Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Foraging behaviour of the black flying-fox (Pteropus alecto) in the urban landscape of Brisbane, Queensland

Nicola Markus and Les Hall

Wildlife Research 31(3) 345 - 355
Published: 29 June 2004


The foraging movements of 13 Pteropus alecto from four camps in suburban Brisbane were monitored over two summer and one winter season between 1998 and 2000. By means of radio-telemetry, the flying-foxes were tracked to their foraging sites over 49 nights for a total of 237 h. Data from flying-foxes tracked from dusk to dawn showed that bats travelled directly to a foraging site early in the night and undertook smaller movements between foraging sites for the remainder of the night. Bats undertook a greater number of nocturnal movements during a food resource shortage than during a season of greater resource abundance. Mean distances (±s.e.) travelled from camps to foraging sites varied between camps and ranged from 2.9 ± 0.3 km (n = 24) to 7.6 ± 0.07 km (n = 2). In all three seasons, flying-foxes foraged on a variety of native and exotic plant species. Dominant exotics included Cocos palms (Sygarus romanzoffiana), Chinese elm trees (Celtis sinensis) and Cadaghi (Corymbia torrelliana), while highly utilised native food plants included figs (Ficus spp.), grevilleas (Grevillea spp.) and bottlebrushes (Callistemon spp.).


© CSIRO 2004

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