Lesser short-tailed bat
PHOTO: Colin O'Donnell | DOC

Introduction

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.

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