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Since these species do not rely on echolocation to navigate, they mainly roost in trees and bushes within primary or mature secondary forests. If they do not stay in a basement, they stay closer to the entrance where there is light. Similar to other bats, some megabats, such as the straw-colored fruit bat of Africa and the gray-headed flying fox of Australia, live in large colonies. They are also sub-colonies of close, social bonds in which one male may be with up to eight females. As a result of living in great numbers and having a stationary food source, these species have to migrate hundreds of kilometers in relation to seasonal tree flowering cycles or rains.

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Megabats provide important eco-services. Nectarivorous bats help to pollinate flowers after they have visited other flowers, just like bees. This symbiotic relationship is a form of mutualism called "chiropterophily." Frugivorous bats in seed distribution by eliminating seeds in their guano. Yet, despite the services provided to the environment, habitat destruction is threatening their survival. Overhunting in retaliation from hungry bats raiding crops is another concern. However, there is hope in the battle of coexistence between farmers and bats. In Queensland, Australia, many orchards are protected by nets to keep bats out. This, in turn, decreases the instances of retaliatory killing of fruit bats.

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Mickleburgh, S., Hutson, A. and Racey, P. 1992. Old World Fruit Bats: An Action Plan for their Conservation. Gland, Switzerland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Kunz, T. and Fenton, M. 2003. Bat Ecology. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

  • Adam Floyd