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Northern Samar Town Seeks Aid To Protect Giant Bats

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Northern Samar Town Seeks Aid To Protect Giant Bats

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The local government of Pambujan, Northern Samar is seeking for protection of the town’s Caohagan Island, the home of giant fruit bats.

Vice Mayor Ronil Tan said in a phone interview Friday that although they have a local ordinance declaring the island as a protected area, they are incapable of carrying out conservation measures.

The town has no figures on the number of existing bats inhabiting in the island and they only rely on what are sighted by visitors and fishermen.

“There have been reports of large flying fox roosting on trees in the island. Their population has decreased due to hunting. Some locals eat the bat’s meat,” Tan told the Philippine News Agency.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the large flying fox feeds on fruits, nectar and flowers, hence they are also called large fruit bats.

Caohagan, an inhabited island, can be reached through a two-hour motor boat ride from the town center. The place also attracts visitors due to its white sand.

Tan added that the estimated 10-hectare island is considered a shelter of fishers during rough seas.

The large flying fox is classified under “other threatened species” under the List of Threatened Species in DENR Administrative Order No. 2004-15 and the 2017 Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species.

Giant fruits bats are considered the largest bat in the world, weighing 0.65 to 1.1 kilograms and with a wingspan of up to 1.5 meters. Its head-body length is 27 to 32 centimeters. (PNA)