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Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis)

Distribution

  • Native to Rodrigues Island (a possession of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar)
    • Size of Rodrigues Island: 18 x 8 km (11 x 5 mi)
    • Located 650 km east of Mauritius
    • Only one wooded valley, Cascade Pigeon hold most of remaining population.
  • Members of Pteropus genera mostly found on islands (86%) if western Indian Ocean to central Pacific Ocean.
  • Historically extirpated (is no longer present) on Mauritius and Round Islands
  • In a study of 21 species of flying foxes' metabolic rates correlate to island size (McNab & Armstrong 2001)
    • When Pteropus species live on small islands, they have a low basal metabolic rate
    • When Pteropus species live on continents, have standard or high basal metabolic rates
    • Researchers note low basal metabolic rates indicate lower energy needs

Habitat

  • Island is volcanic terrain
  • Limestone scrub with Pisonia forest on islets (UN Rep 1988)
  • Tropical moist forests
    • Island formerly thickly wooded; limited areas of endemic forest remain (West & Redshaw 1987)
    • Endemic, native forest species are largely extinct; by 1981 only 3 or 4 species still common (Carroll 1981)
  • Total number of plant species on Rodrigues Island: 145 (49 endemic; 62 threatened in 1988) (UN Rep 1988)
  • Most of bat population (80%) is found in a single colony in three roost sites that have been used for 50+ years. (AZA 2000)
  • Human population practices subsistence agriculture and grazing; wood is most common fuel (West & Redshaw 1987
    • 35,000 people in 1988; population increasing slowly
    • Humans felled tamarind and mango trees (Tamarindus indicus) that had provided favored foods (Cheke & Dahl 1981)

Rodrigues Fruit Bat Distribution

Rodrigues fruit bat distribution map

The Rodrigues fruit bat is endemic to Rodrigues Island, a small island possession of Mauritius, east of Madagascar.

Adapted from www.d-maps.com according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

AZA (2000)
Carroll (1981)
Cheke & Dahl (1981)
IUCN (2008)
McNab & Armstrong (2001)
UN Rep (1988)
West & Redshaw (1987)
Wilson & Graham (1992)

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