To compile data on the size of the colony of P. poliocephalus in the Royal Botani Gardens Melbourne from 1987 to 2003 and answer three questions: (1) Did P. poliocephalus establish a permanently occupied camp in Melbourne as predicted by Aston (1987)? (2) If so, when did it become established and at what rate has it grown? (3) What is the seasonal fluctuation in numbers of individuals within the camp?
Type of Study:
Regular monthly counts that began in December 1993 confirm the continuous presence of the species in Melbourne from that date onwards. The growth of the size of the colony from 1994 onwards was exponential, with a peak in March 2003 (when counting ceased) at between 20 000 (static count) and 30 000 (flyout count) individuals. The number of P. poliocephalus within the colony fluctuated across the year, with a peak in summer/autumn (December–May) and a trough in winter/spring (July–October).
The main factors contributing to the establishment and growth of the colony are likely to be climate change, increased food availability within the urban landscape and loss of habitat.
Response variable :
Counts of species
224 flyout counts
van der Ree, R., McDonnell, M. J., Temby, I., Nelson, J., Whittingham, E. (2006) The establishment and dynamics of a recently established urban camp of flying foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) outside their geographic range. J. Zool. 268, 177–185.