Sleeping golden-capped fruit bats look so snug with their wings wrapped around their bodies. Perhaps it’s because their wings are huge. They are the largest bats in the world and when their wings are stretched out… their wingspan is as wide as I am tall. Imagine a colony of thousands of them: the sound of their wings beating through the air as they take flight at dusk.
They are found only in the Philippines and in the 1920s colonies of 150,000 individuals were reported (probably of a mix of species). Their numbers have plummeted. The total population of golden-capped fruit bats is now estimated to be around one or two percent of what it was 200 years ago: possibly no more than 20,000 individuals.
As night falls, the bats leave their roosting sites in search of fruit to feed on. Figs are a favourite and they may fly as far as 30 kilometres in search of them. Fruit bats play an important role in the forest dispersing seeds and as pollinators.
Click on the image to download a golden-capped fruit bat colouring page:
Golden-capped fruit bat (Acerodon jubatus) further information: