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Animal Info - Golden-capped Fruit Bat

(Other Names: 菲律賓果蝠, フィリピンオオコウモリ, Golden-crowned Fruit Bat, Goldkronen Flughundes, Zorro Volador Filipino)

Acerodon jubatus

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Size and Weight, Habitat, Birth Season, Birth Rate, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization, Density and Range)
5. References


Profile

Picture: Golden-capped Fruit Bat (17 Kb JPEG) (Field Museum)

The golden-capped fruit bat weighs up to 1.2 kg (2.6 lb). It has been found from sea level to primary montane forest at 1100 m (3600'). The golden-capped fruit bat is probably dependent on primary or old secondary forest. Figs comprise the majority of its diet, although it may occasionally eat cultivated fruits. It can travel at least 40 km (25 mi) in a night. The golden-capped fruit bat and the large fruit bat (Pteropus vampyrus) historically aggregated in the large colonies characteristic of fruit bats, with numbers in one camp on Mindanao estimated to be near 150,000 as late as the 1920's (Heaney & Heideman 1987).

The golden-capped fruit bat is endemic to the Philippines. Although widespread within its present distribution, the individual populations are small. As a result of hunting and loss of habitat due to deforestation, it has vanished from a number of small and medium-sized islands and is believed to have disappeared from larger islands, such as Cebu, which have been completely deforested (Mickleburgh 1992)

By the mid-1980's, most mixed colonies of the golden-capped fruit bat and the large fruit bat (Pteropus vampyrus), which previously numbered over 100,000, had disappeared, and those that persisted were down to a few thousand individuals at best, often only a few hundred. However, in the mid-1990's, researchers in the Sierra Madre wilderness found a new colony of 50 - 60,000 giant fruit bats. (Heaney & Regalado 1998)


Tidbits

*** The golden-capped fruit bat is probably the heaviest bat in the world. One other species, the large fruit bat, Pteropus vampyrus, has a larger wing span, but averages less in weight. (Heaney & Heideman 1987)

*** Because of its large size and the fact that it roosts in large colonies, it is easy for hunters to find.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where the Golden-capped Fruit Bat Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in the Philippines. (IUCN 2004)

History of Distribution:

The golden-capped fruit bat is only found in the Philippines. As of 1992 it occurred on the islands of Basilan, Biliran, Cebu, Dinagat, Leyte, Luzon, Mindoro, Negros, Panay, Samar, and the Sulu Archipelago (Bongao, Sanga Sanga, Sivutu and Tawitawi). Although widespread within its present distribution, the individual populations are small. It has vanished from a number of small and medium-sized islands and is believed to have disappeared from larger islands, such as Cebu, which have been completely deforested (Mickleburgh 1992)

By the mid-1980's, most mixed colonies of the golden-capped fruit bat and the large fruit bat (Pteropus vampyrus), which previously numbered over 100,000, had disappeared, and those that persisted were down to a few thousand individuals at best, often only a few hundred. However, in the mid-1990's, researchers in the Sierra Madre wilderness in northeastern Luzon found a new colony of 50 - 60,000 giant fruit bats. (Heaney & Regalado 1998)

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Hunting and loss of habitat due to deforestation are the major threats.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Size and Weight:

The golden-capped fruit bat has a wingspan of 1.5 - 1.7 m (5 - 5.6'). It weighs up to 1.2 kg (2.6 lb).

Habitat:

The golden-capped fruit bat has been found from sea level to primary montane forest at 1100 m (3600'). It is probably dependent on primary or old secondary forest.

The golden-capped fruit bat is one of the species that live in the Philippines Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl. 2005)

Birth Season:

It gives birth around April or May.

Birth Rate:

Probably no more than 1 young per year.

Diet:

Figs comprise the majority of the diet of the golden-capped fruit bat. It may occasionally eat cultivated fruits, but this is apparently rare.

Behavior:

The golden-capped fruit bat can travel at least 40 km (25 mi) in a night.

Social Organization:

The golden-capped fruit bat and the large fruit bat (Pteropus vampyrus) historically aggregated in the large colonies characteristic of fruit bats, with numbers in one camp on Mindanao estimated to be near 150,000 as late as the 1920's (Heaney & Heideman 1987).

Density and Range:

Average densities of 1 individual/10 - 20 hectares (25 - 50 acres) have been observed on Negros (Mickleburgh 1992).


References

Cons. Intl. 2005, Field Museum, Heaney & Heideman 1987, Heaney & Regalado 1998, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Mickleburgh 1992, Nowak 2002, Nowak & Paradiso 1983


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Last modified: March 5, 2005;

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