The Ecology and Management of the Grey-Headed Flying-Fox Pteropus poliocephalus

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Catterall, Carla

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Kanowski, John

Eby, Peggy

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Effective conservation and management of many highly mobile animal species, including flying-foxes of the genus Pteropus, are constrained by lack of knowledge of their ecology, especially of movement patterns over large spatial scales. This study deals with the conservation ecology of the grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus), a highly mobile colonial-roosting mammal endemic to eastern Australia. Like many flying-foxes in the Asia-Pacific, this species frequently comes into conflict with humans for raiding commercial fruit crops, establishing roost sites in urban areas, and because it is a vector for some diseases of humans and their commensal animals. For these reasons, P. poliocephalus has been the subject of numerous control attempts, mostly conducted at the local scale (killing of individuals at feeding sites and roosts; attempts to destroy or relocate roosts). These attempts have rarely been successful in reducing conflict between humans and flying-foxes over the long term. Partly as a result of these actions and partly because of a loss of habitat, P. poliocephalus is considered a threatened species in some jurisdictions. The conservation and management of P. poliocephalus is therefore a difficult problem. The broad objectives of this thesis are to provide new information on the ecology of P. poliocephalus, particularly in relation to distribution, movement patterns and roosting behaviour, in the hope that this information will better inform the management and conservation of the species.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Griffith School of Environment

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Chapters 2, 3, 5 and Appendix 2 have not been published. Details of these chapters can be found on page xxi.

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Related item(s)

P. poliocephalus

Pteropus poliocephalus

Grey-headed flying fox

Flying fox ecology

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