... and how is it
different from the bats that aren't called flying
Well, it's not really a fox that flies. It is a kind of bat
- the two groups
are related and belong to the same family.
The difference you notice first is that flying
foxes are much larger (and therefore also called megabats)
other bats, that belong to the suborder of microbats.
But there are many other differences.
Flying foxes have
compared to other bats, and that is because they don't use echolocation for
as do other bats. Flying foxes use eyesight, that's why they have the
While other bats are mostly insect eaters, flying foxes eat fruit and nectar,
which is why they are also called fruit bats.
While other bats mostly roost in caves, flying foxes roost up in trees.
They migrate daily
feeding and roosting sites, and those migrations can be
dusk and dawn when the skies become literally full of them in places.
They live in large colonies and are known to have complex communication
which means they are
They are only found in
regions of Africa, India, south-east Asia and Australia,
other bats are found everywhere except in the polar regions.
has four species,
and Cape York has three of them - the grey
headed species is the only one not found here.
Red Flying Fox
bat is the smallest and the most common one, it's found in almost all
the coastal areas except those in southern Australia, and it covers the
whole Cape York peninsula.
is the largest
one, and it is found in the coastal Northern Territory, northern
Western Australia and northern Queensland, including the Cape York
peninsula, except the
inland south of it.
the rarest one, it is only found in pockets on the eastern Cape York
peninsula and in the coastal Papua New Guinea.
little red flying fox Pteropus
is the most common flying fox bat in Australia. It is found all the way
from eastern Victoria to western Kimberley region, and the whole Cape
It is also the smallest of the Australian
megabats, usually not weighing more than half a kilo. Its colour can
vary between reddish and brown, with grey patches on the top of the
head and shoulders.
It mainly eats eucalypt flowers and is an
important pollinator of them, but will lso eat fruit when blossoms are
not available. It is nomadic, and on a daily basis it is migratory,
shuttling between eating and roosting sites. At dusk and dawn huge
groups cover the sky where they migrate.
breed at a different time
from other bats, mating in November to January, with youg born in
They also differ from the
other species because of how they hang in clumps of up to 20 bats. That
causes some tree damage, and that combined with their large numbers and
exaggerated diseases makes them unpopular animals.
It lives in
many different habitats from temperate to tropical eucalypt woodland to
moonsoon forests. The animal was first described by Peters in 1862 and
the first individual was collected on Cape York peninsula.
Their main threats are habitat loss and powerlines. They are hard to
track and count, but they
are not considered
flying fox, Pteropus
is larger than the little red, and is the largest one in Australia and
one of the largest bats in the world with weight up to one kilo and a
wingspan of more than a metre.
It is often black but can also vary to brown in colour, particularly on
in Australia is
smaller and more northern than this of the little red flying fox bat,
it is also found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. It lives in many
different habitats including the tropical woodlands in Cape York.
the little red flying fox bat they love to eat eucalypt pollen, and
that is not available they eat other things including fruit - annoying
farmers. Like other flying foxes it is also blamed as a virus carrier,
which is exaggerated.
The biggest threats are habitat loss, farmers who kill them, and power
lines. They are not considered threatened.
opposed to the black and little red, the spectacled flying fox Pteropus conspicillatus
has a very small range. It is also found in coastal PNG and Indonesia,
but in Australia it is found in coastal north Queensland north of
Mission Beach and including the coastal Cape York peninsula.
are fairly large megabats, and like the black flying fox can weigh up
to a kilo. It is dark brown in colour, except the beige or yellowish
light brown patches on the face and around the neck and
be found in
different habitats such as mangroves, riparian forest, and eucalypt
forests and woodlands, but always close to a rainforest, and the best
habitat where they like to live is the rainforest itself.
the other megabats on this page they eat eucalypt flowers, but more
than the other two the spectacled flying fox eats fruits - of the
rainforest, making them important rainforest pollinators and seed
Their mating season is the Wet Season, and the young is born during the
hottest months in the end of the year.
biggest threats are habitat destruction, paralysis ticks, feral cats
and power lines. The species was a threatened species in the 1900s, but
is now 'least concerned'.
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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This site uses British
English, which is the English we use in
best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information on this
website is correct, this site is not to be blamed should there be a
My full time project of 2020-21 is to improve every single page on this website with more information and more, better photos. With almost 300 pages and so many photos to go through, it is very time consuming work, but it is gradually happening, right now :-)
This is the ORIGINAL Cape York Travel Guide run Locally on the Peninsula.