IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Biology

Whereas most bats are nocturnal, the Rodrigues flying fox is different. They are crepuscular and so are most active at sunset and sunrise when they leave their caves or trees to find food (4). This species hunts for night flying insects, using their wings as nets to draw the prey into the mouth. Bats belonging to the sub-order microchiroptera use echolocation to navigate in the darkness and hunt for insects, but the Rodrigues Flying fox belongs to the sub-order megachiroptera, and like other species in this group, they do not echolocate (8). Their ears are much smaller than those of echolocating bats, and instead they have evolved large eyes to see and hunt in the dark (6). As well as preying on insects, this species feeds on fruit, as its other common name indicates. By eating fruit these bats help scatter the seeds of fruit trees and pollinate many trees and shrubs (4). By living in large groups this species benefits from there being many more eyes to scan for danger, allowing more time for individuals to feed and mate. A female will give birth once a year to single offspring and occasionally have twins (6). The young will not be ready to reproduce until they are 1.5-2 years old, which compared to most other mammals of their size is a particularly slow reproductive rate. This is a crucial problem for their conservation because their reproductive rate is not high enough to withstand the increasing threats they face (5).

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Source: ARKive

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