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. The greater short-tailed bat is thought to be extinct.
The long-tailed bat and short-tailed bat are classed as 'critical/vulnerable'. They are in danger of extinction in the medium term if nothing is done to reverse their population declines. These species are a high priority for conservation.
Maori folklore 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.
Long- and short-tailed bats are at risk from a predator plague caused by high levels of seed production ('beech mast') in 2014. Battle for our Birds protects bats and other native species from predators.
CITES endangered species
DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:
0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.