‘Extremely Poor’ Growth of Beechnuts in Tohoku Region; Nuts Serve as Food for Asiatic Black Bears

The Yomiuri Shimbun

AOMORI — Five prefectures in the Tohoku region have had “extremely poor” growth of beechnuts, which are food for Asiatic black bears, according to the Tohoku Regional Forest Office.

The forest office inspects beech trees in the Tohoku prefectures every year from September to October, and categorizes their production of nuts as “good,” “average,” “poor” or “extremely poor.”

In Aomori Prefecture, the beechnut index registered 0.1, the lowest level since the survey began in 1989.

The forest office found no beechnuts at all in 33 of the 35 locations surveyed in Aomori Prefecture this year, and only a few in the other two locations.

People have been injured by bears in the prefecture, which issued a bear warning on Nov. 3.

Aomori Prefecture urges people to stay away from areas where bears have been spotted. When entering the mountains, people should endeavor to walk in groups of at least two people and make as much noise as possible.