Ryukyu Flying Fox, Pteropus dasymallus

The ryukyu flying fox (Pteropus dasymallus), also known as the ryukyu fruit bat, is a megabat that is native to Taiwan, Japan, and the islands of the Batanes and the  Babuyan Islands in the Philippines. It prefers a habitat within tropical and subtropical arid forests and swamps. It is thought that the population in the Philippines is the largest in its range, and it is quite common in forest areas in that region. It holds five recognized subspecies throughout its range.

The ryukyu flying fox will roost in caves, but have been seen roosting in urban human settlements in Japan. It chooses to roost near fruit trees in these areas, because it prefers to eat fruit, especially figs. These bats are nocturnal, and rest in small groups or alone during the daytime.

The ryukyu flying fox is threatened by habitat loss and hunting, depending on the area in which is live. It is not hunted in Dalupiri, but is hunted on Babuyan Claro, where it is considered a delicacy. In some areas of Tawiwan, it is thought that a few local populations have gone extinct. In 1990, this bat was placed in Appendix II of CITES. In Japan, two subspecies have been declared a National Monument. Most subspecies are endangered, but the ryukyu flying fox as a species appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “near Threatened”.

Image Caption: Orii’s fruit bat – Pteropus dasymallus inopinatus. Credit: Nesnad/Wikipedia  (CC BY-SA 3.0)