Species of Old World fruit-bats family Pteropodidae have been identified as the natural hosts of a number of novel and highly pathogenic viruses threatening livestock and human health. We used GPS data loggers to record the nocturnal foraging movements of Acerodon jubatus , the Golden-crowned flying fox in the Philippines to better understand the landscape utilisation of this iconic species, with the dual objectives of pre-empting disease emergence and supporting conservation management. Data loggers were deployed on eight of 54 A. Six of the eight loggers yielded useful data over 2—10 days, showing variability in the nature and range of individual bat movements. The majority of foraging locations were in closed forest and most were remote from evident human activity.
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Acerodon jubatus is endemic to the Philippines, with the exceptions of the Palawan region and the Batanes and Babuyan island groups. Mildenstein, et al. Acerodon jubatus roosts in hardwood trees, often on cliff edges or steep, inaccessible slopes.
Other preferred roosting sites include bamboo clumps, mangrove trees, and other swampy forested areas. Roosting sites are usually located on small, offshore islands. Acerodon jubatus has been observed to use disturbed areas for roosting. When foraging, Acerodon jubatus exhibits a strong preference for primary forest or high-quality secondary forest over disturbed habitat, and may fly long distances up to 16 km from its roost to reach these locations.
There is also a preference for river margins, probably due to their particular plant communities. Acerodon jubatus is rarely found foraging in disturbed or agricultural areas, though it regularly crosses such areas while traveling between forested regions.
Like other bats in the Family Pteropodidae , Acerodon jubatus has large, bright eyes and relatively simple external ears with continuous margins. The ears are about as long as the muzzle and are pointed.
There is a claw on the second digit of each wing. The skull has strong, incomplete postorbital processes, with supraorbital foramena. The teeth are sharp and pointed, except for the last two molars.
Ingle and Heaney, ; Taylor, The fur of Acerodon jubatus is thin on the throat and ear membranes, absent on the wing membranes, and short and smooth on the body. There is considerable variation in color but the typical scheme is dark brown or black on the forehead and sides of the head, reddish brown on the shoulders, and a dark brown or black on the lower back and underside.
The nape ranges from cream to golden yellow. There is a narrow line of orange at the back of the neck. Variable numbers of yellow hairs are scattered throughout the fur, especially on the lower body.
Variation in color does not depend on age, sex, or locality. Nowak, ; Taylor, The head and body length combined ranges from to mm; there is no tail. The forearm varies between and mm, and the wingspan varies between 1. Weights between and g have been reported, making Acerodon jubatus among the largest bats in the world. Males are larger and heavier than females. No information is currently available on the mating system of Acerodon jubatus.
Acerodon jubatus populations on all islands reproduce at approximately the same time, indicating that they probably use photoperiod as a cue instead of more localized environmental conditions. Females give birth during April and May, and possibly early June. Females in captivity give birth only once every two years; those in the wild likely reproduce less often.
Not much about litter size is known, but females have not been observed with more than one offspring at a time. Heideman, ; Mildenstein, et al.
Females have been observed to carry a single offspring. The young cling to their mothers' fur with their claws, while the mothers fan them with one wing to keep them cool. Females invest significantly in their young through gestation and lactation. Taylor, No information is currently available on longevity in Acerodon jubatus. Acerodon jubatus individuals roost with other bat species, especially Pteropus vampyrus and occasionally Pteropus hypomelanus.
Mixed colonies of , to , individuals were reported in the early s to s; recently, however, no colonies over 30, individuals have been observed, and many are no larger than 5, individuals. Bats emerge from the colony at sunset, fly into the mountains to feed on fruit, and return before sunrise. Heaney and Heideman, ; Mildenstein, et al.
Acerodon jubatus individuals have large eyes and may use visual cues in communication. They have a distinctive odor, suggesting olfactory communication, but no specific scent glands have been identified.
Golden-capped fruit bats are frugivores. Ficus subcordata is the most commonly eaten species, though Acerodon jubatus also shows a strong preference for fruits from other Ficus species and, to a lesser extent, Ficus variegata. Not every fig species is used, and the dietary range is narrower than other bats in the same area. Notably, these staple plants are only found in mature lowland forests, making golden-capped fruit bats forest obligates. They also consume leaves by crushing them and swallowing the liquid content, but how much of the diet is composed of leaves is unknown.
Stier and Mildenstein, There are no known predators of Acerodon jubatus. Golden-capped fruit bats, as frugivores, are distributors of plant seeds. The impact of such distribution on the local ecosystem has not been recorded. Some large bat roosts, shared by Acerodon jubatus and other species, are used as tourist attractions. Golden-capped fruit bats are hunted for consumption.
They are also occasionally captured live for exportation, though this is uncommon because they are said to have an unpleasant smell compared to other, similar bats. These practices have contributed to the species's endangered status. There are no known adverse effects of Acerodon jubatus on humans. Populations are experiencing severe declines due to habitat loss from logging and farming projects and hunting for meat or trade.
They are particularly susceptible to habitat loss because of their dependence on fig trees found only in mature old-growth forest.
This species is protected, with three large roost sites entirely exempt from hunting, but the bats are still hunted while foraging away from the roosts.
The decline is predicted to continue unless destruction of old-growth forest ceases. Populations now recognized as A. This species now includes Panay golden-crowned flying foxes, Acerodon lucifer , which was once considered a separate species. There appear to be no morphological differences to distinguish the two taxa.
It is not known whether they are behaviorally identical, and this will probably never be determined because the Panay population appears to be extinct. Ingle and Heaney, ; Mildenstein, et al. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends.
Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits a continuous, modular society - as in clonal organisms. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a now extinct synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities.
Convergent in birds. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes. Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody usually, but not always, a river or stream. Heaney, L. Philippine Fruit Bats: Endangered and Extinct. BATS Magazine , 5 1 : Heideman, P. Ingle, N. A key to the bats of the Philippine Islands. Mildenstein, T. Paul, L. Heaney, P. Alviola, A. Duya, S.
Stier, S. Pedregosa, R. Lorica, N. Ingle, D. Balete, J. Garcia, J. Gonzalez, P. Ong, G. Rosell-Ambal, B. Steir, C. Nuevo-Diego, L. Habitat selection of endangered and endemic large flying-foxes in Subic Bay, Philippines. Biological Conservation , 1 :
Giant golden-crowned flying fox
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Giant Golden-Crowned Flying-Fox
Acerodon jubatus is endemic to the Philippines, with the exceptions of the Palawan region and the Batanes and Babuyan island groups. Mildenstein, et al. Acerodon jubatus roosts in hardwood trees, often on cliff edges or steep, inaccessible slopes. Other preferred roosting sites include bamboo clumps, mangrove trees, and other swampy forested areas.