Collaboration and Support from Kitami City

After installation, we recorded 24-hour footage inside the pathway and monitored the animal usage. We made efforts to save high-quality footage as much as possible within the limited budget, aiming to record the agile movements of the animals for future research.

The symbols of Kitami City are sunflowers, red pines, owls, great purple emperor butterflies, and Japanese martens. The mayor of Kitami City promised to construct an animal pathway on public roads for the protection of Japanese martens and included it in the budget explanation at the municipal assembly. Following the construction of Unit 1 over a period of two years, it was decided to construct Unit 2, which was completed in March 2010.

Planning and Construction

Through the verification of monitoring in the experimental animal pathway, we were able to establish the necessary techniques related to the pathway’s ecological and technical aspects. Therefore, in collaboration with Kitami City, which designates Japanese martens as the city’s animal, we proceeded with the construction of an animal pathway on municipal roads.

The construction site was determined based on past records of roadkill, vegetation, and feeding traces. Surveys of feeding traces of main animals such as squirrels and Japanese martens were conducted with the assistance of volunteers, including Earthwatch, in the forests along the roadsides.

The red pin below indicates Hokuto City Unit 1 (Unit 2 is above).

The selected location is approximately 500 meters uphill on the municipal road in front of the Keep Foundation’s premises, heading towards Mount Yatsugatake.

The structural design and construction were carried out by Shimizu Corporation.

Total length: Approximately 13.5 meters Height: Approximately 6.4 meters

The work was undertaken by a local electrical contractor, and the construction took place in July 2007. With the assistance of volunteers, the assembled animal pathway was manually transported to the installation site, and the main construction was completed in a single day using cranes and other equipment. Prior preparations, such as the installation of concrete utility poles, laying monitoring cables, and setting up power sources, were done in advance. The construction cost of the main structure achieved approximately one-tenth of the target cost for the Japanese marten bridge.

Monitoring Recorded Video

Furthermore, the planning and design of the monitoring system were carried out by Taisei Corporation and Enwit. Over the course of one year since its installation, we confirmed the utilization of over 800 instances of arboreal animals.

Here is a video footage of the utilization of Japanese squirrels. They are seen walking towards the camera from the distance.

※Preparation video for publication

  • Footage of Japanese Marten (ヤマネ): It appears from the right side of the bridge, crosses part of it, and then returns using a rope.
  • Footage of Japanese Grass Vole (ヒメネズミ): Shows a scene of feeding.
  • Footage of Japanese Marten (テン): It walks towards here from the other side.
  • Footage of Japanese Squirrel (ニホンリス): It walks towards here from the other side.
  • Footage of wild birds (野鳥): Shows their utilization.

Please note that the translations of animal names are based on the Japanese names provided.