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Notes on the Fruit Bats (Pteropus spp.) of Australia

Francis Ratcliffe
Journal of Animal Ecology
Vol. 1, No. 1 (May, 1932), pp. 32-57
DOI: 10.2307/993
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/993
Page Count: 30
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Notes on the Fruit Bats (Pteropus spp.) of Australia
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Abstract

1. The Australian species of the genus Pteropus are described, and the probability that they colonised the continent from Austro-Malaya is discussed. 2. The nature of the vegetation found in the area concerned is briefly described. 3. The general and breeding habits of the four mainland species of fruit bat are described, and the differences in the breeding seasons noted. The problem of the natural control of numbers is discussed. 4. The diet of the animals is described, and the paramount importance of the blossom of the Eucalyptus forest species is emphasised. 5. An attempt is made to estimate the order of size of the fruit-bat population, based on the study of the size and distribution of the daytime ``camps.'' The ranges of the four mainland species, and the nature and scope of their seasonal migrations are described. Evidence pointing to changes in the population due to settlement, and a natural expansion in the ranges of certain species, is discussed; and the recently increased migrations of one species (Pt. scapulatus) are specially noted.

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