Pteropus giganteus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Chiroptera Pteropodidae

Scientific Name: Pteropus giganteus (Brünnich, 1782)
Common Name(s):
English Indian Flying Fox, Indian Flying-fox
Spanish Zorro Volador De La India
Pteropus ariel Allen, 1908
Pteropus assamensis McClelland, 1839
Pteropus edwardsi I. Geoffroy, 1828
Pteropus kelaarti Gray, 1871
Pteropus leucocephalus Hodgson, 1835
Pteropus medius Temminck, 1825
Pteropus ruvicollis Ogilby, 1840 [misspelt rubricollis or rubicollis]
Vespertilio gigantea Brunnich, 1782
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon belongs to the vampyrus species group. Earlier included as Pteropus intermedius Andersen, 1908 (Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1951, Corbet and Hill 1992) and listed under Pteropus vampyrus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Kloss 1916, 1919; Hill 1975; Lekagul and McNeely 1977; Honacki et al. 1982; Racey 1992; Koopman 1993 and Nowak 1999).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Molur, S., Srinivasulu, C., Bates, P. & Francis, C.
Reviewer(s): Hutson, A.M., Racey, P.A. (Chiroptera Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is largely found in South Asia, but also occurs in adjacent China and Southeast Asia. In South Asia it is widely distributed from Bangladesh (Barisal, Dhaka, Rajashahi and Sylhet divisions), Bhutan (Chhukha and Samtse areas), India (Andhra Pradesh, Andaman Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar,Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal), Maldives (Addu Atoll, Ari, Haddunmatti, Mulaku and Nilandu South), Nepal (Central and Eastern Nepal), Pakistan (Northwest Frontier Province, Punjab and Sind) to Sri Lanka (Central, Eastern, North Central, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, Uva and Western provinces) (Molur et al. 2002). It has been recorded from sea level to an elevation of 2,000 m asl. In China, it has been recorded from Qinghai (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, it is present in western Myanmar with Cambodian records being apparently erroneous (Kock 2000).
Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; China; India; Maldives; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Common and widespread throughout its range (Molur et al. 2002).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species roosts in large colonies of hundreds to thousands of individuals on large trees in rural and urban areas, close to agricultural fields, ponds and by the side of roads (S. Molur, Project PteroCount). It feeds on a wide variety of fruits and flowers, both wild and cultivated. A single young is born between April to early June (Bates and Harrison 1997). It travels long distances, up to 150 km to and from its roost, a night in search of fleshy berries. Colonies usually have a permanent roost with one or two temporary roosts that individuals shift to depending on season and other unknown factors (S. Molur, Project PteroCount).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species as a whole. This species is assumed to be locally threatened by cutting down of roosting trees because of road expansion or other purposes. The species is also hunted in several locations for meat and for medicine (Molur et al. 2007 pers. comm., C. Srinivasulu pers. comm.). New roosts have been observed, but the impact of roost disturbance and felling is not known, and the impact of hunting is also not understood. Surveys of local people at more than 30 roost sites indicate a steady decline in roosting populations (Venkatesan 2007, S. Molur pers. comm.). In parts of its range, some deforestation seems to help this species as it has occupied areas of the Western Ghats once the vegetation was disturbed (S. Molur and P. Molur pers. comm.; Ryley, 1916).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This is one of the most persecuted fruit bats in South Asia, and is listed as vermin under Schedule V of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act. It has been recorded from a few protected areas in India like Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, Palamau Tiger Reserve and Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary in Jharkhand, Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh, Molem National Park in Goa, Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Chilka (Nalaban) Wildlife Sanctuary in Orissa and Indravati National Park in Chattisgarh. This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Population monitoring is needed to establish major threats and overall declines, if any (Molur et al. 2002).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Bates, P.J.J. and Harrison, D.L. 1997. Bats of the Indian Subcontinent. Harrison Zoological Museum, Sevenoaks, England, UK.

Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Ellerman, J.R. and Morrison-Scott, T.C.S. 1951. Checklist of Palaearctic and Indian Mammals 1758 to 1946. British Museum (Natural History), London, UK.

Hill, J. E. 1975. Systematic section. In: J. E. Hill and J. A. McNeely (eds), The bats and bat’s parasite of Thailand. Report FE-516-1. US Army Res. Dev. Group, Far East.

Honacki, J.H., Kinman, K.E. and Koeppl, J.W. 1982. Mammal species of the world: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Allen Press.

Horácek I., Hanák, V. and Gaisler, J. 2000. Bats of the Palearctic Region: a taxonomic and biogeographic review. In: B. W. Woloszyn (ed.), Proceedings of the VIIIth European Bat Research Symposium 1. Approaches to Biogeography and Ecology of Bats: 11-157. Krakow, Poland.

Kloss, C. B. 1916. On a collection of mammals from the coast and islands of South-East Siam. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1916: 27-75.

Kloss, C.B. 1919. On mammals collected in Siam. Journal of the Natural HistorySociety, Siam 3: 333-407.

Kock, D. 2000. On some bats (Chiroptera) from southern Cambodia with a preliminary checklist. Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde 65: 199-208.

Koopman, K.F. 1993. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference, pp. 137–241. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C., USA.

Lekagul, B. and McNeely, J.A. 1977. Mammals of Thailand. Association for the Conservation of Wildlife, Bangkok, Thailand.

Molur, S. and Molur, P. 2007. Indian Flying Fox roosts on Bengaluru-Madikeri road. Bat Net Newsletter 8(1-2): 34-36.

Molur, S., Marimuthu, G., Srinivasulu, C., Mistry, S. Hutson, A. M., Bates, P. J. J., Walker, S., Padmapriya, K. and Binupriya, A. R. 2002. Status of South Asian Chiroptera: Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P.) Workshop Report. Zoo Outreach Organization/CBSG-South Asia, Coimbatore, India.

Nowak, R.M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.

Racey, P. 1992. Flying fox action plan. Pacific Island Flying Foxes. Proceedings of an International Conference: 172.

Ryley, K. V. 1916. Bombay Natural History Mammal Society's Survey of India, Report No. 11. Coorg. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 22: 486-513.

Simmons, N.B. 2005. Order Chiroptera. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 312-529. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Smith, A.T. and Xie, Y. 2008. A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B. and Sinha, Y. P. 2012. Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of South Asia: Biogeography, diversity, taxonomy and distribution. Springer New York Heidelberg Dordrecht London.

Venkatesan, A. 2007. Status of Indian Flying Fox Pteropus giganteus in Bengaluru. Bat Net Newsletter 8(1-2): 13-15.

Citation: Molur, S., Srinivasulu, C., Bates, P. & Francis, C. 2008. Pteropus giganteus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T18725A8511108. . Downloaded on 23 April 2018.
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