In this section:

You can help the long-tailed bat

Protect native forest in your area. This will assist other species as well as bats. If you are a back-country user, farmer, or belong to a conservation group, become involved in bat spotting and assist the department in determining bat distribution throughout New Zealand.

Enhance a property for bats in South Canterbury

  • Protect native forest remnants - bats prefer to feed along forest edges and over native shrublands. Old-aged kanuka provide important roost sites in South Canterbury.  
  • Where you find bats, do not disturb them - It is safe to watch bats as they emerge from roosts or feed, but sit quietly so they will not be frightened away. Some bats roost in limestone bluffs in late summer and winter, so rock climbers need to be careful not to disturb them. 
  • Retain standing dead trees and old-age trees with cavities - Dead trees and old trees with hollows and cavities are still valuable for wildlife. Bats rest by day and breed in cavities in old-aged trees. Bats move to a new roost tree regularly so are not always present at a site, but may return later to reuse it. A social group can use over 100 different roosting trees. If woodlots are being felled, check trees for cavities first. Ask DOC for assistance in determining how they might be safeguarded. 
  • Protect cabbage trees and other lone native trees on farmland - Hollows in cabbage trees are also important roosts. Replant natives in these areas to shelter the trees and ensure their long term survival. 
  • Protect old-age willow and poplar forest around ponds where bats feed – Bats like to feed on aquatic insects over water. Ponds sheltered by overhanging trees help bats to feed in poor weather. Numerous willow areas along the Opihi and Opuha Rivers and their tributaries provide this shelter. 
  • Reduce use of pesticides – an increase in bat numbers will compensate for reduced pesticide use

Get involved in Canterbury

Join Talbot Forest Working Group


Raukapuka / Geraldine Office
Phone:      +64 3 693 1010
Full office details

Find out more

Learn more


DOC's 24 hour emergency hotline:

0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)

Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.