Spectacled Flying Fox

by Mindy on February 14, 2012

in 52/52 Challenge, Animal Portraits, Conservation, Environmental Concerns, Uncategorized

52/52 Painting Challenge- Painting #6

 

The Spectacle Flying Fox is a large sized fruit bat that can have a wingspan of 5 ft. The latin name is Pteropus conspicillatus.They live primarily in the rainforest, but are also found in mangroves and swamps throughout northern Queensland Australia and surrounding islands. Erratic temperature changes in Northern Australia occur during the seasons of the year. This bats uses its wings to control its body temperature so that it can survive freezing and scorching variations. They feed on 35 different kinds of fruit found in the rainforest. They have the ability to eat while they are flying and often eliminate dispersing seeds over the range of their territory. They are key player in seed dispersal. They have a fondness for figs.

This painting is done from my wonderful photography day at the Lubee Bat Conservancy. This particular bat, Sienna is her name,  is the only Spectacle Flying Fox in the Northern Hemisphere. According to Brian Pope, the Director at Lubee, She was found on their doorstep in a cardboard box. She obviously had been someone's pet and for whatever reason, they decided they no longer wanted her. The reason that they know she is the only one of her kind is that it is illegal to have these type of fruit bats in captivity. They are on the endangered list and a special permit had to be acquired by Lubee in order to keep her. She is not capable of being released back to her natural habitat. She is a funny bat with a passion to eat. She enjoys being near people and it was great fun to get to know her.

I am working on 2 more bat paintings for Lubee in hopes that we can use them to bring awareness to the public. I will keep you in the loop as I finish them and let you know how it goes.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sketchbook Squirrel February 15, 2012 at 2:30 am

It is so sad to hear how such beautiful and endangered creatures are treated when they are no longer 'cute' enough to be a pet. At least Sienna now has a caring home and again, you have caught her cheeky, funny nature perfectly.  

Wrenaissance Art February 16, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Enjoying the mix of wildlife and plant portrayals you've been featuring this year! :-)

Mindy February 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Jarnie~ I couldn’t agree more. The exotic pet trade has been a huge problem. These wild animals are not suited as domesticated pets and it is too often that they are cast aside. This is one of the things that I try to educate through my blog posts and painting. Public awareness can help bring on a change.

Mindy February 20, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Thanks Wren! I am enjoying my painting this year and the variety I am encountering here in Gainesville. Hope you are happily painting too!

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