Wildlife Centers

Iriomote Wildlife Center

Learn about the endangered Iriomote wildcat and Iriomotejima's biodiversity

The subtropical island of Iriomotejima is home to a variety of rare, endangered, and endemic species. The Iriomote Wildlife Center leads conservation efforts and promotes awareness of the biodiversity of these islands.

The Iriomote wildcat is a critically endangered subspecies of leopard cat found exclusively on Iriomotejima Island. A distinguishing characteristic of the Iriomote wildcat is that it feeds on a range of non-mammalian prey. It inhabits the lowland forests of Iriomotejima Island, which provide the cat with an ample diet of lizards, frogs, prawns, and insects. Despite intense conservation efforts, approximately 100 Iriomote wildcats remain in the wild. Threats include human encroachment, road accidents, and domestic cats. The center monitors the Iriomote wildcat population through video and reported sightings, and publishes a monthly traffic accident hot-spot map for drivers.

Along with the Iriomote wildcat, the crested serpent eagle, the endangered yellow-margined box turtle, and the atlas moth—Japan’s largest moth species—are unique species that reside on the islands. You can find the atlas moth throughout the villages and mountains of Iriomotejima. Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park's islands are important breeding grounds for the crested serpent eagle and yellow-margined box turtle. The turtles are sometimes removed from their habitat and taken as pets, becoming a domestic-origin invasive species elsewhere in Japan.

Learn about these and other species through specimen displays, books, videos, and lectures given at the center. You can also learn about the geography and geological history of Iriomote through a 3D topographical map of the island. Some exhibits have English explanations.

As the leading force for conservation in the islands, the Iriomote Wildlife Center rescues any rare or endangered animal, regardless of injury or disease. Discover what individuals can do to protect these unique species during your visit.

wildlife   visitor center  
Open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays, national holidays (excluding May 5 and November 3), June 23, December 29 to January 3
Admission Free
Address Komi, Taketomi Town, Yaeyama County, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone (+81) 0980-85-5581
Website https://iwcc.jp/english/ (EN)

Other Things to See and Do in Iriomote-Ishigaki National Park