30 Sep '17, 6am

Dwindling flying fox numbers in Malaysia threaten durian industry

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Flying foxes are disappearing from Malaysia's forests and this could be devastating to the multi-million-ringgit durian industry, say researchers. Flying fox specialist Dr Sheema Abdul Aziz said her team's research showed that the giant fruit bats, known as "keluang" in Malay, are major pollinators of durian trees. Unfortunately, flying foxes are commonly killed as pests as there is a perception that their large form - they are the biggest of all the bat species - are destructive to the trees which produce the "king of fruits." Her study, which included placing camera traps in durian trees on Pulau Tioman, however, found the opposite was true: Not only are they non-destructive, but they play a crucial role in the pollination process. And the decline in the flying fox population could lead to fewer or poorer-quality durians. "Pre...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/dwindling-flying...

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