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Future not good for Iriomote wildcats

Date Posted: 2008-08-14

A wildcat found only on Okinawa’s Iriomote Island is facing extinction, and Japan’s Environment Ministry fears there’s little that can be done to bring the animal’s numbers back.
The University of the Ryukyus has been studying the wildcat’s plight for more than three years, concluding that the number of animals remaining on Iriomote Island has fallen to between 100 and 109. It based the figure on photographs of animals at feeding sites during the three-year study that ended last year.
If the numbers are accurate, it reflects an 8% decline in the number of wildcats on the island, compared with numbers calculated during a previous study in 1992-1993. The university has conducted four studies of the Iriomote wildcat habitat since 1974.

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