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Pteropus faunulus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus faunulus
Species Authority: Miller, 1902
Common Name(s):
English Nicobar Flying Fox
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon belongs to the subniger species group. Earlier listed under Pteropus hypomelanus Temminck, 1853 (Andersen 1908, Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1951, Hill 1967), it is clearly distinct from hypomelanus in bearing softer and larger pelage and smaller dentition (Bates and Harrison 1997) hence treated as distinct species (Simmons 2005, Srinivasulu et al. in press).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kingston, T., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because its current extent of occurrence of less than 5,000 km² and area of occupancy is probably less than 500 km², with all individuals in six locations, and a continuing decline in the area of occupancy, extent of occurrence, quality of its habitat, number of locations and number of mature individuals. If this species does not move between the six island localities it may be considered to be severely fragmented, and thereby listed as Endangered. However, until further research becomes available into movement patterns the species is retained here in Vulnerable on the presumption that there is some movement of individuals between islands.
History:
2004 Endangered
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Nicobar islands, India (Molur et al. 2002) and is presently known from six islands in the group (Nancowry, Teressa, Comorta, Bompuka, Katchal, Trinkat totaling an area of 580.3 km²) of 14 islands recently surveyed (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003). At present it is not known if the species can move between the six islands in its range, or whether it is highly fragmented (Sanjay Molur pers. comm. 2008) It has been recorded up to an elevation of 200 m asl. The extent of occurrence is approximately 2,500 km² calculated based on the distance between the islands, and the area of occupancy is a maximum of 580 km² and is likely to be considerably less than this.
Countries:
Native:
India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is very rare compared to other Pteropus sp. on these islands (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003). It is probable that the species is now extinct from the type locality of Car Nicobar (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in tropical evergreen forests, roosts in wild arecanut palms and has been reported to feed on fruits of silk cotton (Bombax species) (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003). Unlike many similar species, it generally roosts as solitary animals. The species forages in the sub canopy to avoid interaction with the larger P. melanotus (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this taxon is habitat loss (Molur et al. 2002) due to selective clearing of forests (S.P. Vijaykumar pers. comm. 12 December 2007). This species is hunted on several islands for medicinal purposes, as it is believed to cure asthma (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003). It is occasionally locally kept as pet (Aul and Vijaykumar 2003). Although the tsunami event of December 2004 could have affected the species habitat, this needs further study (S. Molur pers. comm. December 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Although it is rare, this species has not been accorded conservation priority by the local or National Government. It is currently is categorized as vermin and placed under Schedule V of the Indian Wildlife (Protected) Act, 1972 amended 2004. It has been recorded within some protected areas. This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Long term studies on ecology and habitat and population monitoring are urgently required. There is also a distinct need to determine the movement patterns of this species, specifically whether animals can move between the six known island locations. Awareness and lobbying to accord special protection to this endemic species is emphasised.

Citation: Kingston, T., Molur, S. & Srinivasulu, C. 2008. Pteropus faunulus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 August 2014.
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