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Distribution, status and conservation of the bats of the Fiji Islands

Palmeirim, J.M. and Champion, A. and Naikatini, Alivereti N. and Niukula, J. and Tuiwawa, Marika and Fisher, Martin and Yabaki-Gounder, M. and Thorsteinsdo’ttir, S. and Qalovaki, S. and Dunn, Thomas (2007) Distribution, status and conservation of the bats of the Fiji Islands. Oryx, 41 (4). pp. 509-519. ISSN 0030-6053

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The poorly studied bat fauna of the Fiji Islands is of notable conservation importance because it includes one endemic species, several near endemics, and the best global populations of several threatened species. In addition, some of the species play a keystone role as pollinators and seed dispersers in valuable forest ecosystems. We visited 30 islands of the archipelago to survey bats and assess their conservation status and the potential threats to their continued existence. The Vulnerable Notopteris macdonaldi occurs on the three main islands but may only have nurseries on one of them. The Critically Endangered, endemicMirimiri acrodonta appears to be restricted to a small montane area on a single island. Pteropus tonganus is consumed throughout rural Fiji but remains common and is not currently threatened by the harvest. The Near Threatened Pteropus samoensis is locally common on the largest islands but threatened on some smaller islands. The Endangered Chaerephon bregullae exists only on two islands and appears to concentrate in a single large colony to nurse young. The EndangeredEmballonura semicaudata has declined dramatically in Fiji, as across most of its range, although a few substantial populations remain on some small islands. Factors threatening these species are variable but include small ranges, concentration in a reduced number of colonies, deforestation, over-harvesting, and introduced predators. We propose conservation measures and indicate a number of priority sites.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > Institute of Applied Science
Depositing User: Ms Mereoni Camailakeba
Date Deposited: 25 May 2007 00:15
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2012 02:26

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