In March 2014 we traveled to New Guinea, exploring both the remote islands of the region and the Asmat villages. In Pulau Pualu Su, we were extremely lucky, and found a flying fox colony. Watch naturalist Rich Pagen tell you about this incredible experience.
Rich Pagen, Conservation Biologist: So here we are on an island off the north coast of New Guinea called Palau Palau Su, and we landed to do some snorkeling here, but we’ve also found a large flying fox colony that covers much of the north end of this island. These are genus Pteropus, they are called flying foxes, they are the largest of the bats. They do not echo-locate, they actually eat fruit, they have an excellent sense of smell. They go out at night, find fruit, not just on this island, mostly on the mainland, and they come out here to roost.
Zegrahm Explorer: So they’re essentially, like, fanning themselves…
Rich: You can see them kind of moving their wings, trying to thermo-regulate, it does get very hot in those trees, and they’ll actually lick their own wings for evaporated cooling. So a really interesting stop, this is a place Zegrahm hasn’t been before, and we did some scouting, and we’re very happy with what we found.