Rodrigues Flying Fox
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The Rodrigues Flying Fox or Rodrigues Fruit Bat (Pteropus rodricensis) is a species of bat in the family Pteropodidae, the flying foxes or fruit bats. It is endemic to Rodrigues, an island in the Indian Ocean belonging to Mauritius. Its natural habitat is tropical moist lowland forests. It is a sociable species which lives in large groups. It can reach 350 grams in weight and has a wingspan of 90 centimetres.
It is threatened by habitat loss through storm damage and human intervention and also by local hunting for food. Formerly the daytime roosts or 'camps' of this flying fox contained more than 500 individuals. The species currently numbers just a few hundred in the wild and is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. The Jersey Zoo has undertaken a successful captive breeding program and there are now colonies in several zoos.
At night the bats forage in dry woodland for fruit of various trees such as tamarinds, rose-apples, mangoes, palms and figs. Like many other fruit bats they squeeze out the juices and soft pulp, rarely swallowing the harder parts. Observations in captivity show that each dominant male gathers a harem of up to ten females, with which he roosts and mates. Subordinate and immature males tend to roost in another part of the camp.