The Iriomote Wildlife Center on Iriomote Island in Okinawa is an interesting introduction to the amazing flora and fauna found on Japan's most natural island.
Up to 80% of Iriomote is virgin sub-tropical forest, coral reefs and mangrove swamps and this free museum, set up in 1995 by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, does a good job of introducing the many wild animals, birds and plants that exist on the island.
The Iriomote Wildlife Center (IWC) conducts research on such endangered species as the Iriomote Cat, (found only on Iriomote), and collects data on other species. The IWC has wall panels detailing Iriomote's bird life, special features including audio-visuals on the Iriomote cat and stuffed specimens that have been hit and killed by vehicles, a bird's eye view of Iriomote (see image below), information on the Cane Toad, an invasive species on the island and a monitor of the outside traps set up by the IWC.
The Iriomote Wildlife Center is a short drive from the southern port town of Ohara, see the sign on your left as you drive north towards Funaura.
Iriomote Wildlife Center
Tel: 0980 85 5581
Hours: 10am-4pm; closed Mondays
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