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Ryukyu Islands
Okinawan language:
Ruuchuu (琉球ルーチュー)
Japanese language:
Nansei-shotō (南西諸島, Southwest Islands)
Ryūkyū-shotō (琉球諸島, Ryukyu Islands)[1]
Location of the Ryukyu Islands in JapanThe Yonaguni Monument, a rock formation along the south coast of Yonaguni Island

The south of Watase's Line is recognized by ecologists as a distinct subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion. The flora and fauna of the islands have much in common with Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, and are part of the Indomalayan realm.

The coral reefs are among the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 ecoregions. The reefs are endangered by sedimentation and eutrophication, which result from agriculture as well as fishing.

Mammals endemic to the islands include Amami Rabbit, Ryukyu flying fox, Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat, Ryukyu shrew and perhaps Iriomote cat.

Birds found in the Ryukyus include the Amami woodcock, the Izu thrush, the subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion. The flora and fauna of the islands have much in common with Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia, and are part of the Indomalayan realm.

The coral reefs are among the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 ecoregions. The reefs are endangered by sedimentation and eutrophication, which result from agriculture as well as fishing.

Mammals endemic to the islands include Amami Rabbit, Ryukyu flying fox, Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat, Ryukyu shrew and perhaps Iriomote cat.

Birds found in the Ryukyus include the Amami woodcock, the Izu thrush, the Japanese paradise flycatcher, the narcissus flycatcher, the The coral reefs are among the World Wildlife Fund's Global 200 ecoregions. The reefs are endangered by sedimentation and eutrophication, which result from agriculture as well as fishing.

Mammals endemic to the islands include Amami Rabbit, Ryukyu flying fox, Ryukyu long-tailed giant rat, Ryukyu shrew and perhaps Iriomote cat.

Birds found in the Ryukyus include the Amami woodcock, the Izu thrush, the Japanese paradise flycatcher, the narcissus flycatcher, the Okinawa rail (yanbaru kuina), the Lidth's Jay, the Ryukyu kingfisher, the Ryukyu minivet, the Ryukyu robin, the Ryūkyū scops owl, the extinct Ryukyu wood pigeon, Amami woodpecker and the Okinawa woodpecker.

Approximately one half of the amphibian species of the islands are endemic. Endemic amphibians include the sword-tail newt, Hyla hallowellii, Holst's frog, Otton frog, Ishikawa's frog, the Ryukyu tip-nosed frog, and Namiye's frog. Other rare amphibians include Anderson's crocodile newt and the Kampira Falls frog.[47]

Various venomous species of viper known locally as habu also inhabit the Ryukyus, including Protobothrops elegans, Protobothrops flavoviridis, Protobothrops tokarensis, and Ovophis okinavensis. Other snakes native to the Ryukyus are Achalinus werneri, Achalinus formosanus, Elaphe carinata, Elaphe taeniura, Cyclophiops semicarinatus, Cyclophiops herminae, Dinodon semicarinatum, Lycodon rufozonatus, Calamaria pfefferri, Amphiesma pryeri, Calliophis japonicus, Laticauda semifasciata, and Hydrophis ornatus.

Lizards native to the islands include Kishinoue's giant skink, Kuroiwa's ground gecko, Japalura polygonata, Plestiodon stimpsonii, Plestiodon marginatus, Scincella boettgeri, Scincella vandenburghi, Ateuchosaurus pellopleurus, Cryptoblepharus boutonii nigropunctatus, Apeltonotus dorsalis, and Takydromus toyamai.

Subspecies of the Chinese box turtle and the yellow pond turtle are native to the islands, as is the Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle.