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Wildlife of Metropolitan Takiyama Natural Park

Kochidori ; Little Ringed Plover- Charadrius dubius

It lengths 16 cm(6.3 inches). It arrives Japan as a summer bird, a small number winter over the west of the mainland. The origin of the Japanese name is one of the smallest provers in Japan. The male and female are the same color. The head and the back, the upper surface of the wing are bark, and the belly is white, there is a black part on the face and chest, the yellow eye ring around the eyes is conspicuous. The beak is black and short. They inhabit the freshwater fringe areas such as paddy fields and rivers and create nests on the ground of sandy and vacant lands. It preys on insects and earthworms, mainly while walking on the ground. It sings with a cry such as "Piu piu" "Pio pio."

Little ringed plover

Lesser Cuckoo

In spring, you can see the lesser cuckoo in Metropolitan Takiyama Natural Park. The lesser cuckoo belongs to the order Cuculiformes and the family Cuculidae. These migratory birds serve as symbols of the advent of summer. Their bodies are 27.5 centimeters (10.8 inches) long. The adults have dark blue-gray heads, backs, uppertail coverts, and chests, dark brown wings and tails, and white stomachs with black bars. They live in forests in plain to subalpine zones, and mainly eat insects. They have a unique chattering call, and are known for planting their eggs in the nests of other birds, such as the Japanese bush warbler.
(C) Center for Environmental Studies

Lesser cuckoo

Akiakane- Red Dragonfly

It is a representative of "red dragonfly" that has been popular since ancient times. Adults emerging (emergence: last shedding to become adults) in paddy fields or wetlands in hilly areas around July will all move to high mountains all the time and will spend the summit and highlands avoiding the heat during the summer. The body turns red in around September when returning to lowlands and plains. Male and females are mating on the paddy fields after the rice reaping and laying the eggs like bouncing the water surface.

Autumn darter

Pale Thrush

Small birds such as the pale thrush can be seen in the winter in Ruins of Takiyama Castle Park. The total length of the pale thrush is 24 centimeters (about 9.5 inches). They belong to the order Passeriformes and the family Turdidae. Like the dusky thrush and the brown-headed thrush, their bellies are off-white, and when they fly, the white at the tips of their tails stands out. They often forage for food on the floors of forests with a lot of bushy growth, and their call resembles that of the brown-headed thrush.

Pale Thrush

Varied tit

The varied tit is about 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) long. Its back and the tops of its wings are gray, its chest is brown, and its head has a black and beige pattern. It uses its feet to help it eat food such as acorns, and also to store food in cracks in the bark of trees. Varied tits lay their eggs and raise their chicks during the period from April to May. They make nests out of moss, bark, and animal hair in hollow trees and birdhouses, and raise their chicks there. It has a high, chirruping call.

Varied tit

Heterotropa tamaensis

Heterotropa tamaensis is an evergreen perennial shrub that belongs to the family Aristolochiaceae. It grows in the interiors of forests and woods on hills and low mountains. It flowers from March to April. Its Japanese name, Tama-no-kanaoi, means “Tama wild ginger.” This name is said to derive from the fact that it was first discovered in the Tama Hills in Tokyo. It is considered a precious plant, because its numbers are few. The leaves are fairly think, with indented veins, and are about 5 to 10 centimeters (2-4 inches) in diameter. They are notable for their nearly-oval heart shape. The leaves of the plant have a long pattern, and dark purple flowers bloom around the base of the leaves. The flowers are rarely seen because they bloom so close to the ground, and are often nearly buried in soil or covered with leaves. Heterotropa tamaensis is designated as Vulnerable in the Tokyo area by the Ministry of the Environment.
(C) Center for Environmental Studies


Kaempfer Azalea (Rhododendron kaempferi)

The Kaempfer azalea is a semi-deciduous shrub that belongs to the order Ericaceae and the genus Rhododendron. From the end of April to the beginning of May, orange-red Kaempfer azaleas bloom in the natural park around the ruins of Takiyama Castle. Its leaves are oblong or egg-shaped, slightly thin, and covered with brown fuzz on both the tops and bottoms. The flowers can be orange-red, red, or red-purple, with five petals and five stamens. The dark pattern at the center of the flower is said to be a path to guide insects to the nectar.

Kaempfer azalea

Japanese Snowbell

The Japanese Snowbell is a fairly tall deciduous tree that belongs to the family Styracaceae. You can see these trees in mixed forests everywhere in Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu and Okinawa. The Japanese name, egonoki, means “pungent tree.” This name is said to come from the seeds, which contain a poison in their coats that can paralyze fish. The seeds taste terrible to humans and, if eaten, they cause an unpleasant feeling in the throat. From the beginning to the end of May, the trees are covered with many white or pink flowers that look similar to cherry blossoms.

Japanese snowbell

Japanese Red Pine

The Japanese red pine is an evergreen conifer in the family Pinaceae and the genus Pinus. Japanese Red Pine can be often found on mountain ridges due to its resistance to dry climates. Because the young trees are intolerant to shade, they often grow on newly cultivated land. These trees were previously cultivated for use as fuelwood. In the autumn, matsutake mushrooms can be found in Japanese red pine forests.
The wood of the red pine is used as material for construction, and is often used in joists and ridgepoles of buildings. Its pinecone contains seeds, which are dispersed the following year, and once the seeds have been dispersed, the cones fall from the tree. Children love to collect and play with these pinecones. At Metropolitan Takiyama Natural Park, conifers such as the Japanese pine and the Japanese cypress grow intermingled with deciduous tresses such as the Quercus serrata and the Sawtooth Oak. This combination of trees means that visitors can enjoy some truly unique fall foliage.
(C) Center for Environmental Studies

Japanese red pine


このページの担当は自然環境部 緑環境課 自然公園計画担当です。

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