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Pteropus aldabrensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus aldabrensis
Species Authority: True, 1893
Common Name(s):
English Aldabra Flying-fox, Aldabra Flying Fox
Spanish Zorro Volador De Aldabra
Synonym(s):
Pteropus seychellensis subspecies aldabrensis True, 1893
Pteropus seychellensis True, 1893 subspecies aldabrensis
Taxonomic Notes: Bergmans (1990) has shown that this taxon differs more strongly from Pteropus seychellensis than formerly assumed. We follow Simmons (2005) in recognising P. aldabrensis as a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Bergmans, W., Howell, K. & Gerlach, J.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because it is known from only a single location (the Aldabra Atoll), and it is plausible that this restricted range species could be threatened by tropical cyclones, similar stochastic events or a rising sea level.
History:
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Aldabra Atoll (approximately 150 km²) in the Seychelles. Bats have been recorded from all main islands and have been observed flying between islands of the atoll (Hutson 2004; von Brandis 2004).
Countries:
Native:
Seychelles (Aldabra)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is reported to consist of only a few hundred animals (Cheke and Dahl 1981; Carrol 1985). Hutson (2004) notes that no major colonies were located in 1968, with the largest roosting group on the small lagoon islet of Iles Michel that was probably well under 100 animals. Hutson (2004) suggests that the total population was fewer than 250 animals in 1968, although he considered that the majority of the population may be present on the relatively little explored Middle Island (= Malabar Island) 26 km² in size. von Brandis (2004) reports that large groups of these bats have been recorded in Casuarina trees, with the largest group of more than 100 animals reported at the eastern end of Middle Island (=Malabar Island) in 1995. Conrad Savy (pers. comm. 2008) indicates that the bats were commonly seen in good numbers during 2001. Additional surveys are needed to count and monitor the current population of this restricted range species.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Groups of these bats have been recorded from dry scrub in the south of the island and dry woodland in the north of the island. Populations have been recorded roosting in Casuarina trees, mangrove stands, coconut and coco plantations (Hutson 2004; von Brandis 2004). Much of the habitat on South Island, that comprises roughly two thirds of Aldabra, is unsuitable for roosting although they can forage in some parts of this island where there is suitable shrubland (Tony Hutson pers. comm. 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The population is probably stable with no declines reported, however, because of the restricted nature of the species range it is considered to be especially vulnerable to threats such as tropical cyclones and rises in sea level (60% of the atoll is at or below 1 m asl.) (Mikleburgh et al. 1991; Hutson 2004; Justin Gerlach pers. comm. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Although the species is not directly protected (Tony Hutson pers. comm. 2008), the Aldabra Atoll is a highly protected UNESCO World Heritage site and a Special Reserve under the Seychelles National Parks and Nature Conservancy Act (Mickleburgh et al. 1991; Hutson 2004). There is a distinct need for additional research into the total population number of this restricted range species and to monitor any changes in abundance (Hutson 2004).
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Bergmans, W., Howell, K. & Gerlach, J. 2008. Pteropus aldabrensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 September 2014.
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