■■■ NY Timesの記事 ■■■
題名: Japan Fights Crowds of Crows
記者: By MARTIN FACKLER
発行日: May 7, 2008
Men in gray jumpsuits scour the streets and rooftops
with binoculars, seeking to guard the city from a
This is the Crow Patrol of the Kyushu Electric Power
Company, on the hunt for crows whose nests on electric
poles have caused a string of blackouts.
Blackouts have become common nationwide, including one
last year in the northern prefecture of Akita that
briefly shut down high-speed bullet train service.
Blackouts are just one of the problems caused by an
explosion in Japan's population of crows.
Crows have also disrupted Japan's super-modern
In the past two years, utility companies in Tokyo
reported almost 1,400 cases of crows cutting fiber
optic cables, apparently to use as materials for nests.
With wingspans up to a yard and intimidating black beaks
and sharp claws, Japan's crows are bigger, more
aggressive and downright scarier than those usually seen
in North America.
Populations have increased enormously since the 1990s
with Tokyo reporting a fivefold increase in the number
of crows in its large parks.
Behind the rise is the growing abundance of garbage, a
product of Japan's embrace of more wasteful Western
lifestyles creating an orgy of eating for crows, which
Communities are scrambling to find ways to relocate or
reduce their crow populations.
Some steps taken to reduce crows include putting garbage
into yellow plastic bags, a color the birds supposedly
cannot see through, and covering trash with fine-mesh
netting, to prevent large beaks from reaching the
Still, the crows have proven clever at foiling human
efforts to control them.
The birds have begun building dummy nests as decoys to
draw patrol members away from their real nests.
The crow explosion has created a moral quandary in
Japan, a nation that prides itself on nonviolence and
harmony with nature, because killing them is the only
truly effective method of population control.
The birds seem to be winning.