Save the Threatened Flying Fox from Extinction

Target: Sin Lan Ng Yun Wing, Director of Environment of Mauritius

Goal: Do not cull Mauritian flying fox populations.

Farmers are demanding the government slaughter local flying fox populations, in order to protect their profits.

Flying foxes are a hugely important group of bats, providing crucial pollination and seed dispersal in tropical ecosystems across the globe, but their populations are in peril on the island of Mauritius, a revered biodiversity hotspot. There, fruit farmers concerned with the effects of the bats on their crops have encouraged the government to engage in mass killings of flying foxes, and in 2015 and 2016, the Mauritian government killed over 40,000 of them. This is despite the fact that its local species, Pteropus niger, is considered vulnerable to extinction and faces threats from not only culling campaigns, but also hunting and habitat destruction. As flying fox species around the world face devastating losses that drive them towards extinction, it is crucial for conservationists to demand an end to the slaughter to preserve biodiversity and the sustainability of human society.

Island populations of flying foxes are far more likely to be threatened by extinction, as the geography leaves them with nowhere to escape human predators. Unfortunately, while there are some local laws in place to protect flying foxes, as well as international ones limiting trade in these species, they are not often enforced, and in fact “conservation of the bats is actually worse than it was 30 years ago,” according to a researcher who studies flying foxes.

As more and more flying foxes are killed, their ability to rebound from population losses is limited, as females only become fertile at two or three years old, and even then usually only have one baby per year. In Mauritius, flying foxes are the only important pollinator and seed dispersers left following the extinction of numerous other species, and without them, the island’s ecosystems would likely collapse, along with the fruit crops on which many farmers depend. Sign this petition to ask the island’s Director of Environment to protect flying fox species from this planned slaughter.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mrs. Ng Yun Wing,

For the past two years, the Mauritian government has engaged in culling campaigns that exterminated over 40,000 flying foxes on the island at the behest of fruit farmers. This is despite the fact that flying foxes are the only remaining key pollinator and seed disperser in Mauritius, which makes them crucial for the survival of not only your nation’s beautiful and diverse ecosystems, but also the fruit farms on which many Mauritians depend. As hunting and habitat destruction already hurt flying fox populations, culling campaigns represent another unnecessary and counterproductive threat to their existence, and in turn that of your nation’s people.

Flying foxes pollinate flowers in both natural and agricultural environments, playing a critical role in the ecosystemic functioning of Mauritius’ biodiversity hotspots and the fruit farming economy alike, but because of their slow reproduction cycle, the bats are left very vulnerable to the destructive human footprint. These animals are already vulnerable to extinction and culling campaigns are diametrically opposed to the mission of the Department of the Environment, so today I write to urge you to use your position to protect the remaining flying fox populations to preserve the health of Mauritius’ ecosystems, economy, and society.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

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9 Comments

  1. Wildlife is essential for the survival of the planet and the humans who live on it. Each species, no matter its size nor how insignificant it may seem to humans, has its own role in making this planet work and thrive efficiently. Humans, however, are the least necessary species on earth, and it, and every other species on it would fare much better without any of us.

  2. aileen samaro says:

    why you people wants to disrupt the ecological SYSTEM…WHY ARE THESE BATS HERE…there is a purpose…LEAVE THES BATS ALONE…THEY AE NEEDED FOR POLLINATION AND RID MOSQUITOS.

  3. Dear Mrs Ng Yun Wing

    Unless you want your ecosystem, which your island depends on, to collapse, you MUST STOP the culling of flying foxes. They are your only pollinators and without them your crops will fail as will the rest of your island’s fragile ecosystem.

    Yours Sincerely

    Rosie Boyd

  4. Caryl Sawyer says:

    Apparently people of Mauritius are very ignorant, and when their crops fail because of their slaughter of these bats, they will ask for US aid. In fact, they are getting it now.

    We have no intention of bailing out this country with our tax dollars.

    • That’s not ignorance, Caryl, that’s cunning. Defrauding a foreign country takes chutzpah and craftiness.

  5. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared

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