Message from the President

The predecessor of the Mammal Society of Japan (MSJ), the Mammalogical Society of Japan was established in 1923. Therefore, in a few years, the MSJ will celebrate its 100th anniversary. The MSJ aims to develop mammalogy and to educate the next generation about this branch of biology in Japan. This goal prompts an important question: What is mammalogy? From the viewpoints of fundamental biology, such as morphology, anatomy, genetics, phylogeny, physiology, ethology, and ecology, mammalogy attempts to clarify the characteristics of mammals in detail. In addition, based on this knowledge, we can manage and conserve wildlife and its environments. Although humans, domestic animals, companion animals, and laboratory animals are included among mammals, the MSJ mainly focuses on wild mammals and zoo mammals.

I believe that humans have an instinctive interest in other mammalian species. Before the advent of civilization, it was very important for ancient humans to understand other mammals. A human who ably understood the habits of the tiger could better escape its predation, and a human who closely knew the habits of the mammoth could be more successful at hunting it. If you have ever taken some interest in wild mammals, I believe that you can retain it for a long time. Your simple questions and small findings will help develop mammalogy in the future. The MSJ is a place where you can contribute to the discipline of mammalogy.

Recently, we have faced serious human–wildlife conflicts as a grave social problem. Bears, deer, wild boars, serows, and monkeys often cause a damage to crops in Japan. The MSJ is actively considering strategies to solve these problems. In addition, the MSJ is considering countermeasures to the damages caused by alien mammalian species and conservation of endangered mammalian species. The MSJ is also a place where you can contribute to solutions to the social problems caused by wild mammals.

To better develop mammalogy, I think that we need to advance both basic mammalogy, such as morphology, anatomy, genetics, phylogeny, physiology, ethology, and ecology and applied mammalogy, such as management and conservation. Based on the comprehensive information obtained from basic mammalogy, we can develop a reliable plan for the management and conservation. Moreover, the activities of management and conservation can provide a suitable habitat for the wild mammals that we study in the subject of basic mammalogy. Presently, in mammalogy, these two methods are inseparable. I believe that the both methods implemented together will lead us to success. I hope that the members and others interested in wild mammals will assist us in the activities of the MSJ. Thank you for your contributions to the MSJ and all wild mammals worldwide.

President of The Mammal Society of Japan
Tatsuo Oshida
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