Let's go to watch fruit bats


Fruit bats are more active in moonlight as they rely on sight to find their way around, even at night. Moonlight also helps us find them. The best time for fruit bat watching is when the moon is waxing from crescent to full, and is visible in the early part of the night. The old moon rises too late in the night to catch the bat's most active time.


On some islands large numbers of fruit bats are approachable, but this isn't possible on other islands. Listed below are the best sites that we know of.

Best:Haterumajima: Here, fruit bats can be seen even in the gardens of ordinary houses. Whilst roosting, they are approachable enouth to be observed easily without binoculars.

South Bonin Island(Minamidaitoujima) Here they have no fear of people and can be watched near villages.

Hatoma Island is also good for bat watching. In summer, they can be seen eating Garcinia fruits.

The poisonous snake "Habu"(Trimeresurus flavoviridis) does not occur on these island, so walkin at night is relatively safe..

Also good:Ishigakijima,Iriomotejima,North Bonin Island (Kitadaitoujima) ,Taramajima,Kudakajima,Okinawajima(The latter island is large and the bats are thinly spread.)

Less good: Kutinoerabujima,the Bonin Islands,Nakanoshima,Yonagunijima

How to Find The Bats.

Look for fruit trees during the day. Fruit Bats are particularly partial to wild berries and Malabar almonds. They may be feeding on leaves in the winter when fruit is scarce, so watch out for signs of missing leaves at the tops of trees. Droppings, fruit cores and pellets underneath the trees show that bats were feeding here the night before.


Leaf eaten by fruit bats (left) Droppings are liquid(right)