Conservationists are calling for an end to a government cull of 18,000 fruit bats (Pteropus niger) in Mauritius, a species that is listed as vulnerable the world’s conservation union (IUCN).

Fruit bats.

Fruit bats. Image by shellac / CC BY 2.0

The government claims the killings are necessary because the number of ‘flying foxes’ has soared to almost 100,000, and the population is now causing significant economic damage to Mauritius’ lucrative fruit crops of banana, pineapple, lychee and mango.

The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation believes there are more effective ways to protect crops than culling, and estimates that the population is actually closer to 50,000, meaning the cull may wipe out almost 40% of the species.

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