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Pteropus howensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus howensis
Species Authority: Troughton, 1931
Common Name(s):
English Ontong Java Flying Fox
Spanish Zorro Volador de Lord Howe
Taxonomic Notes: Pteropus howensis might be conspecific with P. admiralitatum, and this needs further study. It is treated provisionally here as a separate species following Simmons (2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): 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:
Listed as Data Deficient because there is a large degree of uncertainty about the taxonomic validity of the species. It has not been collected since 1945. The atoll itself is likely to be subsumed by rising sea levels. Should the taxonomic questions be resolved, and the species considered valid, then it would certainly qualify for a threatened category (VU D2, at the very least given the small range size and susceptibility to a single stochastic event).
History:
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the Ontong Java Atoll in the Solomon Islands (Flannery 1995). Ontong Java Atoll consists of some 50 tiny vegetated islands present around the atoll ring 50 km to the south of Nukumanu (Papua New Guinea) and 250 km north of Santa Isabel Solomon Islands. There are unconfirmed reports of occurrence of Pteropus on Nukumanu. If present, P. howensis likely moves throughout these Java Ontong islands and possibly also to Nukumanu. Nukumanu can be reached periodically by cargo ship from Buka but not by air, once your there you could be waiting months for the next ship to get back to Buka (S. Hamilton pers. comm.).
Countries:
Native:
Solomon Islands
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population status of this species is unknown; it was last collected in 1945, so there are no recent data.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: There is very little information available on the natural history of this species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is listed on Appendix II on CITES, but nothing is known about the use or trade of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Most of the land surface of Ontong Java Atoll has been converted to coconut production (Flannery 1995), but this may not be a threat. Due to its highly restricted range, it is vulnerable to stochastic events (especially cyclones). The atoll itself is also likely to be subsumed by rising sea levels.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. It is not known if this species is present in any protected areas. Further studies are needed into the distribution, ecology, and threats to this species.

Citation: Helgen, K. & Allison, A. 2008. Pteropus howensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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