Bats are New Zealand's only native land mammals.
There are three species: the long-tailed bat, the lesser short-tailed bat, and greater short-tailed bat.
Greater short-tailed bats are thought to be extinct, while long-tailed bats and short-tailed bats are classed as threatened. They are in danger of extinction in the medium term if nothing is done to reverse their population declines. Therefore, these species are a high priority for conservation.
In proverb, the Maori refer to bats as pekapeka and associate them with the mythical, night-flying bird, hokioi, which foretells death or disaster.
Long-tailed bat are widely distributed throughout the mainland and on several offshore islands.
The endangered lesser short-tailed bat is an ancient species unique to New Zealand and is found only in a few locations.
Research has revealed that bats actively select the largest and oldest trees in the forest for roosting and breeding.
Video about native bats/pekapeka
Pekapeka factsheet (PDF, 225K)
Bat (Peka Peka) Theatened Species Recovery Plan 15. (PDF, 367K)
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