Roxy was born a 12 months in the past yesterday on the Oregon Zoo. She’s a Rodrigues flying fox, a critically endangered species of bat. Keepers hand-reared her after she was rejected by her mother.

Nearer in measurement to a flying prairie canine — and in look to a flying Ewok — this endangered species is native solely to Rodrigues, a tiny island within the Indian Ocean about 900 miles east of Madagascar. The bat performs an necessary ecological function on the island, the place few different pollinators or seed dispersers exist.

By the Nineteen Seventies, a lot of the bats' forest habitat had been cleared, and the species was perilously near disappearing. After a cyclone hit the island in 1979, fewer than 100 people remained, making the Rodrigues flying fox the rarest bat on the planet.

The bats discovered a champion in English naturalist Gerald Durrell, who translocated some survivors to type a breeding colony aimed toward repopulating the species. At the moment, the Rodrigues flying fox inhabitants has elevated to round 20,000 because of greater than 4 a long time of conservation exercise.

The Oregon Zoo started housing “Rods” — as they're usually referred to as in zoological circles — in 1994, and has raised greater than 50 pups since then, periodically sending bats to different zoos as a part of the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan for Rodrigues flying foxes — a cooperative program that helps keep genetically numerous, self-sustaining populations to ensure the long-term future of those animals.

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