Spectacled Flying Fox, Pteropus conspicillatus
The spectacled flying fox (Pteropus conspicillatus), also known as the spectacled fruit bat, is a species of megabat that is native to Australia. Its range includes the northeastern areas of Queensland, New Guinea, and nearby islands like Woodlark Island and Alcester Island. The species prefers a habitat within rainforests, but can be found in other areas including eucalypt forests and mangroves. It reaches an average body length between 8.6 and 9.4 inches, with an average weight between 14.1 and 35.2 ounces. The typical coloring of this species is yellow across, the shoulders, back, and neck, with yellow occurring around the eyes and sometimes along the rest of the face and the head.
The spectacled flying fox is never found more than 4.3 miles away from a rainforest, where it will feed on a variety of food sources including fruits and nectars. This species is thought to be polygamous, with females breeding at one year of age and males breeding at three to four years of age. Although the breeding season occurs between the months of January to June, most pregnancies occur between April and May. Females give birth to one pup between the months of October and December, where it will remain in the roost for five months. After this period, it will fly to different areas of the forest with the colony, resting at different areas each night, then returning to the roost in the morning.
The average lifespan of the spectacled flying fox is unknown, although one captive individual lived to be seventeen years of age. The species is threatened by habitat loss, which causes a decrease in roosting sites and food, as well as natural threats like occasional predation by crocodiles. It is one of many bat species that receives the help of the Organization for Bat Conservation. Although it was listed as threatened under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999, it appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”
Image Caption: Spectacled flying foxes (male, female & her young). Credit: Justin Welbergen/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)