Most of our recent bat-related posts refer to the large, awe-inspiring Livingstone's fruit bats that we and field partners Dahari are working to save from extinction.
At our Island Bat Roost, however, you'll also see smaller 'golden' bats. These are Rodrigues fruit bats, and they perhaps represent the opposite end of the conservation journey; where we want to see the Livingstone's fruit bat as a species, in the future:
In the 1970's, just 65-70 of these bats remained, roosting in one tree – that was itself in the path of a cyclone. Gerald Durrell brought 25 'Roddies' back to Jersey, and commenced a captive breeding programme that saw them become quite numerous in captivity.
Meanwhile, through work undertaken with our colleagues at The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, a series of wild initiatives saw the non-captive numbers rise to around 5,000 in 2003. Although cyclones have reduced the population to around 4,000, their numbers in the wild continue to increase.
This 'Roddie in flight' image was captured by the incredibly talented Charles Wylie.