Rodrigues flying fox

Pteropus rodricensis

Rodrigues flying foxes are not foxes but fruit bats native to Rodrigues Island. It's a 43-square mile volcanic island about 900 miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Its habitat is mixed forest with large mature trees. Rodrigues flying foxes are herbivores. They are called "flying foxes" because their long muzzles give them a foxlike look.

Flying fox behavior and facts

  • They roost in large colonies.
  • Like most fruit bats, it does not use echolocation but relies on its sense of smell and large eyes that provide good vision in low light.
  • A male may have several females in a harem.
  • Tamarind fruit mangoes and figs are important food sources.

From birth to death

  • Gestation: 5 months
  • Birth: October to December
  • Sexual maturity: 2 years
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Vital statistics
  • Weight: up to 18 ounces
  • Wingspan: up to 30 inches

Status

U.S. Endangered; CITES App II; SSP studbook; TAG

Bats, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's Rodrigues flying foxes live in the Africa Rainforest. They eat fruit, vegetables, crushed primate biscuits and browse. You can watch them eat from hanging fruit kabobs while on exhibit.

They are endangered due to deforestation caused by humans; remaining tall trees are then more vulnerable to the frequent cyclones in the Indian Ocean. You can help the bats by joining an organization that works to restore their habitat and promote conservation education, such as the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which works to conserve highly threatened species and habitats in isolated island or highland regions.