The Action Plan for Australian Bats
Taxon summary: Percy Island Flying-fox
Scientific name: Pteropus brunneus Dobson, 1878
Common name: Percy Island Flying-fox
Conservation status: Data Deficient
Past range and abundance
Percy Islands (south-east of Mackay), Queensland.
Present range and abundance
None known. This species is known from a single specimen collected in 1859, and described in 1878 (Andersen 1912). There have been no further records of this species at the type locality, despite recent fauna surveys in the Percy Islands, nor anywhere else in Australia and the Pacific. After examination of the type specimen in the British Museum (Natural History) it is possible to conclude that this species may be confused with the ostensibly similar Pteropus scapulatus, especially at a distance. If P. brunneus is extant it may be represented by a small population that is intermixed and unnoticed in larger colonies of other Pteropus spp., although this possibility is doubtful.
The validity of the species was recently confirmed by both Pam Conder and one of the authors (GCR), who examined the type specimen lodged in the British Museum of Natural History (see also Conder 1995). However, the accuracy of the type locality may be in doubt, and this requires further investigation. An unconfirmed report of a possible extant colony on nearby Akens Island was received in late 1991 and was investigated by foot and helicopter survey in early 1992, without result (Hall and Richards unpub.).
Verify the validity of the type locality by examination of historical documents. If the type locality can be proved to be non-Australian, then this species will not need further consideration.
Andersen K. 1912. Catalogue of the Chiroptera in the collection of the British Museum. Volume I: Megachiroptera. Second Edition. Johnson Reprint Company, London.
Conder P. 1995. Dusky flying-fox Pteropus brunneus. pp. 433–434 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, NSW.
Authors for the species