Bat count 2003

Tammy Mildenstein

Large flying foxes in insular Southeast Asia are the most threatened of the Old World fruit bats due to deforestation, unregulated hunting, and little conservation commitment from local governments. Despite the fact they are globally endangered and play essential ecological roles in forest regeneration as seed dispersers and pollinators, there have been only a few studies on these bats to provide information useful to their conservation management. Our project aims to promote the conservation of large flying foxes in the Philippines by providing protected area managers with the training and the baseline information necessary to design and implement a long-term management plan for flying foxes. We will focus our efforts on the globally endangered Philippine endemics, Acerodon jubatus and Acerodon leucotis, and the bats that commonly roost with them, Pteropus hypomelanus and Pteropus vampyrus lanensis, which are thought to be declining in the Philippines. We are proposing to survey over twenty large flying fox roosts to establish baseline information on population sizes and species proportions. At each roost site we will promote public education and awareness of flying foxes, and we will also build the capacity of local protected area managers by training them in the simple and inexpensive field techniques for flying fox monitoring. The project will shed light on the conservation status of the endangered, Philippine endemic bats across their range, and by doing so, it will lead to the development of the first nationally coordinated conservation management plan for endangered flying foxes.

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