Grey-headed flying fox

Pteropus poliocephalus

The Grey-headed Flying-fox is found in urban areas, forests and woodlands and intertidal mangroves across eastern Australia, including Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It is one of the largest bats in Australia with a wingspan of over 1 m.

Although Grey-headed Flying Foxes are usually seen in large camps, numbers have rapidly declined over a relatively short period of time due to habitat clearing. This should be of great concern to all of us!  Flying Foxes are vitally important to healthy forest ecosystems because they pollinate and disperse the seeds of many important Australian tree species.

At night the Grey-headed Flying-fox flies out from the camp in search of food. It may travel 50 km to a particular area in search of fruit from a range of native and introduced species, particularly figs, for this reason it is often referred to as ‘Fruit Bat’. It also feeds on nectar and pollen from native trees, in particular Eucalypt trees.

Female Grey-headed Flying-foxes give birth in September or October to one pup ( twins are rare)  The pup clings to mums teat located in her wing pit with special curved milk teeth,  and grip her fur with its strong claws for the first three weeks. As the pup grows larger, it becomes too heavy to carry when she flies out at night to feed, it is then left behind with other pups in a special ‘crèche’ in the maternity camp. When the pup is about 10 weeks old it is able to fly and by five to six months old it begins to feed independently.