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Japan to Add Black, Brown Bears to Wildlife Control List

Japan to Add Black, Brown Bears to Wildlife Control List

   Tokyo, Feb. 8 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese Environment Ministry advisory panel on Thursday proposed adding black bears and brown bears to the country's list of designated wildlife species for control to allow them to be captured with the help of state subsidies.
   The number of bears in Japan may increase further as their areas of habitat are expanding, the panel said, warning that the country may face a rise in the number of cases in which people are either hurt or killed by bears in human settlements.
   Brown bears in Japan live exclusively in the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, while black bears are found widely in Japan.
   The panel said that bears in Shikoku should not be included in the list out of concerns about extinction as the western region currently hosts only 20 such bears. In the Kyushu southern region, bears are believed to have gone extinct in 2012.
   Currently, sika deer and wild boars are on the list. Several tens of thousands of bears are thought to be existing in the wild now, far smaller than an estimated 2.22 million sika deer and 720,000 wild boars.

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