Rodrigues Fruit Bat
Pteropus rodricensis 


IUCN status: Critically Endangered

This species used to be found on Mauritius but is now found only on Rodrigues. It is often known as the Golden Fruit Bat.

In the 1970s, the population dwindled to between 70 and 100 individuals but has now recovered to around 9000, largely due to increased forest cover and sensitization efforts.

These bats are threatened by cyclones, one of which severely affected the population in 2003.

Three complete population surveys were conducted in 2009 and four in 2010 at a number of roost locations, in order to estimate current bat numbers and to monitor the population. Regular bat surveys are also conducted at the Cascade Pigeon roost, which is one of the major roost sites on the island. From these surveys it has been found that the number of individuals now stands at around 9,000. To continue with this level of monitoring, volunteers from the local community have been trained to carry out some of the work, in addition to MWF staff. Similar surveying levels will be maintained in the future.

An Annual Bat Day Festival was organized in April 2009 and June 2010 to sensitize the public about this species and its importance in the ecosystem.
The festival included an exhibition on the bat, newspaper articles, radio talks, activities in schools, and an opportunity for the public to participate in a bat survey. A bat poster and sticker were also created for distribution on this occasion. In 2009, an art competition was launched in primary schools and in 2010 MWF organized a photography competition on the theme Bats in the Wild.

In 2011, MWF aims to target pre-primary school students with a day of activities including a bat talk, bat colouring page, bat mask, and face painting.

Rodrigues Fruit Bat voted Number1 AZE 'Wonder'
A global poll put the Rodrigues Fruit bat top of the list of the Alliance for Zero Extinction ‘7 Wonders’ out of a choice of 20 species.
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Also click here to watch a short video on the Rodrigues Fruit Bat.  

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