Rodrigues Island, in the Indian Ocean
Fruits, flowers, pollen, nectar, young leaves
Habitat: volcanic terrain, tropical fruit forests , where they nest in trees or caves and rocky shelters.
Gestation: 140-192 days, 1 rarely 2 offspring
Social structure: Social, large groups
Weight: 350g max
Dimensions: length 35cm, 90cm wingspan max
Estimated population in the wild: ~20,000
Lifespan: max 31 Under human care
Threats: Deforestation (esp. of fruit and roosting trees which also serve as protection from storms), tropical cyclones, shooting as pest. In the past, it was also hunted for food.
IUCN Status: Endangered
Did you know that:
- Its Latin name comes from the Greek pteron "wing" and pus "foot", thus "wing-foot". Rodricensis refers to the island where it is native.
- They are crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk) and nocturnal.
- They are an important pollinator and disperser of native trees.
- In the 1970s after a cyclone, their population was reduced to around 70 animals! In 1976 Durrell zoo brought the first specimens and started a very successful breeding program. Now a thriving population, spread between many zoos worldwide, safeguards the species' future should disaster strike again in the wild.