Tsurigasaki Beach will host surfing's debut in the Olympic Games ©Getty Images

For the past two years – as confirmed by an 80-page update to the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s pre-Games report on sustainability – "endangered sea turtle nesting" was detected at Tsurigasaki Beach, where the sport of surfing is set to make its Olympic debut on Sunday (July 25).

This year, however, Tokyo 2020 told insidethegames, there have been "no reports" of sea turtles laying eggs on the surfing beach.

Said Tokyo 2020: "We have been in the process of cleaning the beach in cooperation with local governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other relevant organisations.

"If any sea turtle eggs are found to have been laid at the beach before the Games period, an enclosure will be set up to protect the nesting area in cooperation with the same authorities as above."

According to the sustainability report, in June 2020 nesting at the beach was confirmed, prompting a "local NGO" to set up protection measures around the nesting site.

Three months later, it was confirmed that "the majority of the turtles hatched and reached the ocean".

According to the report, "if nesting occurs during the Games, Tokyo 2020 will continue to work with local governments and NGOs to take appropriate actions to protect the eggs whilst ensuring the competition continues smoothly".

The Committee finds "having such precious animals breeding on event grounds to be highly symbolic as we strive to coexist with nature".

Not all species can expect such a solicitous welcome in and around the Japanese capital.

Brazilian Italo Ferreira is one of the favourites to win gold in men's surfing when it debuts at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Brazilian Italo Ferreira is one of the favourites to win gold in men's surfing when it debuts at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

The Organising Committee has been involved in a search for fire ants, a designated invasive alien species in Japan, around Tokyo Bay Zone venues.

This was after what the sustainability report describes as a "large number of queen fire ants" were discovered at Aomi container terminal, one of the Port of Tokyo’s primary such facilities, in autumn 2019.

The report said no fire ants were discovered in the subsequent search.

Another designated invasive alien species, the redback spider, described by Wikipedia as "highly venomous" and "also known as the Australian black widow", is said to have been discovered at a Tokyo Bay zone venue since 2019.

Asked about this, Tokyo 2020 responded: "The redback spider was first discovered in Japan in 1995.

"Since then, its presence has been confirmed in 44 prefectures across Japan, including in the coastal areas of Tokyo Metropolis.

"Its presence has also been confirmed at a Tokyo 2020 Bay Zone venue.

"Per standard protocols, individuals that are found are exterminated and staff are notified.

"The spider’s presence has not had any impact on humans so far."