Facts about this animal
The Rodrigues flying-fox is a relatively small sized fruit bat with a wingspan of 90 cm and a body mass of about 350g. It has a thick fur, with a colouration fairly variable. Usually, most of the coat is dark chestnut brown in colour. A mantle of golden brown hair covers the head, neck, and shoulders. The thumb and second finger each have a claw, while the claw on the thumb is hooked for climbing.
Rodrigues fruit bats live in forests where they roost in large trees. They are gregarious, forming large colonies comprising harem groups of one male and up to eight females, mixed-sex subadult groups, and single males. Like most bats, they are nocturnal. Dusk and dawn are the two main peaks of activity.
Rodrigues fruit bats reach sexual maturity at one year of age. They have a gestation period of 120-180 days and produce a single offspring.
Their diet includes flowers, nectar, and fruit. Food is usually crushed in the mouth allowing the juices to be swallowed and the pulp to be spit out. Major food items include mangos, figs, and tamarind pods.
Did you know?
That a series of violent storms in the 1970's reduced the population of Rodrigues fruit bats to about 70 animals. They were on the verge of extinction until 1976 when the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust brought a select group of animals to Jersey Zoo and started an ex situ breeding program. Bats in the wild now number again about 1200.
|Name (Scientific)||Pteropus rodricensis|
|Name (English)||Rodrigues Flying-Fox|
|Name (French)||La roussette de Rodrigues|
|Name (Spanish)||Zorro volador de la isla Rodrígues|
|CITES Status||Appendix II|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Range||Mascarene Islands. Extinct on Mauritius and on Round Island. Today found only on Rodrigues, where it is confined to Cascade Pigeon, a small wooded valley just north of the capital of Rodrigues.|
|Habitat||Dense rainforest areas|
|Wild population||Approx. 4.000 (2003) (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||685 registered by the International Studbook, of which 645 reported to ISIS|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 77 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The Rodriguez fruit bat is critically endangered in the wild. In 1974, the wild population reached an all-time low of 70 individuals. Ex situ breeding efforts were undertaken in 1976 to ensure the survival of the species. With a view of building up a long-term viable reserve population, an International Studbook was established in 1992 under the WAZA umbrella, and coordinated conservation breeding programmes are operated at the regional level by AZA and EAZA.