The gorgeous Iriomote cat resides solely on Iriomote Island in Japan, positioned almost 2 hundred kilometers off the coast of Taiwan. It has lived for millennia on this small island (lower than 300 sq. kilometers) and has advanced to adapt to the habitat and setting of this specific place. As a consequence of similarities in look, the Iriomote cat was for a while thought-about a subspecies of the leopard cat. Latest proof, nevertheless, has indicated that the Iriomote cat break up off from the leopard cat in evolution a number of million years in the past. A small wildcat, the Iriomote cat weighs about twelve kilos and is about one-half to 2 toes lengthy (excluding tail). Males are barely bigger.
The fur is brownish with plenty of darkish brown spots that merge to type stripes that run the size of the physique. The legs are brief in comparison with physique measurement and the tail is bushy. The toes are barely webbed and the claws lack a full sheath, aiding the cat in its aquatic pursuits of prey. The ears are brief and rounded, indicating that the Iriomote cat primarily makes use of sight in its actions and looking.
Quite a lot of prey is taken by the Iriomote cat. Its small measurement permits it to maneuver rapidly by way of the undergrowth and efficiently hunt small mammals, birds, bugs and fish. It’s a solitary and territorial feline that often marks its territory (bigger in males) and is basically nocturnal, significantly in summer season. Mating season happens twice a yr, and being pregnant lasts two months, after which a litter of 1 to 4 kittens is born.
Prionailurus Iriomotensis, the Iriomote cat is critically endangered. Lower than 100 stay within the wild. Furthermore, they appear to breed with feral cats, which results in a dilution of their genetic heritage. Regardless of preserving their territory on the island, the cats often stray from the reserve space and are sometimes chased away by people.