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Pteropus rayneri

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus rayneri
Species Authority: Gray, 1870
Common Name(s):
English Solomons Flying Fox, Solomons Flying-fox
Spanish Zorro Volador De Las Salomón
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomy of Pteropus rayneri in relation to P. cognatus and P. rennelli is in need of review.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Hamilton, S. & Leary, T.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team), Racey, P.A., Medellín, R. & Hutson, A.M. (Chiroptera Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is in significant decline (but at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion A2c. There are periodic, unexplained large declines in population numbers and the species is heavily hunted for food, although whether this is a major threat to the species is unknown.
History:
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs on the islands of Bougainville and Buka of Papua New Guinea, and is found on the Solomon Islands of Choiseul, Arnavon (S. Hamilton and T. Leary pers. comm.), Vella Lavella, Shortland, Simbo, Ghizo, Kolombangara, Mono, New Georgia, Santa Isabel, Guadacanal and Malaita (Flannery 1995; Bonaccorso 1998). It has been recorded from sea level to 700 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Papua New Guinea; Solomon Islands
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common on a number of islands in the Solomon Islands (Flannery 1995). The species is also fairly common on Bougainville and Buka. There were 5 observed colonies on the eastern coast of Bougainville during 2002-2005, a previously reported large colony in the vicinity of Arawa has now disappeared (S. Hamilton pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species often roosts in large colonies, but has also been recorded as roosting singly in tall trees in secondary forest, and exceptionally in caves. It has been recorded from mature and secondary tropical forest, mangroves, and coconut plantations. Animals have been found feeding on Malay Apple flowers and captured in coconut groves. The species is estimated to have a generation time of five to six years (S. Hamilton and T. Leary pers. comm.).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There were major die-offs of populations of this species on Bougainville and Buka in the 1980s; the cause is unknown, but it may have been related to disease or environmental factors such as temperature increase. There continue to be reports of periodic die-offs of large numbers of individuals (S. Hamilton pers. comm.). Bonaccorso (1998) considered the ongoing and rapid logging of the Solomon Islands to be a significant threat. Flannery (1995) reported that it was heavily hunted for food in some areas, but remained relatively common. Targeted hunting at roosting sites may be a major threat to the species (approximately 10,000 bats may be harvested per year on Bougainville; S. Hamilton pers. comm.). The human population on Bougainville and Buka is estimated at 200,000 people, and could potentially lead to an increase in opportunistic hunting. Cyclones and other storms may have a significant impact on this species. The population on Malaita Island was decimated by a cyclone in the 1990s (Flannery 1995). The islands of Isabel, Choiseul and New Georgia have, and continue to be, heavily logged, and the island of Malaita has the highest human population in the Solomon Islands (T. Leary pers. comm.). Some animals are hunted for their teeth, but this is probably not a major concern (T. Leary pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. 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 possibly protected. It is not known whether it occurs in any protected areas (T. Leary pers. comm.).

Citation: Hamilton, S. & Leary, T. 2008. Pteropus rayneri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 November 2014.
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