Exploring Iejima (Ie Island) Okinawa, Japan

Every year I take a trip to IeJima.  Ie island is a thirty minute ferry ride from Motobu port. The small beautiful Island is famous for the Wajii lookout point, The Lilly festival and Mt Gusuku. The main crops are sugarcane, peanuts and tobacco.  The island does have venomous snakes (Habu), so be careful when exploring at night.

The beautiful Wajii lookout point is my favorite viewpoint on the north side of the Island.

Wajii lookout point

Wajii lookout point

Ie Island offers some of the best diving in the world – Beautiful blues!

Wajii- on top of the world

Wajii- on top of the world

Conditions can change quickly at this location, check the weather forecast and sea conditions before diving.

Entry point to Wajii

Entry point to Wajii -GoPo hero 4

Every year photograph the large Porites coral formation. This year I used the GoPro Hero4.

Massive Porites lutea coral

Massive Porites lutea coral -GoPr0 hero 4

The top view massive Porites lutea coral.

Massive Porites lutea coral

Massive Porites coral – GoPro hero 4

Some of the most beautiful Acropora corals can be found in shallow water.

Coral closup

Coral -macro photography

The lily festival takes place every year in late April. If you like flowers this is the place to go.

Lily festival Ie Island

Lily festival -Ie Island

One of the best views is on top of Mt Gusuku. I was lucky to find a large stag beetle (Dorcus titanus okinawanus) in the parking lot two years in a row.

Mt Gusuku -wide angle macro

The Kuroiwas ground gecko ( Goniurosaurus kuroiwae orientalis) Is and endangered species found on the Island. Pay attention to crossing wildlife !

Kuroiwa's ground gecko

Kuroiwa’s ground gecko

Have a great day!

Kuroiwa’s Ground Gecko, Endangered species!

Featured

Kuroiwa’s Ground Gecko is a beautiful lizard found throughout the Ryukyu Islands. It is currently listed endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species.  This lizard is decreasing in numbers due to poaching, deforestation, and the threat of feral cats. The lizard is high valued in the illegal pet trade market and needs to protected. This is one of my favorite reptiles to photograph on my night adventures in Okinawa.

  • Scientific name: Goniurosaurus kuroiwae
  • Distribution:  Okinawa Islands
  • Habitat:  Leaf littered forests 
  • Diet:  Worms and insects
  • Average Size:  110mm -130mm
Featured- Wildlife As Canon Sees.  National Geographic October 2017

Shawn Miller Featured- Wildlife As Canon Sees. National Geographic October 2017

Kuroiwa's Ground Gecko

Kuroiwa’s Ground Gecko

This is the first ground gecko I photographed in 2010. I found it under a piece of carpet in Onna Village. Illegal dumping is a huge problem in Okinawa.

1st Ground Gecko

1st Ground Gecko

In the daytime they live in caves, crevices and holes in the ground

Kuroiwa's Ground Gecko

Kuroiwa’s Ground Gecko

They come out to feed at night.  

Kuroiwa's Ground Gecko

Kuroiwa’s Ground Gecko

When they feel threatened they will stand up on all fours and try to intimate you with a stare down.

Kuroiwa's Ground Gecko

Kuroiwa’s Ground Gecko

They have some strange looking feet -

 Ryukyu Ground gecko

Ryukyu Ground gecko

When I approached this ground gecko it stayed in place. I found three Mosquitoes sucking the blood right out of it. the first time I observed mosquitoes on a lizard.

Blood suckers

Blood suckers

 

Photographed on white for the Meet your neighbours global biodiversity project. All images are used for conservation awareness and educational purposes.

Kuroiwa's Ground Gecko -MYN

Goniurosaurus kuroiwae orientalis – Ie Island

A wide angle macro perspective .

Ground gecko -WAM

Ground gecko -Wide angle macro

Pay attention to crossing wildlife!

Kuroiwa's ground gecko -endangered

Kuroiwa’s ground gecko -endangered

Kuroiwa's ground gecko

Kuroiwa’s ground gecko top view

 

Let’s protect the beautiful animals of Okinawa!

Have a great day!