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Wallaroo Station Animal Fact Sheet
FLYING FOX BAT
Pteropus vampyrus

Range:
Islands from Madagascar to Australia and in Indonesia and mainland Asia.

Bats are the only mammals that have the ability to fly.

By day the flying fox roosts in communal sites, called camps, hanging upside down in large trees.  Favored roost sites are often used for many years, and the trees become stripped of bark and foliage by the bats' sharp claws. The camps also have a musky odor that is characteristic of flying foxes.  During the day the bats are noisy and active.  Camps may contain several hundred to several thousand flying foxes.  Within the roost there is often pecking order whereby the more dominant males occupy the best roosting sites.

Despite its large size, the flying fox is less feared than other types of bats, such as the vampire bat. Rather than preying on animals, the flying fox eats only fruit. While it once fed mainly on wild fruit, the bat now increasingly raids cultivated crops of fruit trees, which has brought it into conflict with man. In some areas it has posed such a threat to fruit farmers that it has been poisoned. The flying fox is also hunted in parts of Pakistan for its fat, which is used for medicinal purposes.

In the past 50 years, many small oceanic islands have been almost completely deforested and, as a result, the flying fox populations have experienced a decline.

Interested? Go to www.yearofthebat.org to support Bat Conservation or to learn more about what you can do for bats and what bats have done for you.

Habitat: Tropical forests and swamps.
Diet: Fruit, flowers, nectar, pollen and leaves
Status: N/A
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Weight: Up to 2.2lbs
Wingspan:  Up to six feet
Lifespan: Average of 15 years in the wild.  Up to 30 in captivity.
Reproduction & Offspring: After five months of pregnancy, the female gives birth to a single offspring.

 

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