Madagascar has a distinctive fruit bar community consisting of Pteropus rufus, Eidolon dupreanum, and Rousettus madagascariensis. In this study, we observed fruit bat visits to flowering baobabs (Adansonia suarezensis and Adansonia grandideri) and kapok trees (Ceiba pentandra) during the austral winter. Eidolon dupreanum was recorded feeding on the nectar of baobabs and kapok, P rufus was observed Feeding oil kapok only and no R. madagascariensis were seen. Three mammals species, two small lemurs (Phaner furcifer and Mirza coquereli) and E. dupreanum, made nondestructive visits to flowering A. grandidieri and are therefore all potential pollinators of this endangered baobab. This is the first evidence to show that A. grandidieri is bit-pollinated and Further demonstrates the close link between fruit bats and some of Madagascars endemic plants. Eidolon dupreanum was the only mammal species recorded visiting A. suarezensis and visits peaked at the reported limes of maximum nectar concentration. Pteropus rufus visited kapok mostly before midnight when most nectar was available, but E. dupreanum visited later in the night. These differences in timing of foraging on kapok can be explained either by differing distances from the roost sites of each species or by resource partitioning. We advocate increased levels of protection, education awareness, and applied research oil both mammal-pollinated baobab species and fruit bats, and suggest that both baobabs and bats are candidate "flagship species" for the threatened city forests of Madagascar.
- resource use
- COMOROS ISLANDS