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Rousettus obliviosus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CHIROPTERA PTEROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Rousettus obliviosus
Species Authority: Kock, 1978
Common Name(s):
English Comoro Rousette
Taxonomic Notes: Some consider Rousettus obliviosus as a subspecies of R. madagascarensis (see Simmons 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) 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 Vulnerable in view of its extent of occurrence of and area of occupancy being a maximum of 1,659 km²), with all individuals in fewer than ten locations (six roosting caves known), and a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat. If the roosting locality of Bandakalala has been abandoned, and no additional roosting sites located, then the species will qualify as Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) in view of its restricted range and being limited to five or fewer localities (roosting caves).
History:
2004 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the lower elevations of the islands of Grande Comores, Moheli and Ajouan in the Comoros, western Indian Ocean. The species has not been reported on Mayotte Island (Sewall et al. 2003a). All captures recorded by Sewall et al. (2003), occurred between 20 and 1,750 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Comoros
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is fairly common, with colony roost size ranging from around 100 to several thousand animals (Sewall et al. 2003). The total estimated population is between 7,100 and 17,100 bats (Sewall et al. 2003).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Bergmans (1994) reports that all four of the Comoro islands are covered with Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal mosaic. Much of the forest, especially in the lower regions, has been destroyed. In parts of the remaining forest the undergrowth has been replaced by banana plantations. The large series collected by the Belgian expedition indicates that the species, which is most probably a lowland forest species, has been able to adapt itself to the changing environment thus far. Sewall et al. (2003) widely recorded the species in native forest, underplanted forest and agricultural areas, but not villages or towns. It is a cave roosting species that is currently only known to roost at six cave localities in remote areas with difficult terrain or dense vegetation and infrequently visited by people (Sewall et al. (2003).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is sensitive to disturbance at roost sites and this appears to be the major threat to this restricted range bat. During the early 1990s, deforestation on the Comoros averaged 5.8% per year, with human population growth at 2.5%. While the species is regularly recorded from agricultural areas, and it seems that deforestation is possibly not a major threat, this bat also uses areas of both natural and underplanted forests which are expected to help the species cope with seasonal and year to year environmental variation, including droughts and cyclones (Sewall et al. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are currently no direct conservation actions in place for this species. The National Conservation Action Plan for Pteropus livingstoni (Sewall et al. 2003) includes an appendix for the conservation of Rousettus obliviosus. While the few known roosting sites are in remote areas, there is a need to ensure that these caves are not disturbed. Sewall et al. (2003) note that the roosting site at Bandakalala on Moheli might have been abandoned. Additional field surveys are needed to confirm this, as are attempts to locate any additional roost sites for this species.

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M. & Bergmans, W. 2008. Rousettus obliviosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 26 November 2014.
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