Livingstone’s Flying Fox

Livingstone's Flying Fox

The Livingstone’s flying fox has not been recorded in low elevations in the past 5 years and has retreated to higher elevations as nearly all of its native lower-elevation forests have been lost to habitat change.

With continuing habitat change, the Livingstone’s flying fox has retreated to higher elevations.

On the island of Anjouan, the Livingstone’s flying fox avoids all lower elevations with the lowest record of feeding at 300 meters asl. On Mohéli, some limited forest patches extend to near sea level and the lowest record of feeding is at 40 meters asl.

Even above these elevations, forest habitat on both islands, and especially Anjouan, has undergone extensive and continuing habitat degradation, fragmentation, and loss, leaving large areas increasingly unsuitable for this species. Nearly all lower-elevation native forests have been lost, and in the past five years, there have been no records of this species below approximately 450 meters on Anjouan or below 200 meters on Mohéli.

The total land area of Anjouan and Mohéli is a combined 635 km². However, not all this area is occupied by the Livingstone’s flying fox. The species is found within a combined area on the two islands ranging from 99.1 km² (minimum convex polygons around all known currently occupied long-term roost sites: Anjouan = 90.2 km² Mohéli = 8.9 km²) to 462.5 km² (minimum convex polygons around all potential but unconfirmed foraging and roosting areas in native forest, degraded forest and agroforestry habitats above the lowest elevation of recent sightings on each island [450m-1050m asl on Anjouan, and above 200m asl on Moheli]: Anjouan = 326.9 km², Mohéli = 135.6 km²). These two figures represent the possible range of this species on the two islands it inhabits. This represents a substantial decline over the past five years.


Image | © Andrew Thompson, All Rights Reserved
Sources | (Daniel, et al., 2016; Sewall, Young, Trewhella, Rodríguez-Clark, & Granek, 2016; Sewall, et al., 2007, 2011)

Learn More About the Livingstone’s Flying Fox

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