MANILA A colourful new breed of flying fox with
orange fur and three white stripes on its face has been
discovered on the Philippine island of Mindoro, the government
said on Sunday.
Flying foxes are a type of fruit bat. They are named flying
foxes because of their fox-like heads and reddish fur.
The tropical archipelago in Southeast Asia is a treasure
trove for flora and fauna. Last year, a brightly-plumed parrot
and a long-tailed forest mouse were discovered in the vanishing
rainforest of a southern volcanic island.
A team from the Philippine Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR) and the University of Kansas confirmed
the flying fox discovery during an expedition to Mindoro, south
of Manila, last year.
"A local resident of Sablayan (town) first described the
flying fox in great detail to us, but we were unconvinced until
the species showed up in our nets," said zoologist Jake
The flying fox, which researchers believe could be unique
to the Philippines, has been named the Mindoro Fruitbat.
The scientific description of the new flying fox was
published in the Journal of Mammalogy.
"This discovery is illustrative of how little we know about
Philippine biodiversity and the need for continued research all
over the country," said Mundita Lim, chief of the Protected
Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the DENR.