Kakadu National Park

Saturday 12 October 2019

Flying foxes are large, vegetarian bats that live in forested areas.

Kakadu houses two of Australia’s four flying fox species: the black flying fox and the little red flying fox.

Unlike many bats, flying foxes don’t use echolocation to navigate. Instead, they rely on their excellent eyesight and sense of smell to locate food, travelling many kilometres every night.

Where to see it

During the day, flying foxes roost in large, noisy colonies located in mangroves, paperbark forests and monsoon rainforests.

If you look upwards at dusk, you might see them flapping through the sky as they head out to feed.

Behaviour

Flying foxes are very social animals. They call to one another constantly, so large colonies can get very loud.

Flying foxes fly up to 30 km a night in search of fruits and nectar. As they eat and travel, they spread seeds and pollinate many native plant species, including paperbark trees. That means these raucous flying mammals play a role in making Kakadu’s landscape the beautiful place it is.

Other names

  • Scientific names: Pteropus scapulatus (little red flying fox) and Pteropus alecto (black flying fox)