The Current Status of and Prospects for Biodiversity in Tokyo

  • Shinya Numata
  • Tetsuro Hosaka
Part of the International Perspectives in Geography book series (IPG, volume 8)


Although Tokyo is relatively small in area, it has rich biodiversity that should be maintained through conservation efforts. Here, we review the current status of the natural environment and the biota, and then discuss the prospects for Tokyo’s biodiversity. Tokyo has several different types of ecosystems, including urban, forest, agricultural, and oceanic island systems, which support different types of habitat specialists. The estimated total numbers of wild plant and mammal species in Tokyo are 4323 and 51, respectively. Species richness is relatively low in the Izu and Bonin Archipelagos, but island endemism is high. The intensities of the four principal pressures directly driving biodiversity loss in Tokyo are either constant or increasing over time. Biodiversity conservation has become a central concept for green space management by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government since 2012. Although nature conservation has had significant positive effects in maintaining biodiversity in urban and agricultural landscapes, the negative impacts of biodiversity on the quality of urban life have recently been identified as ecosystem disservices. Because most natural environments in Tokyo are influenced by human activities, promoting better public understanding of biodiversity is the key to formulating an urban planning framework for sustainable biodiversity management.


Biodiversity Bonin Islands Izu Islands Satoyama Secondary nature Tama 23 special ward district of Tokyo Urban ecosystem 



We thank Prof. Naoki Kachi for his valuable comments and suggestions. We also thank Kaeko Iwai for her assistance in the present study. This study was supported by the Advanced Research Program of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government of Japan.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Tourism ScienceGraduate School of Urban Environmental Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachioujiJapan

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