Okinawa Mammals

Ryukyu inoshishi (Ryuyku wild boar) Sus scrofariukiuanus KurodaRyukyu inoshishi (Ryuyku wild boar) Sus scrofariukiuanus Kuroda
A smaller subspecies of the Japanese wild boar found only on the islands of the Southwest Archipelago. It is rare to catch adults and young together.

There being no large wild animals on Okinawa, the inoshishi, or wild boar, is the closest thing that comes to having a wild beast that still roams the forests and agricultural fields of the prefecture.

Ryukyu InoshishiDuring the pineapple harvest season in northern Okinawa, the Ryukyu inoshishi often show up in the fields to forage for the sweet fruit. Farmers aggravated by the agricultural damage caused by the inoshishi have tried to stop this activity by setting traps and erecting stone fences around their fields. However, they have failed to deter the invasion of the inoshishi. Being very nimble, they quickly run away when people get too close.

The Ryukyu inoshishi has existed on Amami, Okinawa, Miyako, Ishigaki and Iriomote from long ago. Their diet used to consist of various seeds and small animals, but today they have become fond of eating pineapples and sugarcane.

The Higashi Village government in northern Okinawa catches about 100 inoshishi each year, yet farmers still have demanded that more of them be caught. On the other hand, citizens' organizations for the protection of wildlife have pointed out that the cause of the agricultural damage has been due to the diminution of forests, which are the inoshishi's natural habitat. These organizations have made an appeal to preserve more of the green forests for the inoshishi which would in turn decrease crop damage.

Okinawa Iriomote nekoOkinawa Iriomote neko IRIOMOTE CAT (ENDANGERED) The Iriomote cat, which belongs to the same family as the Bengal cat and Tsushima leopard cat, was discovered in 1965 and is indigenous only to Iriomote Island.

The Iriomote cat mainly lives in swamps and wetlands but is also active in mangroves and rice paddies. The diet of the Iriomote cat changes according to the season, and consists primarily of lizards, birds, and insects. Since only 100 individual cats remain, it is considered a very endangered animal.

RYUKYU LONGHAIRED RATRYUKYU LONGHAIRED RAT The Ryukyu longhaired rat is the largest rodent in Japan, and has a body length of approximately 25 cm, Its overall length is 50 to 60 cm with its tail included. This rodent, which has sharp claws and 5 cm-long fur on its back, lives mainly in the treetops deep in the forest. Because it is a nocturnal animal, the Ryukyu longhaired rat hides in its nest in tree trunks during the day and becomes active at night feeding on leaves and nuts. It is considered one of the most endangered animals in Okinawa.

Kenaga-nezumi (Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat), Diplothrix legatus Kenaga-nezumi (Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat), Diplothrix legatus (National Protected Species)
The largest wild mouse found in Japan. It is distinguished from other mice species by the long hair on its back and its extra long tail, which is deep black toward the root becoming white toward the tip. This is a rare mouse found in the whole world only on Amami, Tokuno-shima and Okinawa Islands.

Okinawa toge-nezumi (Tokudaia osimensis muenninki)Okinawa toge-nezumi, Tokudaia osimensis muenninki (National Protected Species) also known as Ryukyu Spiny Rat
A mouse of the rodent order, mouse family with spiky or spiny fur. Unlike other mice, it moves in springy leaps when surprised. It is a nocturnal animal dwelling in chinquapin forests. It sticks close to its local territory and is rarely seen.