The Mauritian flying fox is the largest endemic mammal in Mauritius. Its fur is golden. It has small ears, thick hair on the tibiae, the dorsal coloration of the glossy, blackish-brown mantle, tinged with rufous, which extends posteriorly into a dark brown median spinal tract, flanked by buff lateral patches.
Mauritian flying foxes are native to Mauritius and La Réunion (region of France). They live in the forests within the national parks of Black River Gorges, Combo, and Bel Ombre. Occasionally, these flying foxes can also be found in fruit plantations.
Mauritian flying foxes are social and roost in large groups. They are active at dusk and dawn, although some are occasionally seen during the day. Every day megabats fly to roosting and foraging resources; to communicate with each other they create various noises.
Mauritian flying foxes start to breed around May and pups are usually born between August and December.
Mauritian flying foxes suffer from habitat loss which causes the loss of roosting sites and fruiting trees. Hunting and persecution due to conflicts with the farmers possess another serious threat to this species.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Mauritian flying fox is 37,700 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.
Mauritian flying foxes play an important role in their ecosystem as pollinators and seed dispersers. They aid in the survival of many species of plant life in Mauritius. One study found these flying foxes consumed 20 species of plants, most of which were native to Mauritius. Of those native species, 36% are either vulnerable or rare. The flying foxes disperse many seeds in flight through their feces, which is ultimately advantageous to many of the native species.