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71. Bulmer’s Fruit Bat

Aproteles bulmerae


Bulmer’s fruit bat may be the most endangered species of bat in the world; with 1993 estimates of one subpopulation being 137-160.

They are the largest species of cave dwelling bat, and only inhabit altitudes of 1800-2400m above sea level. Believed to have become extinct at the end of the last Ice Age glaciation, the species was rediscovered in a precipitous mountain cave in 1975. Shortly after the Bulmer’s fruit bat discovery, this small population was almost wiped out by hunters with guns. It is the only member of the Aproteles genus, and a part of the Pteropodidae, megabat, family. Further studies to clarify its distribution and population are needed to properly plan a conservation strategy.

  • Order: Chiroptera
  • Family: Pteropodidae
  • Population: 137-160
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 242mm
  • Weight: 600g

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.23 (?)
ED Score: 10.71 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


Bulmer’s fruit bat is endemic to the island of New Guinea. It is currently known only to inhabit a single cave, known locally as Luplupwintem, located in the Hindenburg ranges of far western Papua New Guinea. It is possible that other populations exist in remote mountainous regions of the island.

Habitat and Ecology

The only known roost of the species is an enormous vertical-sided cave near the edge of a large escarpment at an altitude of 2,400m. The cave is surrounded by mossy montane forest dominated by conifers. It is thought to only eat fruit.

Find out more

Loading species distribution map...

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Hunting Work Fire

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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