Long-tailed bats were common throughout New Zealand in the 1800s and were recorded in colonies of “scores”, “hundreds”, and “thousands”. By 1900-1930 they were becoming scarce in many districts.
Recent surveys indicate that South Island long-tailed bats are rarer than previously thought. They were once common in Dunedin, Invercargill and Christchurch, where they roosted under the wooden bridges across the Avon River until 1885.
Long-tailed bat is at risk from a predator plague caused by high levels of seed production ('beech mast') in 2014. Battle for our Birds protects long-tailed bat and other native species from predators.
Did you know that the long-tailed bat can fly at 60 kilometres per hour? Learn more facts about this species including the long-tailed bat in South Canterbury.
Factors thought to have caused New Zealand's bat populations to decline include habitat loss, toxins, introduced predators and the disturbance of roosts.
DOC's bat (pekapeka) recovery plan has a goal of conserving all bat sub-species throughout their present range and establishing new populations where possible.
Get involved in DOC's bat spotting programmes around the country to help determine bat numbers and distribution. Find out how to enhance a property for bats in South Canterbury.
To protect our native wildlife the Department of Conservation is implementing the 'Battle for our Birds' predator control programme.
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.