Meet pekapeka | Long-tailed bat | Chalinolobus tuberculatus

Bats are New Zealand's only native land-based mammals.

The long-tailed bat is one of only two surviving bat species endemic to Aotearoa.

What you need to know about long-tailed bats

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Threat status: threatened – nationally critical

Long-tailed bats were common in the 1800s, but habitat loss and predation has seen populations drop dramatically.

They now have the dubious honour of receiving the highest ranking in the New Zealand Threat Classification system. The next step is extinction.

Likely to be spotted at: Dusk, flying along forest edges throughout New Zealand. During the day, you might find them holed up inside old trees.

Fortunately for us, long-tailed bats are still fairly abundant in the Rangitikei so you are more likely to see one there than many other parts of New Zealand.

Most likely to be: Performing air acrobatics. Long-tailed bats can fly at speeds of up to 60km/h.

They are aerial insectivores, meaning they eat bugs that they catch in flight.

You might not know that: Cats catch bats.

If your cat catches a bat, call the DOC hotline o8oo DOCHOT (0800 362 468) if the bat is alive but injured.

If it is dead, save the body and contact DOC Manawatu.

If you spot pekapeka, you should:

· Give wildlife some space. Watch from a distance and sit quietly.

· Report sightings to DOC Manawatū.

· Protect native forest remnants.

· Leave old-aged and dead trees where they are – bats rest and breed in the cavities and hollows of old trees.

They move to a new roost tree regularly so are not always present at a site but may return later to reuse it.

Visit the Kiwi way and look after our place while enjoying nature this summer. We all have a responsibility to care for Aotearoa and our special native species.

To find out more about local species or conservation work, contact DOC Manawatu on
(06) 3509700 or visit www.doc.govt.nz