Flying Fox

Jack Sparrow Meets Jackie Sparrow, An Orphaned Bat

11894404_928868453838010_7212402528519399754_o_1It’s not every day that an orphaned animal meets a movie star, but that’s what happened to Jackie Sparrow, a Flying Fox Bat who lost its mother during a storm.

Screenshot 2015-09-28 21.33.27
Screenshot 2015-09-28 21.33.16Photo Credit:  Dean Morgan Photography/Rachael Wasiak

Staff at the Australian Bat Clinic introduced the Bat to Johnny Depp, who was shooting the latest “Pirates Of The Caribbean” film near the rescue center. 

Johnny expressed his love of Bats and offered to sponsor the little one as it undergoes rehabilitation at the clinic.  Dressed as the movie’s lead character Jack Sparrow, Depp visited the center to meet and feed the little Bat.

Extreme weather events are often devastating to Flying Fox populations.  Abnormally high temperatures and cyclonic winds can cause baby Bats to be separated from their mothers. 

Rescued Bats being cared for at the clinic frequently remain for many months before they are released back to the wild.

Flying Foxes are large, fruit-eating Bats native to tropical areas.  Unlike the smaller, insect-eating Bats found in temperate regions, Flying Foxes do not use echolocation to find food.  Instead, they rely on their excellent eyesight to locate fruiting trees.  They play an important role in seed dispersal of many tropical plants.  

See more photos below.

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Spectacled Flying-Fox Orphans Receive Special Care


These amazing photos of Spectacled Flying-Fox orphans are courtesy of NightWings Rainforest Centre in Queensland, Australia. They are just some of the Flying-Foxes that received hands-on care in 2014.



10344204_1411633079128883_5991267839585191739_oPhotos Courtesy: NightWings Rainforest Centre

NightWings Rainforest Centre is still working on completing their bat hospital, nursery and visitor centre. They anticipate being open for the public by 2016 or 2017. Until then, there are dedicated workers who are busy, behind the scenes, with the daily business of rescuing and hand-rearing Spectacled Flying-Fox orphans.

All these amazing images are for sale as cards, prints, tote bags, etc on RedBubble, with 50% of proceeds going towards NightWings Rainforest Revegetation program. Check NightWings facebook page for info on where to purchase or follow this link to RedBubble: 

Listed as “Vulnerable” under EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of Australia) status, the Spectacled Flying-Fox is a large, gregarious bat that roosts in daytime camps. They fly out at night to feed on native fruits and blossoms, with most camps being within 7 km (4 mile) of rainforest. Geographically confined to far north Queensland, Australia, this species is considered a keystone species, with foraging activities resulting in dispersal of pollen and seeds; playing a key role in the reproductive and evolutionary processes of other species and ecological communities. This species is in trouble, with pressure from urbanization, habitat fragmentation, loss of food resource, tick paralysis, and both legal and illegal shooting around orchards. The NightWings founders are all committed bat carers, and the NightWings Rainforest Centre will be helping these animals in 2 ways: the 15 hectare (37 acres), 70,000 tree planting will provide an area of year-round native fruit from multiple rainforest tree species, and the visitor centre (proposed for completion around 2016/17) will feature a full-time bat hospital, nursery and interpretive centre. 

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Baby Bat Pups at Lubee Bat Conservancy

Last year the Lubee Bat Conservancy in Gainesville, Florida welcomed twelve bat pups, including the rare birth of twins by mother Variable Flying Fox "Charisma." This organization is dedicated to conserving "fruit and nectar" bats because these animals are vital to pollination and seed dispersal in many of the world's jungles. The evolutionary origins of bats are a subject of much debate but they are most certainly NOT flying rodents. Once thought to be more closely related to shrews and hedgehogs, recent genetic evidence suggests bats may be more closely related to carnivores like bears, dogs and cats.

<0.1 Large Flying Fox Vixen © D. LeBlanc, Lubee Bat Conservancy

A Large Flying Fox pup clings to a stuffed animal

0.2 Large Flying Fox © D. LeBlanc, Lubee Bat Conservancy rs

Large Flying Fox pup and mom. Above photo credits: D. LeBlanc / Lubee Bat Conservancy

Charisma & Twins Variable Flying Fox © S. Mulder, Lubee Bat Conservancy rs

Rare Variable Flying Fox pup twins with mom. Photo credit: S. Mulder, Lubee Bat Conservancy

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