6 Jan 2010

More hunting of endangered CNMI fruit bat

3:24 pm on 6 January 2010

The Division of Fish and Wildlife in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands says the Mariana fruit bat has again been the target of illegal hunting on Rota.

The Division discovered fresh footprints, shot gun shells and fresh fruit bat carcasses during routine bird surveys on Christmas Eve.

It's the sixth poaching event at a fruit bat colony on Rota since June 2008.

Our CNMI correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the colonies were the target of hunters of the endangered mammal.

"Reports say that twenty-five to fifty fruit bats were witnessed as flying overhead in the morning, which is a sign that their habitat has been disturbed. Because generally the only time they fly out in the morning is when they're disturbed. So Division of Fish and Wildlife biologists when they came to that area where the bats were nesting, they saw the fruit bat colony in utter disarray."

Mark Rabago says investigations are now underway into this latest incident.