7 Nov 2008

CNMI deplores killing of rare fruit bats

10:55 am on 7 November 2008

The CNMI's Division of Fish and Wildlife says more than ten per cent of the remaining number of Mariana fruit bats on Rota have been killed by hunters.

Department biologists say the creatures were killed during three illegal hunts in the last six months.

The CNMI government has enforced a moratorium on the hunting of the Mariana fruit bat since the 1990s.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services listed the Mariana fruit bat in 2005 as endangered because of an alarming decline in its numbers.

The current fruit bat population is estimated at about 1,000, compared with an estimated 2,500 in the 1990s.