Culling of Mauritian flying foxes has started!

The Government of Mauritius has announced plans to cull endemic Mauritian flying foxes (Pteropus niger), which are ranked 'Vulnerable' by the IUCN Red List. This species is already locally extinct on La Réunion, and the planned cull would seriously threaten the remaining population on Mauritius.

Please read a position statement by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and consider signing a petition against this cull.

UPDATE 1: here's the position statement by the IUCN Bat Specialist Group (also available as a pdf document).

UPDATE 2: Rettet den Regenwald, a conservation NGO, also launched a petition.

UPDATE 3: Sadly, the Government of Mauritius moved forward, and the first flying foxes have been shot down. There's a new article on National Geographic covering the issue.

UPDATE 4: WWF also issued a statement.

Posted by jakob jakob, October 09, 2015 12:03

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Signed!

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 4 years ago (Flag)
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Phew... Signed as well.

Posted by natalie almost 4 years ago (Flag)
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Signed and shared!

Posted by dotun55 almost 4 years ago (Flag)
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@rinahart169, what's your read on this as a local? Any insights?

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 4 years ago (Flag)
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Hi Carrie,
6 years ago, our neighbour grew litchi as crops. I noticed many dead bats in his yard. So, I inquired about that and frankly told him that it was wrong to kill bats (now I know it was illegal too). In reply he told me he would continue killing bats because he hated them and would also eat them. He invited me to eat those bats. Well, I was so scared that people ate bats (I had a kid's perspective back then). Let's just say I am happy that person is no longer my neighbour and has settled in Canada now. Same old, farmers here are mostly illiterate and trying to get a living, it would be difficult to explain why it is essential to ensure the continued survival of these vulnerable species. Who knows if they are already killing bats illegally? As it is, I am happy I saw 2 bats today flying towards a mango tree and will be happier if I saw those 2 bats again tomorrow :)

Posted by rinahart169 almost 4 years ago (Flag)
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These are some local comments I have been reading in response to IUCN's appeal to Mauritian government.
http://www.lexpress.mu/article/270327/abattage-chauves-souris-une-ong-internationale-monte-au-creneau

"Nets do not help as they need to be expertly laid and then removed after the harvest period.
No NGO with their fake figures will stop me from killing those pests.
I welcome any member of the NGO's to spend the night at my house and witness first hand the damages that I incur from their darlings."

"Whether allowed by law or not, I for one, will be killing them. As it is, we are expecting a bad harvest this summer."

Carrie that is exactly the thought of response I think most fruit growers have. See the below comment, it's even more incredulous.

"The population of bats is at 90,000. They will reproduce (if 50% female produce 2 babies each) the total population will be 180,000 in 2016. They are fruit-eating bats and destroying OUR cash crops such as litchis, mangoes and bananas. How much compensation can the government pay out for each affected person when the problem is that of a pest??? The government has organised a legal culling to bring the population down, not to make the species extinct."

There was even a comment that in 5 years there will be no local litchis and of bat sauce exportation (I am rolling my eyes right now).

I like this comment though
" Also monkeys are causing so much damage to native birds and also to fruit plantations! why are they not culled? they are not endemic while the bat is 100% mauritian. its very likely because of pressure from socio cultural groups."

There are also comment that hints at sleep disturbance cause by bats, letting dear old litchis trees die, disease spread due to bats (I think ebola outbreak might be what the person had in mind), and even ridiculous comment to let the NGOs take the bats out of Mauritius.

I have translated a few of the comments written in creole for you to understand. Otherwise, you can check the link for more insights.

Thank you
Varina

Posted by rinahart169 almost 4 years ago (Flag)
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There is a crowd funding project, aiming to make a documentary about the mauritian golden bats. It can be showed in public and private schools on the island, and also broadcasted on the national channel (Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation) to change the public view on bats. Hopefully they will get a lobby on their home island!

https://gogetfunding.com/they-call-me-pest/

Posted by taraneh about 3 years ago (Flag)

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