Monday, May 07, 2007

Rodrigues Fruit Bats: 2500?

Steve Wing tracks cats, saves bats and has high hopes for the Arctic. Here he talks to Paula Burba of The Courier-Journal about his work at the Louisville Zoo.
"One of my favorite programs involves the highly endangered Rodrigues fruit bat. Found only on the tiny island of Rodrigues in the Indian Ocean, their population had dwindled to only 74 individual bats. In the mid-1980s, zoos from the U.S. and the U.K. banded together … (and) started a breeding program (with 18 bats). Today, more than 500 Rodrigues fruit bats reside in 28 zoos across the world … as education ambassadors to millions of zoo visitors. … (And now) a native Rodriguan teaches school and community groups (on the island) about conservation and provides training on reforestation and waterway cleanup. As a result, there are currently more than 2,000 bats living on the island!"

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