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POPULATION STATUS OF PTEROPUS TONGANUS IN TONGA



ABSTRACT

Flying foxes (Pteropus spp.) are important pollinators and seed dispersers in many island ecosystems. Populations of flying foxes have declined markedly on most islands in the South Pacific since the 1940's. One potential conservation strategy is to reintroduce bats on islands where they historically occurred. In this manner, the risk of species extinction due to local catastrophic events can be reduced. Ideally the source population for such reintroductions must be robust. One such population might be in the Kingdom of Tonga, where flying foxes have been protected by local custom for a long time. However, virtually nothing has been published on the numbers, locations, and reproductive biology of Pteropus toneanus in Tonga. I therefore censused flying fox populations on as many islands as possible from 28 June to 26 July 1995. I found seven major roosts containing a total of 3,582 bats on Tongatapu, one roost with 30 bats in the Ha'apai group, and 27 roosts with a total of 5,925 bats on 14 islands within the Vava'u group. Thus, the flying fox population in Tonga seems robust and dispersed on many islands and is therefore a valuable potential source population.

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Megabats and Microbats: POPULATION STATUS OF PTEROPUS TONGANUS IN TONGA
POPULATION STATUS OF PTEROPUS TONGANUS IN TONGA
POPULATION STATUS OF PTEROPUS TONGANUS IN TONGA
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Megabats and Microbats
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