Animal Info - Livingstone's Flying Fox

(Other Name: Comoro Black Flying Fox, Livingstone's Fruit Bat, Zorro Volador de Livingston)

Pteropus livingstonii

Status: Critically Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, Population Estimates, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Size and Weight, Habitat, Gestation Period, Birth Season, Birth Rate, Early Development, Diet, Behavior)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Livingstone's Flying Fox #1 (22 Kb) and Livingstone's Flying Fox #2 (46 Kb JPEG) (Action Comores), Livingstone's Flying Fox #3 (50 Kb GIF) (The Wild Ones/Wildlife Trust)

Livingstone's flying fox weighs about 700 g (1.5 lb). It prefers extensive areas of closed canopy humid montane forest and survives at least between 850 - 1100 m (2800 - 3600' ). Livingstone's flying fox's diet includes forest fruits such as those of Ficus lutea. It flies with a slow wing-beat, frequently glides and can also soar on thermals. It roosts in steep-sided valleys and appears to be active during daytime and nighttime.

Up until 1981, Livingstone's flying fox had only been reported from Anjouan (Nzwani) Island in the Comoros. In 1981 it was also reported from Moheli (Mwali). It has still been reported from both islands as recently as 1998. Seven significant roosts are known on Anjouan and two on Moheli. Loss of its upland forest habitat through deforestation and cyclones is the greatest threat to Livingstone's flying fox.


Tidbits

*** Small-scale replanting of native fruit-bearing trees could form a significant conservation measure, given that relatively small patches of flowering and fruiting trees can attract large numbers of these bats (Reason & Trewhella 1994).

*** Livingstone's flying fox appears to be a clumsy flier, losing altitude when flying in still air. But it is adept at soaring, by which it may gain considerable altitude in mountain updrafts (Cheke & Dahl 1981).

*** The Action Comores program, supported by international organizations, worked with Comoriens, including Ulanga, a Comorien voluntary environmental group, to develop locally based conservation and monitoring of Livingstone's flying fox. This program paid off when members of Ulanga discovered a new colony of the bat, numbering 250 bats, in 1994.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where Livingstone's Flying Fox Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in the Comoros (IUCN 2004).

Population Estimates:

[Note: Figures given are for wild populations only.]

History of Distribution:

Up until 1981, Livingstone's flying fox had only been reported from Anjouan (Nzwani) Island in the Comoros. In 1981 it was also reported from Moheli (Mwali). It is still reported from both islands, with a total of at least 13 roosts known on Anjouan and Moheli as of December 1998 (Action Comores).

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Loss of its upland forest habitat through deforestation and cyclones is the greatest threat to Livingstone's flying fox.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size and Weight:

Livingstone's flying fox weighs about 700 g (1.5 lb) and has a wingspan of about 1.4 m (4.6').

Habitat:

Livingstone's flying fox prefers extensive areas of closed canopy humid montane forest. It survives at least between 850 - 1100 m (2800 - 3600' ).

Livingstone's flying fox is one of the species that live in the Madagascar & Indian Ocean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005).

Gestation Period:

The gestation period of flying foxes is 4 - 5 months (Bonaccorso 1998). 

Birth Season:

Births occur towards the end of the dry season (July - September) (Action Comores).

Birth Rate:

A female Livingstone's flying fox gives birth to a single young each year.

Early Development:

The young of flying foxes become independent at 3 - 6 months (Bonaccorso 1998).

Diet:

Livingstone's flying fox's diet includes forest fruits such as those of Ficus lutea.

Behavior:

Livingstone's flying fox flies with a slow wing-beat, frequently glides and can also soar on thermals. It roosts in steep-sided valleys. (Action Comores) It appears to be active during daytime and nighttime.


References

Action Comores, Anon. 1995, Bonaccorso 1998, Burton & Pearson 1987, Cheke & Dahl 1981, Cons. Intl. 2005, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2006, Mickleburgh 1992, Oryx 1995p, Reason & Trewhella 1994, The Wild Ones/Wildlife Trust


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Last modified: May 17, 2006;

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