Pteropus aruensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Pteropus aruensis Peters, 1867
Common Name(s):
English Aru Flying Fox
Taxonomic Notes: Often listed as a subspecies of melanopogon following Laurie and Hill (1954). Bergmans (2001) argued that aruensis should be considered distinct pending additional review of this complex. According to K. Helgen (pers. comm.) P. aruensis and P. keyensis are conspecific, but we retain P. aruensis here as a separate species pending resolution of this taxonomic confusion.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-18
Assessor(s): Tsang, S.M.
Reviewer(s): Mildenstein, T.
Contributor(s): Helgen, K.
Listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct), as it has not been recorded since the nineteenth century despite some surveys within its range, and it is quite a colourful and large bat. It may have been the target of hunting and may now be possibly extinct. There is one unconfirmed record of a bone from this species from 1992.
Date last seen: 1992
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is apparently restricted to the Aru Islands, Indonesia (Simmons 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species has not been collected since the nineteenth century. The complete absence of twentieth-century records for P. aruensis is concerning, and expeditions to the Aru Islands sponsored by the Western Australian Museum in the early 1990s did not encounter it. However, a single toothless jaw from a kitchen midden collected by P.A. Woolley at Namara on the island of Kobroor in October/November 1992 probably represents this species (field number NA/36, unregistered lot at CSIRO) (K. Helgen pers. comm.). It is a very large and colourful bat and so hence it is potentially a target of concerted hunting. It could possibly be extinct.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1-49
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:There is little information available about the ecology of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The threats to this species are not known. This species is a potential target for hunting, and this may have resulted in the species' decline, but this has not been confirmed. Large-scale sugarcane plantation development on the Aru Islands threatens 92% of the primary tropical forest, which could be a devastating loss of habitat for this species (Obidzinski et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place for this species. A proposed protected area (Pulau Kobroor) is within the general area where the species was found. Further studies are needed into the taxonomy, distribution, abundance, ecology, and threats of this species.
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Tsang, S.M. 2016. Pteropus aruensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T136504A21974958. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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