Variation in the nocturnal foraging distribution of and resource use by endangered Ryukyu flying foxes (Pteropus dasymallus) on Iriomotejima Island, Japan

Ya-Fu Lee, Tokushiro Takaso, Tzen-Yuh Chiang, Yen Min Kuo, Nozomi Nakanishi, Hsy Yu Tzeng, Keiko Yasuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nocturnal distribution and resource use by Ryukyu flying foxes was studied along 28 transects, covering five types of habitats, on Iriomote Island, Japan, from early June to late September, 2005. Bats were mostly encountered solitarily (66.8%) or in pairs (16.8%), with a mean linear density of 2.5 ± 0.6 bats/km of transect/night. Across the island, however, bat densities were distributed non-randomly among transect-nights, not correlated with transect length, and showed a slightly clumped distribution (variance/mean = 3.3). Outskirt trails contributed higher values to the relative importance of bat abundance, but the highest mean abundances occurred mostly at village sites on the west coast, which on average devoted only a quarter of their land area to agriculture/husbandry compared to those on the east coast. This supports our prediction that higher bat abundances are found in areas with less anthropogenic interference and more forest. Among habitats, the mean total abundance and density were lower in cultivated areas than in villages and inland forests. Bat perches in cultivated areas were also lower, and were in correspondence with lower shrub and canopy heights, and less canopy coverage. Flying fox abundance was correlated moderately with the heterogeneity of the tree composition, and strongly with the density of major fruiting trees. Thirty-nine species of plants and some animal items were used by Ryukyu flying foxes, including at least 31 species of fruits, 13 species of flowers, and leaves of seven species, with 14 species new to the record. Ficus septica and F. variegata were the most frequently encountered and dominant items in both fecal and rejecta/dropped samples, followed mostly by other figs and mulberries in the former, but by larger-seed non- Moraceae plants in dropped samples. Our results suggest that for conservation of flying foxes undisturbed forests providing an adequate resource basis are of major importance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContributions to Zoology
Volume78
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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Pteropus
Pteropodidae
bat
resource use
Chiroptera
foraging
Japan
transect
villages
village
canopy
coasts
Moraceae
coast
figs
fruiting
mulberries
habitat
perch
habitats

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

@article{f013be0fb62e49af89f28167a047ca46,
title = "Variation in the nocturnal foraging distribution of and resource use by endangered Ryukyu flying foxes (Pteropus dasymallus) on Iriomotejima Island, Japan",
abstract = "The nocturnal distribution and resource use by Ryukyu flying foxes was studied along 28 transects, covering five types of habitats, on Iriomote Island, Japan, from early June to late September, 2005. Bats were mostly encountered solitarily (66.8{\%}) or in pairs (16.8{\%}), with a mean linear density of 2.5 ± 0.6 bats/km of transect/night. Across the island, however, bat densities were distributed non-randomly among transect-nights, not correlated with transect length, and showed a slightly clumped distribution (variance/mean = 3.3). Outskirt trails contributed higher values to the relative importance of bat abundance, but the highest mean abundances occurred mostly at village sites on the west coast, which on average devoted only a quarter of their land area to agriculture/husbandry compared to those on the east coast. This supports our prediction that higher bat abundances are found in areas with less anthropogenic interference and more forest. Among habitats, the mean total abundance and density were lower in cultivated areas than in villages and inland forests. Bat perches in cultivated areas were also lower, and were in correspondence with lower shrub and canopy heights, and less canopy coverage. Flying fox abundance was correlated moderately with the heterogeneity of the tree composition, and strongly with the density of major fruiting trees. Thirty-nine species of plants and some animal items were used by Ryukyu flying foxes, including at least 31 species of fruits, 13 species of flowers, and leaves of seven species, with 14 species new to the record. Ficus septica and F. variegata were the most frequently encountered and dominant items in both fecal and rejecta/dropped samples, followed mostly by other figs and mulberries in the former, but by larger-seed non- Moraceae plants in dropped samples. Our results suggest that for conservation of flying foxes undisturbed forests providing an adequate resource basis are of major importance.",
author = "Ya-Fu Lee and Tokushiro Takaso and Tzen-Yuh Chiang and Kuo, {Yen Min} and Nozomi Nakanishi and Tzeng, {Hsy Yu} and Keiko Yasuda",
year = "2009",
language = "English",
volume = "78",
journal = "Contributions to Zoology",
issn = "1383-4517",
publisher = "SPB Academic Publishing bv",
number = "2",

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Variation in the nocturnal foraging distribution of and resource use by endangered Ryukyu flying foxes (Pteropus dasymallus) on Iriomotejima Island, Japan. / Lee, Ya-Fu; Takaso, Tokushiro; Chiang, Tzen-Yuh; Kuo, Yen Min; Nakanishi, Nozomi; Tzeng, Hsy Yu; Yasuda, Keiko.

In: Contributions to Zoology, Vol. 78, No. 2, 2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Variation in the nocturnal foraging distribution of and resource use by endangered Ryukyu flying foxes (Pteropus dasymallus) on Iriomotejima Island, Japan

AU - Lee, Ya-Fu

AU - Takaso, Tokushiro

AU - Chiang, Tzen-Yuh

AU - Kuo, Yen Min

AU - Nakanishi, Nozomi

AU - Tzeng, Hsy Yu

AU - Yasuda, Keiko

PY - 2009

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N2 - The nocturnal distribution and resource use by Ryukyu flying foxes was studied along 28 transects, covering five types of habitats, on Iriomote Island, Japan, from early June to late September, 2005. Bats were mostly encountered solitarily (66.8%) or in pairs (16.8%), with a mean linear density of 2.5 ± 0.6 bats/km of transect/night. Across the island, however, bat densities were distributed non-randomly among transect-nights, not correlated with transect length, and showed a slightly clumped distribution (variance/mean = 3.3). Outskirt trails contributed higher values to the relative importance of bat abundance, but the highest mean abundances occurred mostly at village sites on the west coast, which on average devoted only a quarter of their land area to agriculture/husbandry compared to those on the east coast. This supports our prediction that higher bat abundances are found in areas with less anthropogenic interference and more forest. Among habitats, the mean total abundance and density were lower in cultivated areas than in villages and inland forests. Bat perches in cultivated areas were also lower, and were in correspondence with lower shrub and canopy heights, and less canopy coverage. Flying fox abundance was correlated moderately with the heterogeneity of the tree composition, and strongly with the density of major fruiting trees. Thirty-nine species of plants and some animal items were used by Ryukyu flying foxes, including at least 31 species of fruits, 13 species of flowers, and leaves of seven species, with 14 species new to the record. Ficus septica and F. variegata were the most frequently encountered and dominant items in both fecal and rejecta/dropped samples, followed mostly by other figs and mulberries in the former, but by larger-seed non- Moraceae plants in dropped samples. Our results suggest that for conservation of flying foxes undisturbed forests providing an adequate resource basis are of major importance.

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