Giant Golden-crowned Flying Fox, Fruit Bat, World's Largest Bat, Endangered
The Giant golden-crowned flying fox, or as it's sometimes known, the golden-capped fruit bat, is the largest known species of bat in the world. Getting its name from the golden fur that sits around its head, and its 5 ft (1.5 meter) wingspan; the giant golden-crowned flying fox has no tail and weighs up to 2.6 lbs (1.2 kg). It inhabits the Philippine islands of Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros and Polillo, and is confined mainly to their rainforests at elevations ranging from sea level, all the way to 3,600 ft (1.1 km).
Preferring to stay almost exclusively in untouched areas of forest, human intrusion into the rainforest, as well as poaching (they're hunted for their meat and pelts) has caused the giant golden-crowned flying fox to reach a population level low enough that extinction of the species is feared.
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. Referred to as “The Silent Planter”, giant golden-crowned flying-foxes are known to scatter the seeds of the fruit they eat in their dropping; this makes them vital to the ecosystem of the Philippines' rainforests. Prior to the thinning of their species, giant golden-crowned flying-foxes were known to make colonies with another large bat species (Malayan Flying Foxes). These colonies, meant to help them keep warm and avoid predators, actually ended up making them easier to hunt, and aided in their ascent into near extinction. Due to their vitality to their ecosystem, it's important that efforts are made to conserve the impressive species that is the giant golden-crowned flying fox.