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Pteropus molossinus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus molossinus
Species Authority: Temminck, 1853
Common Name(s):
English Pohnpei Flying Fox, Caroline Flying Fox, Pohnpei Flying-fox, Pohnpei Fruit Bat
French Renard Volant De Ponape
Synonym(s):
Pteropus breviceps Thomas, 1882

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Buden, D., Wiles, G., Helgen, K., Hamilton, S. & 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 Vulnerable because it is known from only three locations. Populations appear to have increased from the late 1980s and are considered stable. Were commercial hunting for export resumed, or there were a sudden increase in habitat loss, this species would likely qualify as Endangered or Critically Endangered.
History:
1996 Critically Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Federated States of Micronesia where it has been recorded from the islands of Pohnpei, Ant Atoll, and Pakin Atoll. The species has also been recorded from the Mortlock Islands (holotype of the synonym Pteropus breviceps) (Mickleburgh et al. 1992), however, this record is now considered erroneous (D. Buden pers. comm.). Recent surveys of the Mortlocks did not detect its presence (D. Buden pers. comm.).
Countries:
Native:
Micronesia, Federated States of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species was considered to be abundant on Pohnpei and Ant Atoll by Jackson (1962) and a colony of 200 to 300 animals was reported from Sokeh's Rock, Pohnpei in 1981 (Mickleburgh et al. 1992). It has been suggested that significant declines occurred in the 1980s and 1990s (Rainey 1990). However, observations in the late 1990s and continuing to the present suggest the species is again fairly common (G. Wiles and D. Buden pers. comm.). It was described as “fairly common” on Ant Atoll (2 km2) in 1994-1995 (Buden 1996a) and as “uncommon” on Pakin Atoll in 1994, where about 100 bats estimated to be present (Buden 1996b).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species has been recorded in areas of native tropical forest. It feeds upon the fruit of Pandanus and endemic palms (Clinostigma spp.), and flowers of kapok trees (Ceiba pentandra) (Flannery 1995). Females give birth to one young at a time.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species was most significantly threatened by overexploitation for export for the luxury food market in Guam. Wiles (1992) records the export of 15,223 animals from Pohnpei to Guam between 1979 and 1989. International trade in this species was restricted by its listing on CITES Appendix I in 1989. Currently, it may be threatened by habitat loss through conversion of native forest to cultivated land and plantations, especially for kava (Piper methysticum) (Mickleburgh et al. 1992; Merlin and Raynor 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Appendix I of CITES, effectively prohibiting international trade in this species since 1989. Field studies are needed to determine the current status of populations throughout the species range. Important sites for roosting and foraging should be identified and protected. It is found in the Pohnpei Watershed Forest Reserve and Ant Atoll Conservation Area.

Citation: Buden, D., Wiles, G., Helgen, K., Hamilton, S. & Allison, A. 2008. Pteropus molossinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 December 2014.
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