The Conservation Action Plan for Livingstone’s Flying Fox has been adopted by the government of the Union of the Comoros and is just one of many programs intended to help the Livingstone’s flying fox.
The generation length of the Livingstone’s flying fox is unknown, but is estimated to be 8.1 years.
The continued loss of large areas of foraging habitat in the lower parts of the Livingstone’s flying foxes elevational range could result in seasonally restricted food availability.
The Livingstone’s flying fox receives the highest level of legal protection available within the Union of the Comoros, “integrally-protected species” and is listed on Appendix II of CITES.
Because the Livingstone’s flying fox’s small population is restricted to such a limited range, the species is susceptible to single threatening processes, like cyclones, that could rapidly affect its entire range.
Because of their thermal sensitivity, Livingstone’s flying foxes roost near rivers and other humid environments, but the loss of forests has resulted in the drying of nearly all rivers on Anjouan and many on Mohéli.
After mating, male Livingstone’s flying foxes will leave the female to raise and care for the young, weaning them for 4-6 months.
Over the past 20 years, the Livingstone’s flying fox’s habitat, the Comoros, has lost 75% of its remaining forests, the fastest rate of any country in the world.
The Livingstone’s flying fox can be long-lived in captivity, but its longevity isn’t well-documented and is estimated to be 15-30 years based on other Pteropus species.
Although preyed on by arboreal snakes and raptors, the Livingstone’s flying fox’s primary predators are humans, both for food and as a secondary result of forest destruction.
Although the Livingstone’s flying fox does not occur in any protected areas, critical roosting habitat at 7 vital roost sites has been identified as a key goal in a conservation action plan.
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.
Livingstone’s flying foxes breed from January-June and give birth to a single young in July-October after a gestation of 4-6 months.
Global climate change could negatively affect the availability of suitable roosting habitat for the Livingstone’s flying fox.
There is no information on the Livingstone’s flying fox’s home range, but it’s known to be non-migratory.
Livingstone’s flying foxes prefer to roost and forage in emergent trees, primarily on steep-sided valleys with southeast facing slopes, near ridge tops and in areas generally associated with dense natural vegetation.
Like other pteropodids, Livingstone’s flying foxes are nocturnal, active in the evening and at night when foraging for fruit.
There is an active captive-breeding program for the Livingstone’s flying fox that has increased the captive population from 17 to 59 individuals across four different institutions.
Unlike other bats in the Comoros, the Livingstone’s flying fox is not normally hunted for food, possibly due to cultural taboos or the bat’s inaccessible roosting areas.
Unlike other nocturnal bats, Livingstone’s flying foxes are capable of soaring on air thermals and glide, rather than fly directly.
The Livingstone’s flying fox is “Critically Endangered” due to serious population decline and an 80% habitat loss over the past 3 generations, caused by deforestation, construction, and agriculture.
Livingstone’s flying foxes are polygynous, but females will mate with more than one male throughout their lifetimes.
The Livingstone’s flying fox’s black and tawny fur, rounded ears, and red-orange eyes distinguishes it from other pteropodids.
Despite what some may think, the Livingstone’s flying fox is not blind and actually has good vision.
Livingstone’s flying foxes are one of the most endangered bat species, with 400-1,300 remaining individuals, and may become extinct within 10 years.
Like most mammals, Livingstone’s flying foxes often use vocalizations and chemoreception to communicate.
Livingstone’s flying foxes are important members of their native ecosystems, helping to disperse fruiting tree species, pollinate plants, and ultimately regenerate forests.
The Livingstone’s flying fox is endemic to the islands of Anjouan and Mohéli of the Union of the Comoros island chain, just off the coast of Africa.
During the rainy season when more food is available, Livingstone’s flying foxes feed on a variety of fruits, but during the dry season, they eat selectively and mostly rely on the giant-leaved fig tree.
Do you think you know the Livingstone’s flying fox? Test your knowledge of Livingstone’s flying fox FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!
Livingstone’s flying foxes are frugivorous herbivores and feed on a large variety of fruits, as well as nectar and leaves.
Livingstone’s flying foxes are social and form groups of 15-250, called harems or colonies, in which they roost and forage.
Join a creative community focusing on a unique animal each month. Create art and share it with #faunafocus.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.