New Zealand short-tailed bats

This video from New Zealand is called Fantail showing off in Maungatautari Ecological Reserve.

From Wildlife Extra:

Bat search on Maungatautari is a prelude to translocation

21/01/2009 22:33:44

The New Zealand short tailed bat:

• Is unique in the bat world in being able to fold their wing membranes away under special protective folds along their ‘arms’, which enables them to hunt for food on the ground and under leaf litter.
• It is probably the most omnivorous bat in the world; eating invertebrates, fruits and nectar (it has a ‘brush tongue’ similar to a tui).
• It is one of the very few ‘lek’ breeding species of bats in the world; where the males congregate in ‘arenas’ and compete for the attention of passing females by singing from holes in trees. The Pavarottis among them attract the most females and produce the most offspring.
• Weighs 11-16 grams with a wingspan 25-28 cm and can fly up to 60km per hour.
• Roosts in hollows (e.g. in trees or caves).
• The young are called pups.

Are there any short tailed bats on Maungatautari? That’s the question Maungatautari Trust will try and answer this summer.

In mid December several weatherproof bat sonar recorders, complete with a digital memory card and enough battery power for several days recording, were placed across the mountain close to tawari trees, which are currently producing nectar, and other likely bat flight paths. Each box was set ready to record the ultrasonic sounds of the forest at night which may include the distinctive very high-pitched echo-location of the short tailed bat. …

There are only two species of bat left in New Zealand – the long tailed and the lesser short tailed. The greater short tailed bat is thought to be extinct.

Introduced predators such as rats, cats and stoats are thought to be the main reason for the decline in bat numbers.

This video is called Lesser short tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata.

Bat-flap allows bats access to disused tunnels: here.

Bats: White-nose syndrome spreading across North East USA – New map: here.

Bats in Utrecht: here.

Originally described from a specimen from the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the Egyptian fruit bat is a relatively large, robust bat with a short tail, a fox-like face, noticeably large eyes, and dark, rounded, naked ears: here.

6 thoughts on “New Zealand short-tailed bats

  1. Captive breeding at Mount Bruce protects wildlife

    Thursday, 02 July 2009, 11:03 am
    Press Release: Department of Conservation

    2 July 2009

    Captive breeding at Mount Bruce continues to protect NZ wildlife

    The captive breeding programme at the Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre will continue to protect endangered New Zealand wildlife, says the Department of Conservation.

    Wairarapa Area manager Chris Lester says a recent review confirmed that the centre had a long-term future in captive breeding.

    “But effort will focus more on those endangered species that the centre is best suited to assist. This is likely to include nationally endangered species such as kiwi, shore plover, whio (blue duck) pateke (brown teal) and kakariki.

    “We have a proven track record in captive breeding at the National Wildlife Centre and, together with the provision of leading edge advocacy opportunities at our recently upgraded visitor centre we’re committed to the welfare of New Zealand’s wildlife” says Chris.

    Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre has operated a successful captive breeding programme since the arrival of Elwyn Welch’s takahe in the 1950s. The recovery of numerous threatened native species has been significantly assisted by pioneering work undertaken at Mount Bruce. Ongoing demand for species protection means plans for breeding programmes for nationally endangered wildlife will continue.

    The Department of Conservation in conjunction with Pukaha Mount Bruce Board currently manage more than six species at the National Wildlife Centre as part of national recovery programmes.

    Chris Lester is enthusiastic about the emerging opportunities to introduce new species to Pukaha and assist in their recovery.

    “We’re proud to have successfully worked with native species like kokako and kaka and it’s great to see them breeding naturally in our forest. This success means we can now concentrate on other species that need our help.

    “While some species are able to be bred without captive support, our predator control and restoration programmes remain a critical factor in the recovery of endangered species. The assistance of our partners at Pukaha Mount Bruce including Rangitane O Wairarapa, Greater Wellington and Horizons Regional Councils and community organisations enables us to continue this important work” he says.

    Support from the “BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust” in the just ended financial year, enabled the upgrading of the kiwi brooding rooms and enclosures to increase the capacity for Operation Nest Egg activities. Additionally, $35,000 was invested in upgrading the shore plover aviaries. Mount Bruce holds 70 percent of the captive population of shore plover and has successfully bred and released birds to establish self-sustaining populations on off shore islands for the past 17 years.

    Stage two of the Pukaha Mount Bruce Board’s upgrade project will include the revamp of more aviaries and the nocturnal house. Additional visitor experience and educational opportunities will also be introduced, with more iconic wildlife species eventually being displayed at the internationally renowned wildlife centre.


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