The Madagascan rousette is believed to have undergone a decline of around 20 to 25 percent in recent decades. Although often the most commonly trapped species during scientific surveys, it is seriously threatened by overhunting (1) (3) (7) (13). Most hunting occurs at the roosts, by local people, with the bats caught in locally made traps or knocked down from the cave ceiling using sticks (1) (13).
The Madagascan rousette may also potentially be killed as a pest of fruit crops (1). Under Malagasy law, the Madagascan rousette is a game species, and as such only receives protection where it occurs in nature reserves, or where it roosts at sacred sites (1) (14). However, many reserves receive little real protection, and the national hunting season for bats is also largely ignored (7) (13).
Since fruit bats produce only a single offspring each year, they are particularly susceptible to overhunting (13). Forest destruction and degradation are likely to compound these problems (1) (7), although the extent to which the Madagascan rousette is impacted by deforestation is not yet fully understood (1).