Rare butterfly spotted around planned site for US helipad in Takae

Rare butterfly spotted around planned site for US helipad in Takae

Ryukyu uranami janome, a butterfly species considered to be at risk of extinction (Photograph taken by Akino Miyagi)


August 24, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

Ryukyu uranami janome, a butterfly species endemic to Okinawa prefecture and considered to be at risk of extinction, was found on the forest road next to the N1 zone gate to the U.S. military’s Northern Training Area on August 23. The area is a planned site for the construction of new U.S. helipads. Butterfly researcher who spotted the species, Akino Miyagi, pointed out that the forest road known as “N1-back,” where the construction is proceeding in Takae, Higashi village, is also a habitat for the species. She said, “The construction will lead to the destruction of the habitat. This is a dangerous scenario.”

Ryukyu uranami janome can only be found in northern Okinawa Island and Kerama islands. Ten butterflies were found during the survey on August 23.

Researcher Kazunobu Shirai, said, “The presence of the elementary species proves rich diversity.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma) 

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