New (mini) Trip Report: Ishigaki and Iriomote Islands, Japan

Here’s a brief report from Vladimir Dinets.


Just got back from Ishigaki and Iriomote (two of the southernmost islands of Japan); spent a night on each. On Iriomote it was raining all the time.

Ishigaki: Ishigaki Cave (24.363074N 124.154283E open 9-18 had a few horseshoe bats Rhinolophus (pusillus) perditus (in non-electrified caves). Sabichi Cave (24.521790N 124.284241E) had those plus two Ryukyu bentwings (Miniopterus fuscus). I found a colony of endemic lesser roundleaf bats (Hipposideros turpis) in a small abandoned mine at 24.375447N 124.156995E in Banna Park. The park also has non-feral Oriental house rats (Rattus rattus tanezumi) and lots of Ryukyu flying foxes (Pteropus dasymallus yayeyamae).

Iriomote: saw Iriomote cat (Prionailurus bengalensis iriomotensis) and Ryukyu boars (Sus scrofa ryukyuana) at the same place. Park at 24.384710N 123.892908E and scan the edges of the open area periodically through the night. Trans-island trail (trailhead at 24.2978035N 123.865142E) is a good place to see all island bats in flight (Rhinolophus perditus imaizumii, Miniopterus fuscus, Hipposideros turpis and Pteropus dasymallus yayeyamae). If you walk beyond the pass at km 7.5, watch for feral cattle.

Vladimir Dinets
Science & Technology Associate, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
Research Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA


  • Vivek Menon

    I remember seeing exactly the same things as Vladimir when I spent three days there a few years ago. I missed only the Ryukyu bentwings. Obviously island species are still predictable

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