With over 50 species, Pteropus is by far the largest genus among the flying foxes (Family Pteropodidae). For the species on which some recent information is available, a dismaying number are apparently undergoing population declines. At least three species have become extinct since the late 1800's; others are severely threatened. Most have limited island distributions, and are affected to varying degrees by direct exploitation, habitat alteration, and introduced predators. Yet these animals play an important, perhaps essential, role in forest ecosystems as pollinators and seed dispersers for many trees. Major reductions or extinction of flying fox populations would presage decreases in forest regeneration and diversity, and reduced productivity or decline of many plants economically important to man.
- Pacific Island Flying Foxes: Proceedings of an International Conservation Conference
- researchgate.net / .PDF