Eidolon helvum (EYE-doe-lon HEL-vum



RANGE: Southwestern Arabian Peninsula, and from Senegal to central Ethiopia to S. Africa, and the islands of Gulf of Guinea off East Africa. HABITAT: Tropical forests & savannas, also in urban areas where there is sufficient trees and food. SIZE: Length:14-20 cm (5.5-8 in); weight: 230-350g (8-12 oz); Wingspan: 0.9m (about 3 ft) DESCRIPTION: Named for its straw-colored pelage, males have a golden fur around their necks. DIET: Juice of fruits and plant parts including leaves, bark, flowers, pollen and nectar. LIFESPAN: Average is 15 years, longest known captive animal was 21 years 10 months. REPRODUCTION: Females have one pup per year. In the wild the reproductive cycle is geared to the beginning of the wet season. Actual period of embryonic development is 4 months, though gestation including delayed implantation averages 9 months. BEHAVIOR: Straw-colored fruit bats can migrate up to 2,500 km round trip (over 1,500 miles). ROOST: They are very social bats that prefer to roost in tall trees but have been found in lofts and in caves. They can be found in enormous colonies, where population numbers permit several thousand individuals to over 1,000,000. PREADATORS: Owls, eagles, buzzards, snakes, civets, genets, and man. THREATS: Large numbers of bats are shot in pest eradication attempts or as food. STATUS: Considered stable at this time.

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