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BATS Magazine

VOLUME 10, NO. 4 Winter 1992


The black flying fox (Pteropus alecto) is Australia's largest bat with a wingspan of about four to five feet. These magnificent animals are found roosting in large "camps" high in the dense leaf-cover of the hot coastal mangroves in the north. Their preferred food includes the blossoms of eucalypts, paperbarks, turpentines, and other trees. Here, a young black flying fox is shown lapping the sweet nectar from a red bottle-brush flower.

Thousands of flying foxes depart the mangrove swamps at dusk, traveling 30 miles or more in search of dinner. When their natural diet is unavailable due to drought or other factors, they sometimes will enter cultivated fruit orchards. Still unprotected in much of their range, they are often killed in large numbers by fruit growers.

Females typically give birth to a single young in October, which they carry with them for up to a month. Thereafter, the young are increasingly left behind at night. It is often about three months before they can go out on their own. -- Photo by Merlin D. Tuttle

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All articles in this issue:
A Park to Protect Flying Foxes
The Conservation of Bats in Europe
Saving Old Mines for Bats
BCI Forms Partnership for Research in Coconino National Forest
Bats in Belfries and Other Places
Funding International Research
Here's a way you can increase your gift to BCI at no extra cost
Proceedings from Conference Published
Pest Control Video Features BCI
BCI Member Featured in National Geographic Special
Annual Report Available
BCI Benefit a Success
The long sleep

Unless otherwise noted, all images are copyright ©Merlin D. Tuttle and/or ©Bat Conservation International