We studied the diet of the Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus) in Pakistan from March 2008 to February 2009 and found that the bats fed on 20 species belonging to 11 plant families. Of these, four families (Anacardiaceae, Bignonaceae, Malvaceae, and Sapotaceae) were identified from remnants of flower petals in food boluses while the remaining families (Annonaceae, Arecaceae, Ebenaceae, Meliaceae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae, and Sapindaceae) were identified from the seeds in the boluses and from guano samples. Plants in the family Moraceae (50.7%) comprised most of the bat's diet. Fruit of Ficus retusa (27.5%) and F. carica (23.0%) during winter, F. glomerata (30.9%) and F. religiosa (28.1%) during spring, Psidium guajava (19.6%), F. bengalensis (18.7%) and Diospyros peregrina (17.8%) during summer, and D. peregrina (71.9%) during autumn, were the most frequently identified items. The four seasonal diets varied significantly (χ2 = 435, d.f. = 18, P < 0.01). Results confirm that the ecological services rendered by P. giganteus, such as pollination and seed dispersal, outweigh its losses, such as damage to the ripe fruit. Hence, the species should not be regarded as a pest; rather efforts should be made to ensure its conservation.
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