Drawing of a woman from 1974 wearing a mask of an extinct Guam Flying Fox by Jenny Kendler
The Guam Flying Fox
From the Extinction Portraits series
Graphite on paper in painted frame
11 x 9 in., framed

Pteropus tokudae
Extinct 1974

The Guam Flying Fox was a tiny 'megabat' that was likely driven to extinction, likely by hunting and habitat loss.

By way of a strange form of revenge, the local Chamorro people have been suffering unusually high incidences of a neurological disease, similar to Parkinson's. The local people are avid bat hunters and eaters, and severe overhunting has been going on since the introduction of firearms. The Chamorros' main prey is the Mariana Fruit Bat, close relative of the extinct Guam Flying Fox.

It was recently found that this mysterious disease is likely due to the ingestion of large quantities of neurotoxins from cycad seeds, one of the favorite foods of these bats. The Mariana Fruit Bat is now threatened throughout its range.