Teeny, tiny bat babies!

Department of Conservation —  25/02/2014

This month Auckland Zoo celebrated successfully breeding and rearing lesser short-tailed bat twins. This was the first time this threatened, found nowhere else in the world, species has ever been bred and hand-reared in a zoo.

Now, if pekapeka / bats don’t normally register in your line-up of species that make your heart melt, I have a feeling they will after watching this:

Facts about the short-tailed bat

Adult short-tailed bats weighs 12-15 grams, have large pointed ears, and are a mousy-grey colour.

They eat insects, fruit, nectar and pollen.

They are the only pollinator of the rare native plant, dactylanthus (also known as woodrose).

Their heart rate is 250 -450 beats a minute at rest and 800 beats a minute while flying.

Unlike most bats, who catch their prey in the air, short-tailed bats have adapted to ground hunting and spend a lot of time on the forest floor, folding their wings to use as “front limbs” for scrambling around.

DOC’s work with pekapeka / bats

DOC has a recovery programme to ensure the survival of all species and subspecies of pekapeka / bat. The measures we are taking include education, community-based conservation projects, control of introduced predators at important sites, protection of roosts sites, the development of restoration techniques, and shifting the most vulnerable bat populations to predator-free habitats.

You can help

Become a bat-spotter and assist DOC to determine their distribution.

Work as a volunteer setting and checking traps for a predator-control programme in your area.

Protect native forests. By controlling predators and protecting native forest, you will assist other species as well as bats.

One response to Teeny, tiny bat babies!


    Baby bats! Too cute! Although it must make for interesting dinner conversations – what do you do for a living? I clean bat butts…