Category talk:Tatsuno, Nagano
Firefly problems in Tatsuno town, Nagano, Japan
Tatsuno town is located in the central part of Japan (35.986N, 137.999E). This is one of the most famous towns in Japan for many fireflies emerging every summer, and many tourists come to watch fireflies twinkling. I have been investigating fireflies in this town. The Tatsuno town government stresses in its homepage or brochure that it has kept protecting fireflies for a long time, but it is not necessarily true. About 40 years ago, Mr Katsuno got many non-native fireflies from firefliy dealers in other areas and then released them into the Matsuo-kyo area in this town. Since then, government officials instructed by Mr Katsuno have bred many non-native fireflies in the field, so native fireflies seem to have gone extinct in the Matsuo-kyo area. The town government has tended to conceal this fact. The ratio of these introduced fireflies has also increased in another area of this town. I have often asked the town government to protect native fireflies, but they (government officials and the mayor) have ignored it. They say to me that if the number of fireflies increases, it does not matter whether they are native or non-native, because even non-native fireflies are helpful for tourism bringing money. To make matters worse, they do not earnestly protect firefly species other than Luciola cruciata called "Genji-botaru" in Japanese. This is because Genji-botaru emit spectacular flashes which attract tourists' attention, but others do not. Therefore, they have even destroyed habitats of other firefly species because of accommodation of tourists. I never agree with their opinion and action. I think local governments are generally required to protect as many native species as possible. One of the reasons is that Japan has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, the Tatsuno town government has been neglecting it. Now our research on Tatuno fireflies is being stopped by this local government, because this government is unwilling to admit the fact that non-native fireflies have been invading habitats of native fireflies.
What do you think of the action of Tatsuno town government?