Pteropus voeltzkowi 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Pteropus voeltzkowi
Species Authority: Matschie, 1909
Common Name(s):
English Pemba Flying Fox
Spanish Zorro Volador De Voeltzkow

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Bergmans, W. & Howell, K.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Vulnerable because it is known from only a single location (Pemba Island), where ongoing active conservation activities have significantly reduced the plausibility of future declines of this species.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Critically Endangered (CR)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Endangered (E)
1988 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the island of Pemba in Tanzania, where it occurs at elevations from sea level to 45 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Upper elevation limit (metres): 45
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In the early 1990's the population of this species appears to have been reduced to a few hundred animals at most (Mickleburgh et al. 1991). Entwistle and Corp (1997) reported that in 1997, 94% of the of population was restricted to 10 roosts (of 41 in total) with a total estimate of 4,600 to 5,500 individuals. Entwistle (2001) reported that more recent local participation in survey work had helped to give a more accurate population estimate of ~6,900 bats (Trewhella et al. 2005). The population of bats has continued to increase and by the end of 2006 there were ~19,000 animals (Juma 2007).
Current Population Trend: Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species has been recorded from primary forest, secondary forest, undisturbed traditional grave yards and mangroves. Will roost in several different species of trees, including large examples of non-native trees (such as Mango). According to Pakenham (1984) the species has been recorded roosting on the small islands off Pemba's coast, with bats flying to the mainland at sunset to forage. Seehausen (1990) concluded from interviews with inhabitants of Pemba that the species used to occur in the western parts of the island, which was once covered with rain forest, and not in the eastern, drier parts.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Much of the natural forest habitat of this bat has been cleared or severely fragmented. The species has been hunted for food with the use of shotguns replacing traditional methods, resulting in an unsustainable use (Entwistle and Corp 1997). As of 2005, hunting had been reduced but not stopped on Pemba (Trewhella et al. 2005). An additional threat is posed by the collision of bats with overhead electric cables.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Ongoing awareness raising on the importance and uniqueness of the endemic fruit bat, and the need for sustainable hunting, has been undertaken through environmental education programmes (Trewhella et al. 2005; Juma 2007). Income for the local community is being generated through bat related ecotourism activities (Juma 2007). It has been reported from the recently gazetted Ngezi-Vumawimbi Nature Forest Reserve and Msitu Kuu Forest(Pakenham 1984; Juma 2007). Illegal logging and the invasive umbrella tree (Maesopsis eminii), that degrades the habitat of this bat, are being controlled within the Nature Forest Reserve (Juma 2007). This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability: Suitable  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.1. Formal education
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Invasive species control or prevention:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan: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
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

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.2. Utility & service lines
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ 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

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Bergmans, W. 1990. Taxonomy and Biogeography of African Fruit Bats (Mammalia, Megachiroptera). 3. The Genera Scotonycteris Matschie, 1894, Casinycteris Thomas, 1910, Pteropus Brisson, 1762, and Eidolon Rafinesque, 1815. Beaufortia 40(7): 111-177.

Entwistle, A. 2001. Community-based protection successful for the Pemba flying fox. Oryx 35(4): 355–356.

Entwistle, A. and Corp, N. 1997. Status and distribution of the Pemba flying fox Pteropus voeltzkowi. Oryx 31(2): 135–142.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Juma, J. 2007. CEPF Project: Conservation of Indigenous Forest and Endemic Species on Pemba Island. Unpublished report by Flora and Fauna International, Nairobi, Kenya.

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

Pakenham, R.H.W. 1984. The Mammals of Zanzibar and Pemba islands. Printed Privately, Harpenden.

Seehausen, O. 1990. Vom Aussterben bedroht: Der Pemba Flughund. Zoologischen Gesellschaft für Arten- und Populationsschutz 6(1): 12-16.

Seehausen, O. 1991. The Pemba fruit bat - on the edge of extinction? Oryx 25: 110–112.

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.

Citation: Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A.M., Bergmans, W. & Howell, K. 2008. Pteropus voeltzkowi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T18768A8598836. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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