There are no conservation measures in place for this species. A proposed protected area (Pulau Kobroor) is within the general area where the species was found. Further studies are needed into the taxonomy, distribution, abundance, ecology, and threats of this species.
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
This species is apparently restricted to the Aru Islands, Indonesia (Simmons 2005).
This species has not been collected since the nineteenth century. The complete absence of twentieth-century records for P. aruensis is concerning, and expeditions to the Aru Islands sponsored by the Western Australian Museum in the early 1990s did not encounter it. However, a single toothless jaw from a kitchen midden collected by P.A. Woolley at Namara on the island of Kobroor in October/November 1992 probably represents this species (field number NA/36, unregistered lot at CSIRO) (K. Helgen pers. comm.). It is a very large and colourful bat and so hence it is potentially a target of concerted hunting. It could possibly be extinct.
The threats to this species are not known. This species is a potential target for hunting, and this may have resulted in the species' decline, but this has not been confirmed. Large-scale sugarcane plantation development on the Aru Islands threatens 92% of the primary tropical forest, which could be a devastating loss of habitat for this species (Obidzinski et al. 2015).