Symposium to mark 50th anniversary of discovery of Iriomote wild cat
June 29, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo
Iriomote wild cats, classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, can only be found on Iriomote Island in Taketomi Town. On the afternoon of June 28, a symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of its discovery was held at Ishigaki Citizen Hall. Professor of the University of the Ryukyus, Masako Izawa, delivered a keynote lecture on the issue of the protection of the Iriomote rare species. Event participants discussed its conservation.
In her speech, Izawa said, “Traffic accidents hinder the protection of the animal.” She stressed the importance of increasing awareness among drivers. Izawa further pointed out that an increasing number of tourists are venturing into the mountains, which could negatively impact on the animal. She said; “Tourism is an issue when we think about the protection of Iriomote wild cats. We need to come up with protection polices.”
In the discussion, representatives of animal protection groups and local residents exchanged opinions on how to coexist with Iriomote wild cats.
(English translation by T&CT)
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