Pteropus vampyrus (TER-ohp-us VAM-pie-rus

)

MALAYAN FLYING FOX

RANGE & HABITAT: Tropical and sub-tropical forests of Indo-Pacific region, especially southern Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, West Malaysia, the Philippines, Java and New Guinea. SIZE: Largest bat in the world: weight: 645g-100g (about 2-3 lbs.); height: 46-61cm (1.5-3 feet); Wingspan:1.4 m-1.8m, (4.6 -5.9 ft.) Distribution shown is not exact. LIFESPAN: Can live up to 30 years in captivity. BEHAVIOR: Malayan flying foxes will fly 40 miles in search of food. They eat fruit, pollen, nectar, and leaves, with the major part of their diet in the wild being figs. Occasionally one individual will defend an entire tree while feeding. They prefer to roost in the upper branches in tall trees. They can roost singly, in pairs, or where population numbers permit 100 to several thousand individuals. Roosts can be noisy and active groups often of mixed species. If undisturbed, colonies can be found at the same site year after year. REPRODUCTION: Gestation is about 180 days, with one young born. Young are born fully furred with eyes open and weigh close to one-third of its mother's weight. The pup is carried by the mother for the first few days, then left at the roost when the mother goes out to feed. Pups are weaned somewhere between three to five months, at the end of which time they are nearly mature, though they do not reach sexual maturity until 2 years old. Males may control harems of up to 10 females. STATUS: This species is listed in CITES Appendix II, meaning it is not currently threatened, but could become so if protective measures are not taken. The Malayan flying fox is greatly reduced over most of its range. THREATS: Primary threats are loss of habitat and being hunted for food and as medicine. Mistakenly, it is believed that the fat of large flying foxes to be a cure for rheumatism, and the meat to contain curative properties for asthma. Farmers also kill them in the belief that they damage fruit orchards. Additionally, large numbers can be lost after a typhoon because of decreased food sources. ALSO CALLED: Large Flying Fox, Giant Flying Fox
www.batconservation.org

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