Lifespan: Up to 23 years
Weight: Up to 1kg
Height: Up to 29cm
Speed: Up to 30km/h
Reproduction: Live birth
Flying foxes (commonly referred to as bats or fruit bats) are intelligent, social mammals. They roost together in large numbers at a ‘camp’ during the day and feed individually or in small groups at night. Flying-foxes are crucial to keeping native forests healthy. They play an important role in dispersing seeds and pollinating flowering plants. It is estimated that a single flying fox can dispense up to 60,000 seeds in one night. Through this role, they provide habitat and food for other flora and fauna species and add value for other forest uses such as hardwood timber, honey and native plant industries.
Female flying foxes give birth to one live young per year. The baby clings to the mother’s belly for the first three weeks until it becomes too heavy to carry. At three weeks old, the baby is left at a ‘creche’ in the centre of the camp at night while its mother flies out to feed. Mothers return just before dawn and can recognise their young by their smell.
Grey-headed flying foxes are generally found within 200 kilometres of the eastern coast of Australia, from Rockhampton in Queensland to Adelaide in South Australia. In times of natural resource shortages, they may be found in unusual locations.