Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park is home to Japan's largest mangrove forest as well as the largest community of blue coral in the Northern Hemisphere. The islands of the park feature coastal forests with vegetation such as beach hibiscus, screw pine and the endemic Yaeyama palm tree.

These environments attract a fascinating array of creatures, which include crested serpent eagles, yellow-margined box turtles and reef manta rays. There are also species that live only on the park's islands, such as the Iriomote wildcat. Kishinoue's giant skink, meanwhile, is only found on the park's Yaeyama Islands, and Yonaguni Island, which is outside the park.


Mangrove Forest

Mangrove forests arise in areas where seawater and freshwater mix, and are unique to subtropical climates. The mangrove forests in Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park are primarily combinations of black mangrove and loop-root mangrove. The Nakama River on Iriomotejima island has the largest mangrove forest in Japan.

Mangrove forest


Reef Manta Ray

Reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) is one of the world's largest ray species. The reef manta ray swims in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide and is often spotted in the waters around the Yaeyama Islands, notably "Manta Scramble" in Kabira Bay.

Reef manta ray

Iriomote cat

The Iriomote cat (Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis) was discovered in 1965. It is a subspecies of the leopard cat that lives exclusively on Iriomote Island. There are only about 100 remaining Iriomote cats on the island, making this creature a critically endangered species.

Iriomote cat

More Plants & Animals