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Wildlife of Oshima Island

Ring-Tailed Lemurs

Oshima’s zoo, which is part of Tokyo Metropolitan Oshima Park, features the largest primate enclosure in Japan. The enclosure is centered around a hill composed of volcanic rock, which has been preserved in its natural state. The hill is home to ring-tailed lemurs, a species endemic to the island of Madagascar. In their country of origin, they inhabit various environments such as riverside forests, dry forests, savanna, and rocky places. Ring-tailed lemurs spend more time on the ground than other lemurs and live in groups of up to around 30. The females are dominant in the group. The breeding season runs from April to May, with each mating pair producing one or two offspring.

Ring-Tailed Lemurs

Barbary Sheep

The ring-tailed lemur and Barbary sheep enclosure, which is made of volcanic rock, is approximately 300 meters (985 feet) in circumference, making it the largest enclosure of its kind in Japan. Its size allows you to observe the animals from various directions. Barbary sheep appear to be a mix of sheep and goats with their short chestnut brown or yellowish brown hair from the neck to the shoulders and a sparse mane. Long, soft hair grows on the throat, chest, and the upper part of the forelegs. In the wild, they inhabit harsh environments, such as rocky, steep cliffs, desert habitats, and dry forests.

Barbary Sheep

Japanese Weasels

The weasels on the southern Izu Islands were introduced to the islands from within Japan to exterminate rats, but the Japanese weasels on Izu Oshima are a species indigenous to Japan. The males grow larger than the females. When they are attacked by enemies or surprised, they spray a bad-smelling liquid from scent glands on each side of the anus. Their annual breeding season is in and around the spring. There are one to eight offspring (an average of four or five pups) per litter. The pups are raised by the mother.

Japanese Weasels

Japanese Wood Pigeons

The aviary at the Oshima Park Zoo boasts some of the most spacious dimensions in Japan with a unique topography that includes ponds, wetlands, and hilly terrain all created over a spacious area. Fifteen species of birds, such as Japanese wood pigeons, flocks of flamingos, ducks, mandarin ducks, and peacocks, inhabit the aviary. The Japanese wood pigeon has been designated a Japanese natural treasure and produces only one egg from each breeding. Wild Japanese wood pigeons also inhabit Izu Oshima. Listen for the sustained cooing of their birdsong, and you just might catch a glimpse of one.

Japanese Wood Pigeons

Green Turtle

Green turtles can be seen with high probability In the area of Oshima’s popular spot, Keikai, with a water depth of 10 to 20 meters (32 to 65 feet). The green turtles is 80 to 100 cm( 31 to 39 inches) long, the weighs from 70 to 230 kg ( 154 to 507 pounds). It is a herbivore that lives by eating seaweed, unlike other turtles. The tide flows through a complex terrain that is reminiscent of the foothills of a mountain range. This allows visitors to see several turtles at once, especially during the winter and spring. Keikai is a recommended spot for turtle lovers.

Greea Turtles

Migratory Fish

Izu Oshima is surrounded by glittering blue ocean waters. It is in the path of the Kuroshio Current, which carries a variety of fish and attracts people fishing for the red sea bream, striped beakfish, white trevally, threeline grunt, greenfish, and marbled rockfish that inhabit the area. Look into the water and you will find many fish swimming freely. This is the fascination of Izu Oshima for people who really know to catch those kinds of fish. If you drop your hook into the water, you can almost certainly catch a fish. Even beginners and families can enjoy fishing on the island.

Migratory Fish

Sakurakkabu (Large Cherry Tree)

Sakurakkabu, is a huge Oshima cherry tree, estimated to be at least 800 years old, and has survived repeated volcanic eruptions on Izu Oshima. It was originally one huge tree, but the upper part of the height from two meters withered. However, the fallen thick branch survives, and after that collapsed branches to the ground and new shoots sprouted from the ground to revive the tree with new trunks. This cherry tree is in full bloom every spring, and through the appearance that still stands even though its branches were broken, you may feel the indomitable vital power in this tree. It has been designated a Japanese natural treasure.


Oshima Zakura (Oshima Cherry Trees)

The Oshima zakura is one of the original species of cherry tree, and is an indigenous species representative of Izu Oshima. Oshima zakura grow throughout the island and are estimated to number 1.8 million. As the island trees start showing their new leaves at the beginning of April, visitors will behold astonishing scenery, as if the mountains were draped in white robes. Sakurakkabu (the large cherry tree), located in the mountains in Izumitsu in the northeastern area of the island, is estimated to be 800 years old. The more commonly known Yoshino cherry trees are said to come from the crossbreeding of a Higan cherry tree and an Oshima zakura tree.

Oshima Zakura

Yabu Tsubaki (Camellias)

The most famous plant on Izu Oshima is the yabu tsubaki (camellia). Originally, camellias grew wild on the island. However, many were planted as windbreaks because the soil contains abundant volcanic ash, is well drained, and is frequently carried on the strong winds that blow across Izu Oshima. Another reason for planting the bush is to produce the raw material needed to make camellia oil. Currently, about 3 million camellia plants grow throughout Izu Oshima.

Yabu Tsubaki

Oshima Tsutsuji (Oshima Azaleas)

The Oshima azaleas planted in gardens and parks are a subspecies. The flowering heads and the corolla are bigger than the torch azaleas that grow wild on the Japanese mainland. These flowers, which bloom everywhere on Oshima Island from the middle of April to the end of May, are marked by their vivid color. The azalea garden at the Oshima Onsen Hotel is brilliant and beautiful, and definitely worth a visit.

shima Tsutsuji


このページの担当は自然環境部 緑環境課 自然公園計画担当です。

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