Flying fox bats for vigilance while day-roosting Finds study

Flying fox bats for vigilance while day-roosting Finds study


According to a recent study, the largest species of bats in India, which was given the moniker of a sly canine, spends 7% of its daytime roosting time keeping an eye on the area.

Flying Fox Species and Behavior: 

  • The largest species of bat found in India is the flying fox, or Pteropus giganteus, which consumes fruit and nectar. It is a crucial species in tropical habitats because of its function in seed distribution. Researchers are interested in this species because of its behaviour and ecological effects.

Keystone Species

  • A keystone species is one that, concerning the size of its population, significantly affects its surroundings. The community’s diversity and abundance of other species are influenced by the flying fox’s contribution to seed dispersal, which also affects different aspects of the environment.

Information about the Study:

  •  This study examined the environmental and social awareness of a particular subspecies of the Indian flying fox. Researchers from organizations like the Centre for Ecological Sciences and the Wildlife Institute of India participated in the study.

Vigilance Behaviour:

  • Bats engage in vigilance behaviour, which entails scanning the area for potential predation or competition threats. While environmental vigilance is keeping an eye out for signals of danger in 
  • the environment, social vigilance refers to watching the people around you.
  • The flying foxes were on guard for around 7% of the time they were roosting. According to the study, compared to bats in the centre of the roost, those on the edges of the tree where they were roosting displayed a higher level of environmental awareness.

Roosting Behaviour:

  • Flying foxes roost in tree canopies, where social organization within the group may result through hierarchy and competition for roosting sites. Based on these variables, vigilance behaviour can change.
  • The flying foxes are aware of their surroundings despite resting for roughly 82% of the time they are roosting. They take advantage of aural sense to maintain alertness without entirely forgoing sleep.

Threats and Predators:

  •  The research region was home to a variety of predatory creatures, including eagles, owls, golden jackals, palm civets, and jungle cats. However, human activities, such as hunting for food and medicine, as well as the possibility for habitat degradation owing to the removal of roost trees, pose the biggest threat to flying foxes.

Where are these animals found?

India is home to the nectar- and fruit-eating flying fox (Pteropus giganteus). The Indian subcontinent is home to this species of flying fox, which is found in places like the Indian peninsula, the foothills of the Himalayas, and other forested locations. They frequently roost on trees, particularly in places with lots of fruit-bearing trees and good roosting locations. These bats are widely distributed throughout India and can be found in a variety of states and environments.

Under which laws is it protected from threats?

  • The flying fox (Pteropus giganteus), which consumes fruit and nectar, was initially included under India’s Schedule V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. The Schedule II of the same Act, which offers a further level of protection, was later added. The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 in India so protects the species. The Act categorizes species into various schedules based on their conservation status and the level of protection they require with the goal of conserving wildlife and its ecosystems.