To generate information on demography and movements in large flying-foxes, information that is critical to management planning.
Type of Study:
On average, hand-reared animals lived less than half as long as their wild counterparts (P < 0.001) and did not travel as far (P < 0.01). Major causes of death of 86 wild P. poliocephalus were: hyperthermia (33.7%);electrocution (18.6%); entanglement in fruit-tree netting (5.8%); entanglement in barbed wire (4.7%); unknown (32.6%). 77% of recoveries of wild-banded P. poliocephalus were within 20 km of where they were banded; the longest movement recorded was 978 km.
Wild captures vs orphaned young
The results from the present study suggest that the direct conservation benefit of hand-rearing flying-foxes is minimal, although it seems highly likely that there are significant indirect benefits through improving the generally poor public image of bats. What is abundantly clear from our study is that banding of large flying-foxes is an extremely labour-intensive activity, the data yield is low and it takes a long time to accrue.
Eastern and northern Australia
Response variable :
Age at death and distance travelled
3162 individuals banded, 124 recoveries
Tidemann, C. R., Nelson, J. E. (2011) Life expectancy, causes of death and movements of the grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) inferred from banding. Acta Chiropterologica. 13, 419–429.