Pteropus alecto


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Pteropus alecto
Species Authority: Temminck, 1837
Common Name/s:
English Black Flying Fox, Central Flying-fox
Spanish Zorro Volador Negro

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Hutson, T., Suyanto, A., Helgen, K., McKenzie, N. & Hall, L.
Reviewer/s: Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team), Racey, P.A., MedellĂ­n, R. & Hutson, A.M. (Chiroptera Red List Authority)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining (although hunting is a threat in some regions).

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This widespread species ranges from eastern Java (Indonesia) (Surapaya; A. Suyanto pers. comm.), through the islands of Sulawesi, Lombok, Sumba, Sava, Salayar, Bawean, and the Kangean Islands (all Indonesia), to the coastal plain and Yule Island of southern New Guinea (Papua New Guinea only), and is also present in Australia where it ranges from Shark Bay in Western Australia to central New South Wales. It is increasing its range in the south-east of its distribution (L. Lumsden pers. comm.). It is also found on the Torres Strait Islands to Boigu Island (Australia) off of New Guinea (Corbet and Hill 1992; Flannery 1995a,b; Bonaccorso 1998; Helgen 2004; L. Hall pers. comm.). It has an altitudinal range of sea level to 100 m asl.
Australia; Indonesia; Papua New Guinea
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is generally widespread and common over much of its range, but is apparently uncommon in Papua New Guinea (Flannery 1995b; Bonaccorso 1998).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This largely coastal species is found in areas of mangrove and swamp forest, and is sometimes encountered in tropical moist forest or in savannas near water; it is also found in urban environments (Markus et al. 2008). It roosts in large colonies of several hundred to hundreds of thousands of animals (Bonaccorso 1998). Individual animals may forage as far as 50 km from roosting sites. Females annually give birth to a single young.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species. It is vulnerable to local hunting for food in parts of its range (e.g., Sulawesi). As this species expands its range southwards it is increasingly exposed to high temperatures events that can lead to high mortality (Markus et al. 2008; Welbergen et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES. It is present in many protected areas. Further surveys of the distribution of this species is needed in New Guinea (Bonaccorso 1998).

Bibliography [top]

Bergmans, W. and Rozendaal, F. G. 1988. Notes on a collection of fruit bats from Sulawesi and some off-lying islands (Mammalia, Megachiroptera). Zoologische Verhandelingen 248: 1-14.

Bonaccorso, F. 1998. Bats of Papua New Guinea. Conservation International, Washington, DC, USA.

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

Flannery, T. F. 1995. Mammals of the South-West Pacific and Moluccan Islands. Comstock/Cornell, Ithaca, Ny, USA.

Flannery, T. F. 1995. The Mammals of New Guinea, 2nd edition. Reed Books, Sydney, Australia.

Helgen, K. M. 2004. On the identity of flying-foxes, genus Pteropus (Mammalia: Chiroptera), from islands in the Torres Strait, Australia. Zootaxa 780: 1-14.

Kitchener, D. J., Boeadi, Charlton, L. and Maharadatunkamsi. 1990. The wild mammals of Lombok Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum 33: 1-129.

Markus, N., Palmer, C. and Hall, L. S. 2008. Black Flying-fox, Pteropus alecto. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 435-436. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Mickleburgh, S. P., Hutson, A. M. and Racey, P. A. 1992. Old World Fruit-Bats - An Action Plan for their Conservation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Welbergen, J. A., Klose, S. M., Markus, N. and Eby, P. 2008. Climate change and the effects of temperature extremes on Australian flying-foxes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B Biological Sciences 275: 419-425.

Citation: Hutson, T., Suyanto, A., Helgen, K., McKenzie, N. & Hall, L. 2008. Pteropus alecto. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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