Miyakojima, Japan

Miyakojima is the least interesting of larger Ryukyu Islands (all but one native mammals are extinct), but I checked it out it anyway.
The only remaining forest on the island is Ono Forest, with a trail network radiating from 24.804706 N 125.315014 E. The Southern Ryukyus subspecies of Ryukyu flying fox is extremely common there, as is Oriental house rat. I also saw one house shrew.
Elsewhere, found a Japanese weasel in Shimajiri Mangroves (24.877879N 125.288292E), and one flying fox in Ihema Wetland (24.935413N 125.242212E). Polynesian rats have been collected on Miyako in the 1950s, but I didn’t see any. Hihashi Henna lighthouse (24.722569N 125.468869) is good for seawatches: the guy at the ticket office said he sees dolphins a few times a year, but I don’t know what species.


  • brugiere dominique

    This island is nevertheless interesting. It is a good spot for birdwatchers and the best place to see a guaranteed Japanese Weasel (unfortunately introduced, but so beautifull).

    • Vladimir Dinets

      I’m not sure it’s guaranteed. I saw only one in 24 hours. Introduced populations of Japanese weasel in all central and southern Ryukyu Islands have declined, probably because the climate is getting too hot for them (but there are other possible explanations). And birding is much better on Ishigaki and Iriomote, which also have endemic microbats and an endemic cat subspecies. That said, Miyako is an excellent place to see non-feral Oriental house rat, and I did photograph one bird never recorded in Japan before (Chinese crested tern, it’s all over Japanese news now).

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