Jul 3, 2012

Rodrigues Flying Fox (Pteropus rodricensis)


Did you know?

That a series of violent storms in 1970 reduced the population of these bats? The Rodrigues Flying Fox was on the verge of extinction until 1976, when the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust brought a select group of animals at Jersey Zoo and began a breeding program. Bats in the wild now reach a number close to 1,200.

The Rodrigues Flying Fox is a relatively small fruit bat with a wing length of 90 cm and a body mass close to 350g. It has a dense coat of color. Usually, most of its fur is dark brown. A mantle of golden brown hair covers the head, neck and shoulders. The thumb and second finger is each carrying a claw.

The Pteropus rodricensis live in forests, where they stay in large trees. They are gregarious, forming large colonies formed in harem groups of one male to eight females, groups of both sexes and subadult males alone. Like most bats, they are nocturnal. Dawn and dusk are the two major peaks of activity.

The Rodrigues Flying Fox reach sexual maturity at one year. They have a gestation period of 120-180 days and produce a single brood. Their diet includes flowers, nectar and fruit. The food is usually crushed in the mouth allowing the juices to swallow while the pulp is spit. The main items of food include mangoes, figs and tamarind pods.



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