Flying fox conservation is one of the four SEABCRU priorities, and our first global action is to collate information on the current populations and distributions of flying fox species. Researchers from Cambodia from the Institut Pastuer du Cambodge and Fauna and Flora International – Cambodia Programme (including SEABCRU steering committee member Neil Furey) recently completed a rapid assessment of flying fox colonies in the country (Pteropus vampyrus, P. lylei, P. hypomelanus), making an invaluable contribution to this global action. 12 colonies were reported, with colony size ranging from 200 individuals to c. 6000. Bats had been extirpated from one of the 12 sites, and worryingly, hunting of bats for bushmeat, trade and/or medicinal use was reported or observed at at six sites. The authors conclude that Cambodian flying foxes are heavily threatened and numbers are likely declining, and of course this has serious implications for the ecosystem services they provide. The project put together a great facebook page to facilitate information gathering and outreach https://www.facebook.com/CFFCPH/timeline.
It would be great to see reports like this summarizing the distribution of flying fox colonies from other countries.
Ravon, S., Furey, N.M., Vibol, H. & Cappelle, J. 2014. A rapid assessment of flying fox (Pteropus spp.) colonies in Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 2014, 14-18.
For Download: Ravon et al. 2014. Cambodian Pteropus