Grey-headed Flying Fox
or fruit bat
As the name implies, this fruit bat has black wings and a grey head, but sets itself apart by its rust-coloured collar, as well as the fur covering its body from head to toe unlike other flying foxes. Its wingspan can be up to 1 m.
Like all bats, night time is when these creatures become most active as they fly out and forage for fruits and nectar, roaming up to 50km at night to do so. With speeds up to 40 km/h they can move fast.
These megabats can actually see very well and use smell to forage, as well their amazing memory. Travelling these distances, they play an important role for tree pollination, carrying seeds and spreading pollen. Particularly helping eucalyptus trees, whose nectar production coincides with the bat's feeding times.
During the day they rest upside down in trees, where they live with thousands of other companions. Flying Foxes have quite a social hierarchy with different groups and roles across the trees they roost in.
A grey-headed flying fox can live up to 18 years and weighs up to 1.1 kg. Once a year they can have 1 young, which takes a gestation period of 6 months. The young can only fly after about 2-3 months.
That said, the species is under threat by decreasing habitats to live and as a result are seen more and more in urban areas. The grey-headed flying ox is listed as vulnerable by current conservatory advice. It is the only kind of its species to be endemic to Australia.
Even though they appear quite tame, the bats on our tours are wild. Please respect their distance as they can carry diseases.
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