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Animal Info - Pohnpei Flying Fox

(Other Names: 加洛林狐蝠, 西太平洋卡洛島狐蝠, カロリンオオコウモリ, Caroline Flying Fox, Pohnpei Fruit Bat, Ponape-Flughund, Renard Volant de Ponape)

Pteropus molossinus

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

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


Profile

The Pohnpei flying fox was common at all elevations on Pohnpei in the 1950's. Large colonies were observed in coastal mangrove forests by an expedition in the 1930's. The Pohnpei flying fox eats fruit and flowers. A colony of about 200 - 300 flying foxes has been observed. However, many individuals and pairs have also been observed, indicating that a significant number may not roost in colonies.

The Pohnpei flying fox is known only from Pohnpei Island and the nearby Ant and Pakin Atolls in the Federated States of Micronesia. "Many" of these flying foxes were observed throughout Pohnpei Island in 1976-78. As of 1989 it appeared that significant declines in the population had occurred. At the best known site on Pohnpei, where a member of the Pohnpei marine resources staff regularly had counted over 1000 flying foxes exiting at dusk in the 1960's, a 1989 survey counted only 15.

Conversion of forest to agroforestry and commercial hunting of the flying foxes for shipment to Guam for food are the major threats. Hunting for local use is not a problem, because the native people consider flying foxes to be unacceptable food.


Tidbits

*** Much of the tropical vegetation on many Pacific islands depends on flying foxes for pollination or seed dispersal.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 1994: Endangered
  • 1996 - 2004: Critically Endangered (Criteria: B1+2ce) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2004)

Countries Where the Pohnpei Flying Fox Is Currently Found:

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

History of Distribution:

The Pohnpei flying fox is known only from Pohnpei Island and the nearby Ant and Pakin Atolls in the Federated States of Micronesia. It has also been reported from the nearby Mortlock Islands, but this has not been confirmed. "Many" of these flying foxes were observed throughout Pohnpei Island in 1976-78, and they were locally common in the northern half of Pohnpei in 1981. As of 1989 it appeared that significant declines in the population had occurred. At the best known site on Pohnpei, where a member of the Pohnpei marine resources staff regularly had counted over 1000 flying foxes exiting at dusk in the 1960's, a 1989 survey counted only 15 (Rainey 1990).

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Conversion of forest to agroforestry and commercial hunting of the flying foxes for shipment to Guam for food are the major threats. Hunting for local use is not a problem, because the native people consider flying foxes to be unacceptable food.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Habitat:

The Pohnpei flying fox is thought to occur in lowland and montane tropical rainforest (IUCN 2000).  It was common at all elevations on Pohnpei in the 1950's. Large colonies were observed in coastal mangrove forests by an expedition in the 1930's (Rainey 1990).

The Pohnpei flying fox lives in the Polynesia and Micronesia Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005).  

Gestation Period:

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

Birth Season:

Unweaned young have been collected in February, September and November.

Early Development:

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

Diet:

The Pohnpei flying fox eats fruit and flowers.

Social Organization:

A colony of about 200 - 300 flying foxes has been observed. However, many individuals and pairs have also been observed, indicating that a significant number may not roost in colonies.


References

Bonaccorso 1998, Cons. Intl. 2005, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Mickleburgh 1992, Rainey 1990


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Last modified: March 5, 2005;

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