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

Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis)


  • 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


  • 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 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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