Threats/Control Methods - Regional
These flying foxes are responsible for the dispersal of seeds across the landscape, including weed species if they are available. They would prefer to only eat eucalypt blossoms, however their habitat is threatened by land clearing for forestry and agriculture, and the degradation of the landscape for human developments.
Berry producing weeds should be removed from home gardens, to prevent dispersal to local woodlands. Joining a revegetation activity in one of Canberra's surrounding native forests will increase the natural habitat and food sources for this species. Check out Landcare or Greening Australia for upcoming events.
Collared Flying-fox, Collared Fruit-bat, Little Red Fruit-bat, Reddish Fruit-bat
This reddish-brown winged creature is about 21cm in length. Its face is similar to one of a small possum or wallaby. It has a light yellow-brown fur patch across its shoulders and pale yellow hairs on the underside of its otherwise hairless wings membranes. Its transparent wing-membranes are noticeable in flight.
The Grey-headed Flying-fox is darker coloured and slightly larger.
This species is found across northern
Country of Origin
Night searches and calls
Conservation (Pet/Pest) Status - National
Secure, not listed under the EPBC Act 1999. Considered a pest in some fruit growing areas if natural food availability is limited.
Associated vegetation community
This species is found across a range of landscapes, especially eucalypt forests, woodlands, mangroves and orchard areas.
This species is limited by the availability of its preferred food of eucalypt blossoms. They also require available water, as moist environments are preferred.
During November and December, huge camps of up to 100 000 flying-foxes form and breeding pairs are established. Males but on weight, have an increased odour and become more aggressive over this time. Females leave the camp after mating to create their own camps, often with other flying-fox species. Young are born in April or May, becoming sexually active themselves at 18 months.
The Little Red Flying-fox spends its time wandering in search of eucalypt blossoms. They are a highly social species and roost in tightly packed groups in trees. Climbing around the trees using their specially jointed thumbs and hind feet. At around dusk, groups disperse from the trees in search of food. A group of scouts are sent first, followed by the rest of the group if a good food source is found. This species will raid the fruit in orchards if it is found to be the best available food. Males are often seen and heard fighting, with a variety of aggressive calls and actions. Pregnant females are more nervous, flying away if approached.
Eucalypt blossoms are the preferred food species, however a variety of fruit juices, nectar, pollen and small seeds are eaten. It chews the pulp and spits out any fibrous material, swallowing only the juice and small seeds.
This species flies further inland than any other bats in Australia, following the flowering eucalypts and pollinating the trees across the landscape.
References - (reader suitability of references, P=Primary teachers, S=Secondary students, T=Tertiary students and researchers)
Books:Jackson, S. 2003. Australian Mammals: Biology and Captive Management. CSIRO Publishing. Collingwood VIC. S, T
Straham, R. 1983. The Australian Museum Complete Book of Australian Mammals. The National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. Angus and Robertson Publishers. Sydney. P, S, T
Tidemann, C., Roscoe, T. and Mitchell, B. 2006. Mammals of the Lower Sullivans Creek Catchment, Canberra ACT. Prepared for the Life in the Suburbs project using data from the Lower Sullivans Creek Catchment Ecological Survey (LSCCES). Australian National University. Canberra. [online]. Available at: http://www.lifeinthesuburbs.com.au/category.php?id=65 S, T
Researcher: Naomi Hogan