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Rodriguez Fruit Bat

Fact File

Continent: Africa
Habitat: Rainforest
Weight and Length: 0.3kg, 0.16m

HERBIVORE
Diet: Herbivore
Gestation: 154 days
Number of Young: 1

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Conservation Status: CR

Characteristics

  • Uses sight and smell to find food, instead of echo locating like many bats.
  • Have large eyes that give them improved sight, and small ears, reflecting that they do not echo locate.
  • Are nocturnal, and leave the nest at dusk.
  • As these bats spit out the seeds of fruit they eat they are good dispersers, allowing plants to grow away from the parent plant.

Rodriguez Fruit Bat

Pteropus rodricensis

Animals —  Mammals — Chiroptera (bats) — Pteropodidae (megabats)


Rodriguez fruit bats are a large herbivorous bat species native to only one island belonging to Mauritius. They are also known as the “Rodriguez flying fox”. They can range from silver and black to reddish and bright orange to yellow in colour. They have small ears for bats as they don’t echolocate, and their wings are such thin layers of skin that they are almost transparent.

They are very social. When they were more common in the wild, groups of 500 could be found nesting together. They communicate by sight, sound, touch and smell. They are unusual for bats as they are awake at dusk and dawn instead of night.

They are on the brink of extinction, classified as “critically endangered” by the IUCN. Only a few hundred are thought to be left in the wild. They have suffered extreme habitat loss, and without rainforest to protect them, cyclones have been destroying what is left of the population. To top this all, humans also hunt them.

Habitat: Dense rainforest, where they roost in mature trees.

Vital Statistics:
–Average weight: 0.3kg
–Average length: 0.16m

Life Expectancy:
In the wild up to: 17 years
In captivity up to: 28 years

Diet: They are carnivores and so eat meat. They eat fruit, sucking away the soft pulp and juice, and spitting out the rest. Sometimes they also eat flowers, nectar, pollen, bark or leaves.


Distribution: The island of Rodriguez, belonging to Mauritius.