1. FFI Australia
  2. FFI US
  3. Conservation Circle

Pemba flying fox

Latin name: Pteropus voeltzkowi

Areas: | Tanzania |

IUCN Red List conservation status

About: Pemba flying fox

Flying fox bats have a wide distribution from Australia and south-east Asia to the western Indian Ocean, but surprisingly are not found on mainland Africa. Two species are recorded on Tanzania’s offshore islands.

Pemba Island, 40km off the Tanzanian coast is home to the Pemba flying fox, which was first described in 1909.  This species is distinctive for its bright chestnut-orange fur.

It feeds mainly on fruit, but may also consume nectar, pollen and leaves.

Pemba flying fox facts:

  • Pemba flying foxes have been said to have dog-like facial features and can weigh in at around half a kilo
  • They roost during the day in trees rather than caves in groups of up to 850 individuals
  • Unlike insectivorous bats they do not use echolocation but vision to locate fruit

The Pemba flying fox has traditionally been hunted by local Pembaris as a source of food, originally using simple traps on long sticks, and more recently with shotguns.

Reports in the early 1990s indicated that the species was at risk of extinction as a result of hunting and habitat loss, and consequently the species was listed as Critically Endangered.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has supported the Department of Commercial Crops, Fruits and Forestry on Pemba Island to undertake a range of conservation activities over the past decade.

These have included working closely with the community and monitoring of bat roosting sites. The result has been a remarkable conservation success that has seen the bat population recover dramatically.

Image gallery

Make a donation

Did you know?

The population count of flying foxes has increased from 200 in the early 1990s to over 19,000 today!

Support Fauna & Flora International


Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is a company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England and Wales, Registered Company Number 2677068. Registered Charity Number 101110
Fauna & Flora International Australia (Ltd) is a company limited by guarantee, and recognised as a Charitable Institution (ABN 75 132 715 783, ACN 132715783)
Fauna & Flora International Inc. is a Not for Profit Organisation in the State of Massachusetts. It is tax exempt (EIN #04-2730954) and has 501(c) (3) status
Fauna & Flora International Singapore is a public company limited by guarantee, Registration Number 201133836K. Registered charity under the Singapore Charities Act