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Pteropus ualanus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus ualanus
Species Authority: Peters, 1883
Common Name/s:
English Kosrae Flying Fox, Ualan Fruit Bat
Taxonomic Notes: Pteropus ualanus is considered to be a subspecies of Pteropus mariannus by some authors (e.g., Mickleburgh et al. 1992, Wiles 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Wiles, G., Helgen, K. & Allison, A.
Reviewer/s: Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team), Racey, P.A., Medellín, R. & Hutson, A.M. (Chiroptera Red List Authority)
Justification:
This species is listed as Vulnerable because it is known from only a single location in terms of its vulnerability to a single catastrophic event (i.e., typhoon), but it is otherwise it is thought to be stable. Were commercial hunting for export resumed, a typhoon to strike, or a sudden increase in habitat loss this species would likely qualify as Endangered or Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This poorly-known species is restricted to Kosrae Island in the Federated States of Micronesia. A specimen in the Berlin Museum collected on Pohnpei in the 1800s is undoubtedly mislabeled (G. Wiles pers. comm.).
Countries:
Native:
Micronesia, Federated States of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations of this species significantly declined through disease in 1927. A few colonies of 100 to 400 bats were reported in 1983, and the species was still uncommon in 1989 (Mickleburgh et al. 1992). Current abundance is not known. Although there is little information on the overall population size and trends, there are at least two good fruit bat roosts in Kosrae and the species is probably stable: one at the opening of the Utwe-Walung channel on the south side of the island, and another on a mangrove island in Lelu, which is in a much more developed area (K. Ewel pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The natural history of this species is not well known. Mickleburgh et al. (1992) suggest that it is similar to Pteropus mariannus in that it forms congregations in native forest and mangrove habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species declined rapidly in 1927 through a disease epidemic. It appears to have been exported from Kosrae to Guam in the 1980s in significant numbers for the luxury food market. Mickleburgh et al. (1992) states that government officials in Kosrae reported this trade, although officials in Guam did not have documentation concerning imports from Kosrae. The species is not locally hunted for food. The species is threatened by typhoon events, which are rare on Kosrae. A vegetation map of Kosrae was published in the 1980s and there has not been a great deal of change since then (K. Ewel pers. comm.). Much of the interior of the island is occupied by mountainous terrain with scrubby vegetation, while the forest on the coastal plain is freshwater swamp dominated by Terminalia carolinensis and used for agroforestry (K. Ewel pers. comm.). Mangrove forests occupy about 15% of the total land area of the island (K. Ewel pers. comm.). Mangrove habitat loss is due to filling from the interior for building sites, and harvesting for firewood, which can be extensive in some places (K. Ewel pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is not believed to be present in any protected areas (Mickleburgh et al. 1992). There is a need to clarify the taxonomy of this species, and conduct further research on current population size and threats.
Citation: Wiles, G., Helgen, K. & Allison, A. 2008. Pteropus ualanus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 18 April 2014.
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