Meet our charismatic colony of fruit bats

Our colony of Livingstone's fruit bats live in the Island Bat Roost, which they share with the small but feisty Rodrigues fruit bats. Their 800m2 enclosure, located next to Lemur Lake, allows them to fly non-stop in 100m circles – when they're not hanging out that is!

Sadly, our Livingstone’s fruit bats are vital to saving the species from extinction. In the wild, extensive deforestation is driving these bats to the edge of extinction. Our captive population, which makes up 90& of the global captive population, is ensuring we don’t lose this incredible bat forever.

Livingstone's fruit bat hanging out at Jersey Zoo
Animal facts

Key facts about the Livingstone's fruit bat

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I'm found in the Comoros

Livingstone’s fruit bats are found only on the Anjouan and Mohéli islands of the Comoros in the Indian ocean.

 

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My favourite food is... fruit!

These bats have an incredible sense of smell and can sniff out the best fruit from up to 3 miles away.

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I'm known as the 'farmer of the forest'

Livingstone's fruit bats' excretions make incredible fertiliser, so they're helping to grow the fruit by eating it! 

1,000

estimated wild population

1992

arrived at Jersey Zoo

1.5m

average wing span

Livingstone's Fruit Bat 2021 03

An uncertain future for the Livingstone's fruit bat

There is only one wild population of this critically endangered bat that isn’t affected by human behaviour. The other colonies all face deforestation of their forest homes due to human populations spreading across their islands. Such an uncertain future makes captive populations vital to saving the world's most threatened fruit bat from extinction. Captive colonies, like the one at Jersey Zoo, provide a safety net population for their wild counterparts – and our bats successfully breed every year, meaning we continue to secure a future for this unique and irreplaceable bat.

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Sustainable living in the Island Bat Roost

Our bats – both the Livingstone’s and Rodrigues fruit bats – live in the Island Bat Roost, which was built, and runs, sustainably. The roost was built by staff and volunteers using recycled materials and now retains and insulates itself without almost any external heating. All of the plants in the lush enclosure were donated and continue to thrive thanks to the bats’ natural fertilising (pee and poo!) and the humidity of the house.

Learn more about our Livingstone's fruit bats and their Island Roost home from our Head of Mammals, Dominic Wormell.

Help us care for our Livingstone's fruit bats