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Animal Info - Chuuk Flying Fox

(Other Names: 白胸狐蝠, ムナジロオオコウモリ, Caroline's Fruit Bat, Chuuk (Truk) Fruit Bat, Roussette des Īles Truk, Truk Flying Fox, Truk-Flughund)

Pteropus insularis

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

1. Profile
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Population Estimates, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Gestation Period, Early Development, Habitat, Diet)
5. References


Profile

Very little information has been published about the Chuuk flying fox.


Tidbits

*** The Chuuk flying fox does not appear to be wary of humans.

*** Flying foxes are so-called because of their fox-like faces. They cannot use echolocation. Instead, they navigate using vision and normal hearing.

*** Most flying foxes eat fruit and are also called fruit bats. Their teeth are specialized for feeding on fruit. Fruit bats are ecologically and economically important because they pollinate and disperse the seeds of wild and commercial plants.

*** The residents of Chuuk are not known to hunt this species for local use, but imports into Guam from Chuuk increased dramatically between 1986 and 1992. This is symptomatic of the significant import of large numbers of bats into the Marianas Islands for food from various islands in Micronesia.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 1994: Endangered
  • 1996 - 2004: Critically Endangered (Criteria: A1cd) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2004)

Countries Where the Chuuk Flying Fox Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in the Federated States of Micronesia (Chuuk) (IUCN 2004).

Population Estimates:

[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

History of Distribution:

The Chuuk flying fox occurs on the mountain tops of islands in Chuuk (Truk), Federated States of Micronesia.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Hunting for exportation for food and the conversion of the lower slopes of its mountainous island habitats to coconut and breadfruit forest may be threats, although little information is available on its status.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Habitat:

Lowland tropical rainforest.

The Chuuk flying fox is one of the species that live in the Polynesia and Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005).  

Gestation Period:

The gestation period of flying foxes is 4 - 5 months (Bonaccorso 1998). 

Early Development:

The young of flying foxes become independent at 3 - 6 months (Bonaccorso 1998).

Diet:

The diet of the Chuuk flying fox includes the flowers of coconut.


References

Bonaccorso 1998, Cons. Intl. 2005, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Mickleburgh 1992, Nowak & Paradiso 1983


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Last modified: March 5, 2005;

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