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travel guide of Kuchino-erabu island

        Email:erabu.info@gmail.com

891-4208 Kuchi-Erabu Island, Yakushima-cho

 Flying-Fox 

When you come to Kuchinoerabu-jima , please look up into the night sky. Forty to fifty minutes after sunset, you may be able to see the huge Erabu flying-foxes. They are often seen on Gajyumaru (Chinese banyan), Washington palm, and Yama-guwa (Marus australis Poir.). 
 
http://kuchinoerabu-jima.org/eng/img/bat_body.jpg
Photo by Mr. and Mrs. Osawa


Table  The number of flying-foxes visiting fruit trees (in 2014)

Date

Time period

Place

Number of flying-foxes

Observation

Moon age (days since last new moon)

8Sept

23:50-

24:00

Palm trees at school plaza

0

 

15

5Sept

21:55-

22:05

Palm trees at school plaza

0

 

12

31Aug

18:30-

21:00

Palm trees at school plaza

3

50 flying-foxes flew over the tree.

7

13July

0:15

-0:20

Peach tree at Yamaguchi’s vegetable garden

1

16

12July

2:30-2:35

Inu-biwa (Ficus erecta Thunb.) at the Yamaguchi

1

15

18-25June

around 21:00

Gajyumaru (Chinese Banyan tree) near Yukei-Inn

10

Flying-foxes had stopped to visit after fruit was dropped by rain fall

18June

around 20:00

Peach tree at Ohyama’s vegetable garden

10

20

13June

21:30-21:40

Peach tree at gas station

1

15

13June

3:25-3:35

Palm trees at school plaza

0

15

13June

3:10-3:20

Peach tree near Yukei-Inn

3

15

10May

22:00-22:10

Yama-guwa (Mulberry tree) at Power plant

6

10

9May

19:50-20:00

Yama-guwa (Mulberry tree) at Power plant

3

9

9May

19:40-19:50

Chinese banyan trees at north of power plant

4

9

9May

20:45-20:50

Palm trees at school plaza

6

9

8May

22:15-22:25

Palm trees at school plaza

1

8

8May

19:30-21:00

Palm trees at school plaza

5

5 flying-foxes visited on Palm trees between 19:39-19:55.

8

7May

21:40-21:50

Palm trees at Kenkou plaza

0

3 heads flew over the tree.

7

7May

21:20-21:30

Palm trees at school plaza

0

7

30Apr

23:45-23:55

Palm trees at Kenkou plaza

6

30

30Apr

23:20-23:35

Palm trees at school plaza

14

30

7Apr

20:05-20:15

Palm trees at school plaza

1

7

29Mar

19:30-19:40

Palm trees at school plaza

0

29

27mar

23:35-21:45

Palm trees at school plaza

6

27

 

Table Pellets dropped under fruit trees (2014)

Date

Place

pellets dropped under tree Moon age

2Sept

south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (Elaeagnus macrophylla, leaf)

8

21Aug

south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (leaf)

25

28July

south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (leaf)

1

19July

south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (leaf), Tabunoki (Persea thunbergii)

22

13June north slope at school peach, Inu-biwa(Ficus erecta Thunb.), Chinese Banyan, Tabunoki (Persea thunbergii) 15 
13June near gas station peach

15

13June south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (leaf)

15

8May south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (leaf)

9

29Mar From north slope at school to Kanamine shrine Inu-biwa (Ficus erecta Thunb.)

28

27Mar north slope at school Gardenia jasminoides

26

16Feb south slope at Kanamine shrine Maruba-gumi (leaf)

16




 What is Flying Fox?
 


The Erabu flying fox only inhabits the islands of Tokara and Kuchinoerabu-jima. In February 1975, the flying fox was designated as a national monument. In addition, it was designated as an endangered species in IA (CR), and was entered in the Red Data Book of the Ministry of the Environment.

http://kuchinoerabu-jima.org/eng/img/bat_body.jpg

The body length (including head) of flying-fox is about 25 centimeters. The wingspan is roughly equal to that of crow. 
Erabu flying-foxes have dark brown bodies. Males have a yellow band on their neck and females have a white band . 
Erabu flying-foxes are nocturnal and rest during the day while hanging from trees in the forest. Erabu flying-foxes rely on vision rather than sonar to fly. 
A short while after sunset, Erabu flying-foxes will fly to their feeding grounds. They will eat fruit, leaves, nectar and bark (see the below tree list*). After drinking the juice of fruit and leaves, they will spit out the dregs (Pellets). They swallow some extent swallow soft things, such as bananas. They also occasionally eat insects.

* List of Trees, whose fruit and leaves Erabu flying-foxes eat.

Gajumaru (Chinese Banyan, Ficus microcarpa L.f.)
Akou (Banyan tree, Ficus superba Miq. var. japonica Corner)
Yama-guwa (Marus australis Poir.)
Inu-biwa(Ficus erecta Thunb.)
Oitabi (creeping fig or climbing fig, Ficus pumila L.)
Tabunoki(Persea thunbergii kosterm.)
Maruba-gumi (Elaeagnus macrophylla Thunb.)
etc.

 





         
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