Growth rates of, and milk feeding schedules for, juvenile spectacled flying-foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) reared for release at a rehabilitation centre in north Queensland, Australia

Mclean, Jennefer, Johnson, Ashleigh, Woods, Delaine, Muller, Reinhold, Blair, David, and Buettner, Petra G. (2018) Growth rates of, and milk feeding schedules for, juvenile spectacled flying-foxes (Pteropus conspicillatus) reared for release at a rehabilitation centre in north Queensland, Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology, 66 (3). pp. 201-213.

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Abstract

In Australia, the spectacled flying-fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) (SFF), is listed as 'Vulnerable'. Many juvenile SFFs come into care at the Tolga Bat Hospital, a privately funded community organisation. The aims of this study were (1) to estimate postnatal growth rates for length of forearm and body mass; (2) to describe the association between body mass and length of forearm; and (3) to develop a milk feeding chart for infant SFFs. Cross-sectional data were collected for 2680 SFFs from the 2006-07 to the 2016-17 seasons. Forearm length increased by 0.55mm and body mass increased by 1.5 g per day. Longitudinal data were collected during the 2016-17 season for 128 SFFs. According to these data, forearm length increased by 0.71mm and body mass increased by 3.4 g per day. Both analyses indicated exponential associations between forearm length and body mass (P < 0.001). Reasons for the differences between the cross-sectional and longitudinal results might include the negative impact of tick paralysis in the crosssectional study and the positive effect of human care in the longitudinal study. The proposed feeding chart is based on length of forearm. This study was established in a wildlife-care facility providing a model for similar work with other wildlife species.

Item ID: 57549
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1446-5698
Keywords: captive management, developmental biology, diet
Copyright Information: © CSIRO 2018.
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 07:44
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060803 Animal Developmental and Reproductive Biology @ 50%
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