Acerodon celebensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Acerodon celebensis
Species Authority: Peters, 1867
Common Name(s):
English Sulawesi Fruit Bat, Sulawesi Flying Fox, Sulawesi Flying-fox, Sulawesi Acerodon
Spanish Zorro Volador De Las Célebes
Taxonomic Notes: This species includes arquatus and Sulawesi specimens formerly assigned to Pteropus argentatus (Musser et al. 1982, Flannery 1995).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2d ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-08
Assessor(s): Tsang, S.M. & Sheherazade
Reviewer(s): Mildenstein, T.
Contributor(s): Heinrichs, S., Hutson, A.M., Helgen, K., Kingston, T. & Sinaga, U.
This species is endemic to the Sulawesi subregion. It has been locally extirpated from North Sulawesi, the centre of the bushmeat trade at unsustainable rates (Sheherazade and Tsang 2015). Known colonies are under constant threat from hunting pressure, and none have official government protection. Hunting has caused an inferred population reduction of >30% over the past three generations (13.5 years; Pacifici et al. 2013), and is unlikely to stop completely. The species is therefore listed as Vulnerable under criterion A2d. Large colonies primarily occur in mangrove forests, which have drastically declined due to conversion to shrimp aquacultures. Continued hunting and loss of mangroves over the next decade will likely result in the species being uplisted to Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is endemic to the Sulawesi subregion, on Sulawesi, Butan, only recorded from Talenge (but likely from all of the Togeran Islands), Mangole, Sanana, Siau, Sangihe, and Selayar, in Indonesia. It is primarily a lowland species, occurring from sea level up to 1,500 m asl.

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is likely the population is in decline due to unsustainable levels of hunting (Sheherazade and Tsang 2015). Known roost sites are at constant threat from hunting pressures, some sites have been decimated due to over hunting and lack of protection (S. Heinrichs pers. comm. 2012).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This bat roosts in trees in villages, and also in bamboo and mangroves. It is commonly found inland and along the coast and shows a medium tolerance of human disturbance. However, large colonies of A. celebensis are only currently known from mangrove forests, roosting with Pteropus alecto on lower branches (S.M. Tsang pers. obs). Individuals are commonly seen feeding on breadfruit trees and coconut (Flannery 1995). Neither of two adult females examined by Flannery in November 1991 were pregnant or lactating, but suggested seasonal breeding, with births occurring in February to March. In south Sulawesi females were observed with pups in August, September, and October (S. Heinrichs pers. comm. 2012).
Generation Length (years):4.5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is locally hunted.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Acerodon celebensis is commonly hunted and is found in bush meat markets for local and regional trade, which is a major factor in its population decline. They are hunted throughout their entire range and are now locally extirpated in North Sulawesi. Known roost sites are at constant threat from hunting pressures, some sites have been decimated due to over hunting and lack of protection. An example is Soppeng village, where the flying foxes have been hunted and major roosting trees have been cut down (S. Heinrichs pers. comm. 2012). Deforestation due to logging and agriculture is another major threat for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is listed on CITES Appendix II.  No large colonies are located within protected areas nor granted formal protection. The species is locally extirpated in North Sulawesi, the centre of the bushmeat trade.

In some areas (such as Watansoppeng in South Sulawesi) they are protected, because local people believe this bat brings good fortune, particularly with rains. However, even in locally protected roosting/foraging areas, outside hunters have been known to take bats for trade in the wildlife market.

More studies on the species populations trends are needed, including population size and distribution through its range. Also, needed are studies of the species habitat requirements to better understand the effects of forest conversion and land use change. Finally, studies are needed to determine the amount of hunting of this species and the impact of the bushmeat trade on population persistence.

Similar to most threatened flying foxes, local capacity building for conservation managers  and education and awareness within local communities are sorely needed to support conservation efforts.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing  ♦ severity:Rapid Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing  ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Flannery, T.F. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Comstock/Cornell, Ithaca, Ny, USA.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Musser, G.G., Koopman, K.F. and Califia, D. 1982. The Sulawesian Pteropus arquatus and P. argentatus are Acerodon celebensis; the Philippine P. leucotis is an Acerodon. Journal of Mammalogy 63(2): 319-328.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Sheherazade and Tsang, S.M. 2015. Quantifying the bat bushmeat trade in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, with suggestions for conservation action. Global Ecology and Conservation 3: 324-330.

Citation: Tsang, S.M. & Sheherazade. 2016. Acerodon celebensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T137A21988719. . Downloaded on 29 April 2017.
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