Animal Info - Gilliard's Flying Fox

(Other Names: New Britain Flying Fox, Zorro Volador de Gilliard)

Pteropus gilliardi (P. gilliardorum)

Status: Vulnerable


Contents

1. Profile
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 (Weight, Habitat, Gestation Period, Early Development, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization)
5. References


Profile

Gilliard's flying fox is a small bat that occurs at low densities in closed canopy forest at altitudes from 200 - 2300 m (660 - 7500'). Its diet may include soft-skinned fruits, blossoms, and leaves. Small groups or single individuals roost cryptically within foliage.

Gilliard's flying fox is endemic to Papua New Guinea, where it has been found  on the oceanic islands of New Ireland and New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago.


Tidbits

*** Flying foxes are so-called because of their fox-like faces. They cannot use echolocation. Instead, they navigate using vision and normal hearing.

*** Most flying foxes eat fruit and are also called fruit bats. Their teeth are specialized for feeding on fruit. Fruit bats are ecologically and economically important because they pollinate and disperse the seeds of wild and commercial plants.

*** Etymology of the scientific name of Gilliard's flying fox: the genus name ("Pteropus")  - "wing-foot" (Greek); the species name ("gilliardi") - named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Gilliard, who undertook the expedition during which the only known specimen was collected (Flannery 1995a).


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

Countries Where Gilliard's Flying Fox Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Papua New Guinea (IUCN 2004).

History of Distribution:

Gilliard's flying fox is endemic to Papua New Guinea, where it has been found  on the oceanic islands of New Ireland and New Britain in the Bismarck Archipelago.

Location Map (50 Kb JPEG) (SuperTravelNet.com)

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Some factors favor the long-term chances for survival of Gilliard's flying fox, including its small body size and its ability to roost cryptically within foliage.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

1 adult male weighed 400 g (14 oz).

Habitat:

Gilliard's flying fox occurs at low densities in closed canopy forest from 200 - 2300 m (660 - 7500').  At one site where it occurred,  the local vegetation included species of rhododendron, bamboo and pandanus, which formed an undisturbed forest that was heavily mossed (Flannery 1995a)

Gestation Period:

The gestation period of flying foxes is 4 - 5 months (Bonaccorso 1998). 

Early Development:

The young of flying foxes become independent at 3 - 6 months (Bonaccorso 1998).

Diet:

Based on dental structure and comparison to similar bat species, it has been suggested that the diet of Gilliard's flying fox consists of soft-skinned fruits, blossoms, and leaves (Bonaccorso 1998).

Behavior:

Gilliard's flying fox roosts cryptically within foliage.

Social Organization:

Gilliard's flying fox roosts singly or in small groups.


References

Bonaccorso 1998, Flannery 1995a, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Mickleburgh 1992, SuperTravelNet.com


Top of Page | Search This Site

Home | Rarest Mammals | Species Index | Species Groups Index | Country Index | Links


Last modified: January 16, 2005;

1999 - 2014 Animal Info. Endangered animals of the world. SJ Contact Us.