Members of the public participated in a run-a-thon to raise awareness of Fiji’s bats.
Organised by Christopher and Elizabeth Daniels who are members of the Rucksack club as well as of NatureFiji-MareqetiViti, the run-a-thon was held on the 16th of February 2014, beginning at the ‘Big bure’ at My Suva Park.
The event was held to raise awareness as well receive donations, for NFMV to continue implementing conservation activities on Fiji’s endangered species.
And specifically focusing on Fiji’s only native mammals, its bats.
Nunia Thomas, NFMV Director, attended the event, providing information materials on bats of Fiji, some of which can be seen along the Suva foreshore, consisting mainly of the Pacific flying fox Pteropus tonganus.
The run-a-thon was a great opportunity for people to learn more about Fiji’s bats.
Fiji has six species of bats, three of which are fruit bats, two of these can be seen along the Suva foreshore, that is the Pacific flying fox P.tonganus and, occasionally, the Samoan flying fox P.samoensis.
Fiji has an endemic bat that has only been documented from Taveuni Island, that is the Fijian flying fox Mirimiri acrodonta. The first ever capture and release of Fiji’s only endemic mammal, the Fijian flying fox was in 2009.
Three other bat species roost in caves, one of which, the Fiji Blossom bat Notopteris macdonaldi, feeds on nectar.
The other two cave bats include the Pacific sheath-tail bat Emballonura semicaudata and the Fijian free tailed bat Tadarida bregullae and they feed on insects. In so doing they may be doing a lot good in feeding on insect pests.
NatureFiji-MareqetiViti would like to acknowledge the support of the Rucksack group as well as to Christopher and Elizabeth Daniel for organizing the event Vinaka vakalevu!
The Rucksack club formed in 1963 is made up of a group of like minded people who participate in outdoor activities.
They aim to foster a greater appreciation for the natural environment for its members, by generating interest in learning and appreciating Fiji’s amazing flora and fauna.