Lieu: Brunoy

Abstract. Fruit bats (Family: Pteropodidae) provide us with many benefits by performing important ecosystem services through pollination and seed dispersal. Yet it is predicted that many pteropodid bats in Southeast Asia will become globally extinct by the end of this century, with flying foxes (Pteropus spp., Acerodon spp., Desmalopex spp.) being of particular concern due to intense hunting pressure. There is now a widespread consensus that flying fox conservation and monitoring must be prioritised within the region. The urgency of this situation is particularly exemplified by Peninsular Malaysia, where a combination of relentless hunting pressure and agricultural expansion has drastically reduced the numbers of its two flying fox species. This may have negative implications for the country’s tropical forest ecosystems, as these bats perform important ecological roles over long distances. Yet this serious decline continues unimpeded due to weak legal protection, negative perceptions of bats, lack of political will, continued demand for flying fox meat, and scant research efforts. It is clear that immediate conservation efforts are desperately required.  However, in order for conservation to happen, we need to first collect quantitative data on ecosystem services and other beneficial aspects of these bats, whilst investigating the issue of bat-human conflict such as fruit crop raiding, and offering realistic solutions for mitigation. I provide an overview of the situation, and results of my PhD project which is attempting to kick-start this conservation process.