Target: President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III
Goal: Take greater measures to protect the endangered giant flying fox
The giant golden-crowned flying fox is one of the largest fruit bats in the world, with an awe-inspiring wingspan. But this unique animal is in danger of extinction. Deforestation and poaching have wreaked havoc on the populations of fruit bats in the Philippines, and they are on the brink of critical endangerment. Petition the government to restrict continued development and take protective measures for this endangered species.
Giant golden-crowned bats are hunted for their meat and pelts despite their endangered status. Several subspecies have in fact disappeared entirely from previous ranges. Poaching has become a serious enough threat that golden-crowned flying foxes may face extinction in the near future.
Furthermore, these bats are frugivorous, and therefore may be frequently targeted as pests for the destruction of fruit crops. However, these bats in fact act to cultivate the plants they feed on. Though they do eat cultivated crops, they also disperse seeds and help to pollinate their food sources, and they are an integral part of the ecosystem.
Human encroachment and development have also had a devastating impact on golden-crowned flying foxes. They are a forest obligate species, spending their lives in and entirely reliant on forests. Agricultural and industrial development destroys their habitat, and human habitation endangers colonized bats: colonies provide easier poaching.
Despite action to conserve the flying fox, they are still in need of strict measures. We cannot allow this species to go the way of so many others because of human activity.
Dear President Benigno Aquino III,
The giant golden-crowned flying fox is one of the Philippine’s most unique fruit bats, with a massive wingspan and a crucial role to play in pollination and seed dispersal. It is also on the brink of critical endangerment from uncontrolled poaching and human development. Though the Philippines has taken commendable action to preserve these bats, they are still struggling to survive in the face of habitat loss and poaching.
I ask that you take further steps, including restrictions on development of much-needed forest habitat. Poaching is also a serious issue that must be combated. Because they roost together in large colonies, flying foxes are vulnerable to mass killings for their meat and pelts, and their depleted numbers simply cannot survive continued losses. The government must protect this species from further endangerment before it disappears entirely.
[Your Name here]
Photo Credit: Mnolf via Wikimedia Commons