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The conservation status of bats in Fiji

  • Annette Scanlon (a1), Sophie Petit (a1) and Guy Bottroff (a1)

Abstract

Bats provide important ecosystem services throughout the South Pacific but many species are threatened. The Fiji archipelago has a rich bat fauna yet few arrangements exist to promote the conservation of this group. From July 2008 to March 2011 we visited important sites identified in previous surveys for bats on Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Viti Levu and the Yasawa Islands. We netted and recorded five of Fiji's six bat species (Pteropus tonganus, Pteropus samoensis nawaiensis, Notopteris macdonaldi, Chaerephon bregullae and the Critically Endangered Mirimiri acrodonta). This was only the sixth recorded capture of M. acrodonta. P. tonganus is widespread in Fiji and exploits many different environments. P. samoensis nawaiensis mostly uses forested areas, and large tracts of forest are required for its long-term protection. Cave protection is vital for the two insectivorous species (C. bregullae and Emballonura semicaudata) and N. macdonaldi. In particular, the Nakanacagi maternity site remains globally significant for C. bregullae. E. semicaudata was not caught or detected during our surveys. It appears to be extinct from most large islands in Fiji and has abandoned the only large cave roost (Yaqeta) observed 10 years ago. This species has disappeared from or declined dramatically on Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. We recommend that the category of E. semicaudata semicaudata on the IUCN Red List be changed to Critically Endangered. Management priorities should focus on community engagement and education, and improved cave and forest management and protection.

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Corresponding author

(Corresponding author) E-mail Scanlonannette@gmail.com

References

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The conservation status of bats in Fiji

  • Annette Scanlon (a1), Sophie Petit (a1) and Guy Bottroff (a1)

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