Iriomote cat

The Iriomote cat is a nationally protected species of cat that only inhabits Iriomote Island in Okinawa’s Yaeyama Islands. There are currently estimated to be 100 of these cats, making them an internationally protected species. They are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) “red list.” Since ancient times, this cat has been referred to as the “yamamaya” or “yamapikarya.” The cats inhabit an area in close proximity to where people live, so traveling by car in Iriomote Island requires caution.