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Pteropus rodricensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Pteropus rodricensis
Species Authority: Dobson, 1878
Common Name(s):
English Rodrigues Flying Fox
Spanish Zorro Volador De La Isla Rodrígues
Synonym(s):
Pteropus mascarinus Mason, 1907

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)c(iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M. & Bergmans, W.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Critically Endangered because the global population is restricted to a single location (the island of Rodrigues), and has a extent of occurrence is less than 100 km², and undergoes extreme fluctuations due to tropical cyclones. Cyclones have devastating long term effect on number of bats (sometimes causing significant mortality) and remaining areas of the species vulnerable forest habitat.
History:
2004 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is confined to the western Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues (Mauritius). It was historically present on the island of Mauritius and Round Island (Mauritius), but is now extirpated from here. It appears to range up to around 200 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Mauritius (Mauritius (main island) - Regionally Extinct, Rodrigues)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Until around 1916 the species was reported to be abundant on Rodrigues, and even in 1955 large numbers (about 500) still roosted in tamarinds (Mickleburgh et al. 1992). In 1965 there were fewer bats but the species was still common. There was a marked decline in the 1970's, and following Cyclone Celine II 1979, the population was reduced to around 70 bats. By 1980 the population had recovered to between 200 and 250 animals (Carroll and Mace 1988), and at the end of February 1990 the population was estimated to be greater than 1,000 bats (Mickleburgh et al. 1992). Recently the population had recovered to around 5,076 bats (Powell and Wehnelt 2003), however, the impact of cyclone Kalunde in March 2003 appears to have reduced the population to around 4,000 animals (Anon. 2006).
Population Trend: Increasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is generally associated with forested areas, and can be found roosting in remaining patches of both primary and secondary forest. Tamarind trees are an important food source, but it also feeds on a variety of different fruits (Mickleburgh et al. 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Deforestation has been a serious threat to the species, especially where mature fruit trees and important roost trees were felled. Because of the deforestation of this forest buffer, any remaining patches of forest (and their roosting bats), are now much more susceptible to tropical cyclones. These cyclones can cause significant fluctuations in bat population size and, along with shortage of food and dehydration, are now the major current threat to the species (Powell and Wehnelt 2003). In the past the species was also hunted for food, however, this is now rare (Trewhella et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A successful captive breeding programme for this species was initiated by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, with breeding populations of this bat now maintained at 28 zoos around the world (Powell and Wehnelt 2003). In-situ conservation efforts have concentrated on restoration of the natural habitat, watershed protection and awareness raising among the local people through environmental education programmes (Powell and Wehnelt 2003; Trewhella et al. 2005). It is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M. & Bergmans, W. 2008. Pteropus rodricensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 July 2014.
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