Good New Zealand bat news

This video says about itself:

Pollination of New Zealand native plants

Nov 14, 2011

Research has shown that the loss of native birds and bats from New Zealand ecosystems can have serious consequences for the survival of native plant species. …

Dr David Pattemore, a scientist at Plant & Food Research, has undertaken research on the pollination of native New Zealand plants. His research shows that birds and mammals play a critical role in ensuring native plants are pollinated, with implications for the ongoing viability of plant populations.

And here is the Part 2 video about this.

From Wildlife Extra:

ew colony of Endangered Long-tailed bats found in New Zealand

Forest & Bird delighted over new bat colony discovery

February 2013. A large colony of endangered South Island long-tailed bats has been discovered during a January survey on D’Urville Island, in the Marlborough Sounds. The D’Urville population is estimated to number in the hundreds, according to NZ conservation organisation, Forest & Bird.

Only 10 colonies known on South Island

The colony was discovered by a Forest & Bird survey team during the fifth and final year of surveys, initiated by Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin, alongside bat scientist Dr Brian Lloyd. Only 10 colonies of long-tailed bats are known to remain on the South Island mainland, with total numbers less than 5000 – and declining.

“This find is fantastic news,” says Ms Martin. “It means that D’Urville Island is even more important to New Zealand’s natural heritage than we thought. D’Urville Island is the fifth largest island in New Zealand. One third of it is public conservation land. It is free of possums and ship rats, which increases the long-tailed bat’s chances of survival. Except for a small colony on Stewart Island, the D’Urville group is the only one known to be living on an offshore island. This find dramatically increases the chances of saving the species from extinction,” says Ms Martin. “It was predicted that the South Island long-tailed bat would become extinct within 50 years. But this find may well alter that.

“Our next step will be to work with the Department of Conservation, Ngati Koata and local landowners to monitor the bats and ensure the island remains a safe haven for these animals. Protecting the quality of the island’s remaining forests and not allowing any new predator species to establish themselves on the island is now vital.”

The D’Urville colony was found thanks to the late Colin Iles, whose estate funded the final year of bat surveys.

“Colin was a gentle and compassionate man who was keen to see that his bequest benefited conservation in New Zealand,” says Ms Martin. “This surely is a legacy to be proud of. We are ever grateful to Colin for his generosity.”

Greater short-tailed bats extinct in 1965

One species of native bat – the greater short-tailed bat -became extinct in 1965 from predation by ship rats. Another species of short-tailed bat survives, but in low numbers. Forest & Bird surveys have failed to find any surviving populations of short-tailed bats at the top of the South Island, including in places where it is known historically to have lived.

Female lesser short-tailed bats can size up a potential mate just from his singing. A new study shows that the New Zealand bat species Mystacina tuberculata relies on singing as a primary method of courtship, and the complex signals given out by males allow females to assess the physiological suitability of a mate: here.

15 thoughts on “Good New Zealand bat news

  1. I don’t know if you remember, but I commented about going to find long-tailed bats on a prior post of yours and it was Debs Martin who was took us. Predator numbers are right down around that colony, so hopefully that will translate into increased numbers over time. Debs is also the spokesperson for the campaign to save Denniston Plateau, which I have also mentioned in a comment. You might want to check out her blog about it here: – it has a rather grotesque video of a snail eating a worm.


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