The Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox.

Known by it’s local names, paniki and kabog, it is the largest bat in the world being one of the megabats, with a wingspan of up to almost 6 ft, weighing to 3.3 lbs, and a up to a body length of 55 cm, or 22 inches. It is often compared to the other megabat, Pteropus vampyrus (the Malayan Flying Fox), which is often mistaken as the largest bat for reports on its wingspan but is smaller in body mass and size.

This marvelous, yet endangered animal gets it’s name from its golden fur around its head which is in contrast to its dark brown to black body and wings. It has no tail like other fruit bats and is endemic to the Philippines inhabiting the uninhabited forests on the islands of Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros and Polillo.

A primarily nocturnal creature (as are most bats), it can travel at least 25 miles (40 km) per night while searching for food – mostly figs but also regional fruits like puhutan, lamio, bankal, tangisang, bayawak and strangler figs. It is also referred to as “The Silent Planter”, as they are known to scatter the seeds of the fruit they eat in their droppings which makes them vital to the ecosystem of the Philippines’ rainforests.

Prior to the decreasing number of their species, giant golden-crowned flying-foxes were known and still known to make colonies with its cousin the Malayan Flying Foxes. These colonies were meant to help them keep warm and avoid predators such as the Philippine Eagle. However due to the colonies it became much easier to hunt for humans, for their meat and to make pelts which is one of the top reasons for their decrease of numbers in the wild. Due to their important contributions to the ecosystem it’s important that efforts are made to conserve these giant fruit bats.

Click here for a video documentary on these megabats. (in Tagalog, but you can easily follow along and see these bats in action)

About The Author

Executive Editor & Founder

Ligaya is the Executive Editor & Writer at Pinoy-Culture.com. She lives in NYC with her two dogs and spends her time reading, writing, collecting and buying books online and in safe haven, Strand Bookstore, watching her guilty tv show pleasure Vikings, and overdosing herself in coffee as a certified caffeine addict. Her book, Diwatahan: A Look Into the Precolonial Beliefs, Practices, Myths, & Folklore of the Philippines, is currently in progress and is scheduled to be published in Summer of 2017.

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