menu

#ThreatenedThursday: Spectacled Flying-fox

#ThreatenedThursday: Spectacled Flying-fox

December 26, 2019


SPECIES: Pteropus conspicillatus — Spectacled Flying-fox

CLASSIFICATION: Endangered


This one’s so adorable, with its straw-coloured fur around its eyes, the Spectacled Flying-fox is but another of Australia’s endangered mammals. In Australia, it’s found in north-east Queensland and on the Torres Strait Islands, as well as in Papua New Guinea, parts of Indonesia and the Solomon Islands. Surveys have shown a dramatic decline of over 90% in the population of the Spectacled Flying-fox over in a 15 year period from 1985-2000, going from 820,000 to just 80,000 over this time.


With Flying Foxes and its Bat relatives being quite susceptible to heat, the Spectacled Flying-fox actually has the greatest tolerance to ranges of ambient temperatures of any mammal. A female will only have one pup each breeding season. They feed on fruits, blossoms and canopy vegetation and their foraging aids in the dispersal of pollen and seeds, which are vital within the ecosystem. Astounding. These flying foxes roost in colonies or ‘camps’ in exposed brances of canopy trees. Within their community, colony pups congregate in ‘nursery’ trees within the colony, but can be quite a distance from adult flying foxes of the colony.


Threats to the Spectacled Flying-fox include habitat loss, tick paralysis, heat and cyclones.


Photo: By CSIRO, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35…