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.