
  • March 21, 2010: Construction of Animal-pathways on the Yatsugatake Kogen Road (prefectural road) in Hokuto City. October 11, 2010: Introduction of Animal-pathways on NHK General’s “SAVE THE FUTURE.”
  • October 19-28, 2010: Symposium and exhibition at the Convention on Biological Diversity COP10 in Nagoya, including an excursion to the Animal-pathway in Hokuto City. Presentation on Animal-pathways by the president of Taisei Corporation at an official COP10 event, an economic dialogue with ministerial-level participants.


  • May 2012: Animal Pathway and Wildlife Association (ApWA), a general incorporated association, is established.
  • March 2013: APW (Animal Pathway) is installed on the Shidami Mizuno Line in Nagoya City.
  • November 2013: ApWA receives the Excellent Award at the Nikkei Earth Environmental Technology Awards, and a symposium is held in December at the Keidanren Kaikan.
  • October 2014: Certified as a collaborative project of the Japan Committee for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.
  • December 2014: ApWA participates in the Eco-Products Exhibition for the first time and continues to participate every year.
  • February 2015: Co-hosts the Wildlife and Traffic Research Presentation from this year onwards.
  • March 2015: Receives the Excellent Award from the Good Life Award Environment Minister and the Special Jury Award from the Global Environment Award in April.
  • May 2015: Starts biological surveys in the area surrounding Mount Fuji. October 2015: APW is installed on the railway tracks of the Isle of Wight in the UK and featured on the BBC.
  • November 2015: Receives the Shodokai Encouragement Award from Kitashio City and joins the Road Ecology Research Association as a group member.
  • September 2016: Presents Animal Pathway and receives a poster award at IENE2016 (held in Lyon, France). November 2016: APW is installed on National Route 4, Morioka Kitamichi Road, confirming the use by Japanese flying squirrels, and a symposium is held.
  • November 2016 and August 2018: Three APWs are installed under the temporary bridge on the Kisei National Highway.
  • May 2017: Receives the 25th Anniversary Commemorative Award from the Keidanren Nature Conservation Council.
  • June 2017: Publishes “Animal Pathway: Saving Animals” by Akihiro Minato.
  • June 2017: Publishes a production and construction guidebook for Animal Pathways. September 2017: Presents Animal Pathway at the International Yamane Society.
  • June 2019: Displays at the Minato Eco Plaza for one month and holds a mini-symposium in July.
  • October 2019: APW is installed on the road in front of Inada Elementary School, Obihiro City.
  • November 2019: Establishes the nonprofit Yamane & Living Creature Research Institute.
  • October 2020: Professor Satoshi Fukuyama presents “Genetic Analysis of Wild Mice at the Northern Foot of Mount Fuji” at the Mammal Study of the Mammalogical Society of Japan, proving the division caused by the Subaru Line in Japanese grass mice.
  • March 2021: Animal Pathway is installed for the first time in Owase, Mie Prefecture.
  • April 2021: Submits an opinion letter to Yamanashi Prefecture. October-December 2022: Conducts crowdfunding for funding for animated projects.
  • December 2022: Presents initiatives such as Yamane Bridge, Yamane Tunnel, and Animal Pathway in the Canopybridge special feature of Folia Primatologica.

Summary of Activities 



We engage in various initiatives

Promotion and Public Relations Activities

Media coverage, events, and DVD production

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