Roosting Madagascan flying foxes (Pteropus rufus) at the Amborabao colony (September 2015). Madagascar Conservation & Development. Photographic credits: M. Darling and S. Long

A review of the Pteropus rufus (É. Geoffroy, 1803) colonies within the Tolagnaro region of southeast Madagascar – an assessment of neoteric threats and conservation condition

Sam Hyde Roberts, Mark Damon Jacobs, Ryan Matthew Clark, Charlotte Marie Daly, Longosoa Hoby Tsimijaly, Retsiraiky Jean Rossizela, Samuel Thomas Prettyman

Abstract


We surveyed 10 Pteropus rufus roost sites within the southeastern Anosy Region of Madagascar to provide an update on the areas’ known flying fox population and its conservation status. We report on two new colonies from Manambaro and Mandena and provide an account of the colonies first reported and last assessed in 2006. Currently only a solitary roost site receives any formal protection (Berenty) whereas further two colonies rely solely on taboo ‘fady’ for their security. We found that only two colonies now support an increased number of bats compared with a decade ago, whilst a further two colonies have been either displaced or disturbed and could no longer be found. A single colony appears to have declined significantly whereas a further three colonies appear to have remained static. In light of a decree that has imposed a specific hunting season for fruit bats, we hope that this census can provide a baseline for future population monitoring and contribute towards the assessment of the effectiveness of the legislation.

 

Résumé

Nous avons suivi 10 dortoirs de renards volants Pteropus rufus dans la région Anosy au sud-est de Madagascar afin de réaliser une mise à jour de l’état de conservation et d’estimer la population de ces chauves-souris dans la région. Notre étude a montré que la densité des colonies dans la région environnante de Tolagnaro était similaire à celle des autres régions du pays. Nous dressons l’état de nos connaissances portant sur deux colonies situées à Manambaro et à Mandela en comparant nos données récentes avec celles de 2006. Un seul dortoir isolé reçoit actuellement une forme de protection formelle, Berenty, et deux autres colonies seulement reçoivent une forme de protection sous la forme de tabous locaux ou « fady ». Nos résultats ont montré que seules deux colonies ont vu leurs effectifs augmenter au cours de la dernière décennie en même temps que deux autres colonies n’ont pas pu être relocalisées, soit parce qu’elles ont disparues, soit parce qu’elles se sont déplacées suite à des dérangements. Les effectifs d’une seule colonie semblent avoir diminué de manière significative tandis que ceux de trois autres colonies semblent avoir été maintenus à leur niveau. Notre étude a montré que l'abondance globale de P. rufus dans la région n’a augmenté que d’un pourcent depuis 2006 et que cette augmentation était le résultat de la protection garantie au dortoir dans la réserve privée de Berenty. À la lumière d'un décret qui a imposé une période de chasse spécifique pour les chauves-souris frugivores, nous espérons que ce recensement pourra servir de référence aux futurs programmes de suivi de la population et contribuer à une évaluation de l’efficacité de la législation.


Keywords


Pteropus rufus; Madagascan flying fox; Anosy; Conservation; Pteropodidae

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References


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