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The Gap Year Blog

Fijian monkey-faced fruit bat

4 Aug 2020 15:45 PM
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The Fijian monkey-faced bat, also known as the Fijian flying fox (Mirimiri acrodonta) is a native megabat species to Fiji. This species was discovered on the second highest mountain (In old-growth cloud forest) on the island of Taveuni by William and Ruth Beckon in 1976.

From research these bats weigh in at 222–362 grams (0.5–0.8 lb). Their forearms are 120 millimetres (4.7 in) long. They have tan fur, which is thick. Their eyes are a distinct orange colour, helping to distinguish this species from other Fijian megabats.

 

The third-largest island of Fiji, Taveuni is the only place the Fijian monkey-faced bat is found. And is only found within the montane forests of the island. There is a possiblity that this species might also be located on the island of Vanua Levu howver, there observations have not been recorded as of yet. It is the only megabat that is native to Fiji.

The Fijian monkey-faced bat is hard to come by, only six individuals of this species have ever been observed. Although the cloud forest is within Taveuni Forest Reserve, this does very little to conserve the land, as the majority of Fiji's Forest Reserves have been converted to mahogany plantations. 

It is listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss. The population size is estimated to be at less than 1,000 individuals. 

 

 

Due to its endangered status, it is officially identified by the Alliance for Zero Extinction as a species in danger of imminent extinction. Due to continual habitat loss these species remain in danger from extinction. Bat Conservation International identified these species as top priority, and listed these species as one of the 35 species worldwide that are in need of desperate help.

 

 

By Lamar Lawrence

Frontier runs terrestrial and marine conservationcommunity and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!