Rodrigues Fruit Bat/Flying Fox

ANIMAL:
Rodrigues Fruit Bat/Flying Fox Pteropus rodricensis

Type of Animal:
Fruit Bat

Habitat:
Forests, valleys, woodlands

Location(s):
Rodrigues island in Indian Ocean, 350 mi e of Mauritius

Appearance:
Reddish to orangish head, black wings, thick burnished fur on neck, can be yellow, orange, red, silver, black, or mixture of colors, short pointy snout, small triangular ears, bright round eyes, often called flying fox due to pointy ears/snout

Food/Diet:
Fruit, fruit pulp/juice, flowers, pollen, nectar, leaves, bark, wood, stems, insects

Status in Wild:
Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife centers

Lifestyle:
Colonies once numbered up to 500 bats, nowadays colonies number 100 or less, colonies consist of many harems of male w/ 8-10 females as well as all male subgroups.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Dog
Female: Bitch/Vixen
Young: Pup
Group: Colony

Weight:
Male: 12.25-17.5 oz
Female: 12.25-15.75 oz
Young: 6 oz

Gestation:
5 months 

Life Span:
10-15 years in wild, 25-30 years in captivity

Body Length:
Male: 5.9 in
Female: 7.87 in

Main predators are rats & mynah birds.
 
While increasing & in recent years downlisted from critically endangered to endangered, deforestation, habitat loss, storm damage, natural disasters, hunting for food, & limited range still major threats.
 
Important pollen/seed dispersers on Rodrigues.
 
Usually nocturnal (active at night) or crepuscular (active during dawn/dusk).
 
Navigate using smell, hearing, & vision.
 
Pups born fully furred.
 
Females have 1 pup per year.
 
Sexually mature at a year old.
 
Sometimes called golden bat.
 
Harem males mark tree branches w/ scents from chin/neck glands.
 
Have hooked claw on thumb for climbing.
 
Pups can fly at 2-2.5 months.
 
Giving birth takes about 40 minutes.

Fun Fact(s):
Only native mammal on island of Rodrigues.
 
Females give birth right side up, catching pup in wings.
 
In 1979, cyclone reduced wild population to as low as 70 bats-now they number around 900.
 
Can reach wingspans of 2.95 ft, some males reach 3 ft.
 
Wing formed from skin stretching between fingers & thumb of each hand.

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