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Herons & Egrets

Population ecology on egrets and herons in and around Ibaraki prefecture has the longest research history in our lab. Y. Toquenaga started his research on this topic when he was an undergraduate student. His study area was the southern part of Ibaraki prefecture, but now it was expanded to four surrounding prefectures as well as the whole Ibaraki prefecture.

L. Carrasco joined our lab. in 2011. He is a specialist of GIS analyses. He is now training himself to translate all GIS procedures in R. He is now writing a paper on predicting colony locations with land use data. His approach adopting a random forest methods generates up to 70% accuracy for predicting colony locations with 10 km radius. He is now comparing results in Ibaraki and Chiba prefectures and extracting core aspects for accurate predictions.

Once there was the last SkySurfer who had conducted aerial census for years, which provides the basal data for GIS and spatial network analyses. She finished her doctoral course covering the following topics: population dynamics of herons and egrets in the last quoter century, positive effect by Ardea cinerea on colony establishment and persistence, high philopatry at the colony level, and roost-colony networks. She was interested in foraging and reproductive behaviors of herons and egrets. She recorded the early stage of brooding and feeding behaviors at nests with multiple webcams. Those data are now waiting for further analyses.