Indian flying foxCommon Name:  Indian flying fox
Scientific Name: Pteropus giganteus
Distribution:  Bangladesh; Bhutan; China; India; Maldives; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Sri Lanka
Status: CITES – Appendix II. IUCN 2008 – Least Concern (LC).

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 and June (Bates and Harrison 1997). It travels long distances, up to 93 miles (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).

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.).

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).

Citation: Molur, S., Srinivasulu, C., Bates, P. & Francis, C. 2008.  Pteropus giganteus.  In: IUCN 2012.  IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  Version 2012.2.  <www.iucnredlist.org>.  Downloaded on 29 January 2013.