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

Seasonal movements of grey-headed flying-foxes, Pteropus poliocephalus (Chiroptera : Pteropodidae), from two maternity camps in northern New South Wales

P Eby

Wildlife Research 18(5) 547 - 559
Published: 1991


Seasonal movements of 22 Pteropus poliocephalus, from two maternity camps in north-eastern New South Wales, were monitored from January to June 1989 using radiotelemetry. The animals moved independently in time and space among various communal roosts located 8-610 km from the maternity camp sites. Generally, P. poliocephalus from a camp near rainforest (Currie Park, Lismore) remained within 50 km of the maternity site. These localised movements were attributed to the continued availability of fruits in the rainforest throughout the study. Animals from a maternity camp surrounded by sclerophyll forest (Susan I., Grafton) undertook long migrations south (median distance 342.5 km, n = 11) to camps containing up to 200 000 P. poliocephalus of both sexes. These large aggregations formed during the mating season and comprised individuals drawn from various previous sites. Thus, P. poliocephalus in northern and central N.S.W. appear to function as a single breeding population and should be managed as such. After mid-May, animals from Susan I. returned to north-eastern N.S.W. There was high correlation between movements of P. poliocephalus from the camp at Susan I. and the flowering patterns of certain species of Myrtaceae and Proteaceae. It is hypothesised that flowering attractive to apiarists is also attractive to P. poliocephalus and that information from apiarists could be used by wildlife managers to predict large aggregations of the animals.


© CSIRO 1991

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