Pteropus rodricensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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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, Golden Bat of Rodrigues, Rodrigues Fruit Bat
French Chauve-Souris de Rodrigues
Spanish Zorro Volador De La Isla Rodrígues
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)
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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

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 occurrence:
Mauritius (Mauritius (main island) - Regionally Extinct, Rodrigues)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):200
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).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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).

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.

Classifications [top]

14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
2. Land/water management -> 2.3. Habitat & natural process restoration
3. Species management -> 3.3. Species re-introduction -> 3.3.1. Reintroduction

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Yes
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.4. Storms & flooding
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ 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:Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ 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    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Anonymous. 2006. Counting bats. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation - Newsletter August 2006: 4.

Carroll, J. B. and Feistner, A. T. C. 1996. Conservation of western Indian Ocean fruit bats. Biogéographie de Madagascar 1996: 329-335.

Carroll, J. B. and Mace, G. M. 1988. Population management of the Rodrigues Fruit Bat Pteropus rodricensis in captivity. International Zoo Yearbook 27: 70-78.

Mickleburgh, S.P., Hutson, A.M. and Racey, P.A. 1992. Old World Fruit-Bats - An Action Plan for their Conservation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

O'Brien, J., McCracken, G. F., Say, L. and Hayden, T. J. 2007. Rodrigues fruit bats (Pteropus rodricensis, Megachiroptera: Pteropodidae) retain genetic diversity despite population declines and founder events. Conservation Genetics 8: 1073-1082.

Powell, V.J. and Wehnelt, S.C. 2003. A new estimate for the population size of the critically endangered Rodrigues fruit bat Pteropus rodricensis. Oryx 37: 353-357.

Simmons, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 312-529. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Trewhella, W. J., Rodriguez-Clark, K. M., Corp, N., Entwistle, A., Garrett, S. R. T., Granek, E., Lengel, K. L., Raboude, M. J., Reason, P. F. and Sewall, B. J. 2005. Environmental education as a component of multidisciplinary conservation programmes: lessons from conservation initiatives for Critically Endangered fruit bats in the Western Indian Ocean. Conservation Biology 19(1): 75-85.

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M. & Bergmans, W. 2008. Pteropus rodricensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T18755A8565719. . Downloaded on 18 August 2017.
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