Iriomote and Tsushima Cats, Japan’s Critically Endangered Species


Iriomote and Tsushima cats are subspecies of Leopard Cats. The breeds are solely discovered on two Japanese islands, which occur to be named after them. Since their inhabitants is crucial, their survival and well-being are prime priorities for the Ministry of the Setting (MOE) in Japan.

Bodily descriptions of Iriomote and Tsushima Cats

Japan’s endangered wild cat species could also be mistaken for home cats from afar however they’ve distinctive options. As per Hakai Journal, Iriomotes seem like “a big, grey tabby” however have rounder ears. In addition they have spots as an alternative of stripes and solely exist on Iriomote Island.

Contrastingly, Tsushima cats are the identical measurement as home cats. Regardless of that, they’ve stripes in the course of the foreheads, together with “rounded ears” and “white spots” on the again.

Whereas the felines are contained to their respective islands, they face numerous threats. These embody deforestation, canal building, and roadkill accidents. Furthermore, for the reason that present inhabitants is comparatively small, the shortage of preventive measures would end in them being worn out simply.

How island conservation helps subspecies

As per Mongabay, the Iriomote and Tsushima cats’ survival is a prime precedence. Japan’s Ministry of Setting has taken a number of measures to make sure their survival. The 2 feline species have roughly “100 people” and are listed as “critically endangered” on Japan’s Purple Record of Endangered Species.

Along with the aforementioned threats, “habitat degradation” and “fragmentation” additional affect the Tsushima cat. MOE has initiated a number of packages to forestall these animals from going extinct. These embody intensive knowledge assortment efforts, in addition to educating each locals and vacationers. Critically, the initiatives additionally concentrate on rehabilitating injured felines.

On Iriomote Island, the native authorities removed stray cats who can carry illnesses corresponding to FIV. In accordance with MOE’s web site, in 2007, a number of zoos efficiently bred Tsushima cats to be launched into the wild. Nonetheless, as per Mongabay, the felines are but to be launched.

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