Science Interest Group (SIG) Talk
Assistant Professor of Biology Tammy Mildenstein presents “Critically Endangered or Over-abundant Pest? Moving toward conservation of the Mauritian Flying Fox through a community-based approach.” The Mauritian flying fox is at the center of a conflict between fruit farmers and conservation managers of the unique fauna of Mauritius.
This presentation will highlight the efforts of the Block 5 international conservation biology course on Mauritius, a small, remote island in the Indian Ocean. Working with the local government office for endangered species protection (Mauritius Natural Parks and Conservation Service) and a non-profit conservation organization (Ecosystem Restoration Alliance), the class pursued solutions to conservation of the threatened Mauritian flying fox amid a community of stakeholders with vastly different values and opinions of fruit bats. Students’ block projects explored a wide range of perspectives, including those derived from religious, language, economic, and ethnic differences in the local community, as well as management options based on what is known about fruit bats and their habitat on Mauritius.