Guam Flying Fox – It Was Very Good

Guam Flying Fox
Guam Flying Fox, Peter Schouten, 1998

Guam Flying Fox (Pteropus tokudae)

Once native to the island of Gaum, the tokudae was first documented in 1931, roosting with another bats species on the island, the larger and much more common Marianas flying-fox.

Very little is known about the species. The local people, Chamorro, who hunted the bat always considered it a rare catch. The Guam Flying Fox was a small megabat with a body length of about six inches and a wingspan just over two feet. The top of the head is greyish, the back, throat, and underparts brown or dark brown and the side of the neck golden-brown. It is unknown where or how the tokudae lived.

Guam Flying Fox
Holotype skin of Pteropus tokudae. AMNH 87117, adult male, from Guam, collected 10 Aug 1931 by W.F. Coultas

Only three specimens of this bat have ever been collected, the last in 1968. There have been no confirmed sightings since then. It is unclear what exactly lead to the extinction of the tokudae, the introductions of exotic species, forest alteration and degradation, and excessive hunting have all been proposed.

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Author: Jonathon

Doesn’t mix well with polite company; his two favorite topics being politics and religion. Would rather be out cycling, swimming, running, or camping. Misspent his youth reading genre-fiction; today, he is making up for it by reading large quantities of non-fiction literature. The fact that truth, in every way, is more fascinating than fiction still tickles him.

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