Tourists, development threatening rare wildcat

Tourists, development threatening rare wildcat

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Here’s a story by Norimitsu Onishi in the New York Times that proves development of any size can have wide-reaching consequences.

An increase in residents and an influx of tourists is changing the untamed landscape of Japan’s hard-to-reach Iriomote Island. It’s also affecting the endangered Iriomote wildcat, an animal so rare that many of the 2,325 island residents have never seen it.

In fact, some residents claim that the wildcat does not exist, but that is not stopping the island from doing its best to protect the mystical creature: digging underpasses, renovating existing roads and plastering the island with signs that read “there are mountain cats ahead — watch out!!”

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