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Bats breeding?

Typical bat roost

If you keep your eyes on the sky, you might just see one! A small dark shape flitting like a swallow as it catches insects in the dusk.

Long tailed bats emerge from their daytime roost trees right on that time when there is just a little bit of daylight left. They spend the night travelling along their favoured foraging routes, catching mosquitoes, beetles and small moths, drinking on the fly from flat stretches of water, resting for periods and socialising.

These fascinating creatures are in serious decline across the country as they are very vulnerable to pests such as rats, possums and cats. Last summer the first project to find exactly where some of these bats are roosting and breeding was initiated. Two colonies and over 40 roosts were found centered around Puahanui Bush and Gwavas Garden, Tikokino. In the Ashley Clinton / Makaretu area another two colonies and over 30 roosts were also discovered. These are thrilling finds and it may be that the widescale possum control in Hawke’s Bay has helped save these colonies.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) have teamed up with The Conservation Company to try and find out where else in Hawke’s Bay long tailed bats are breeding. Surveys using automatic detectors will be carried out over this coming summer when bats are most active.

We would love to hear from you if you have discovered bats roosting around your property over the last few years. It may be in unusual places such as under a sun umbrella or in your shed, or maybe you have seen them flying around, chasing insects gathered around an outside light.

Please get in contact with Kay Griffiths on 021 629584 or email info@theconservationcompany.co.nz to share your own exciting news and help us with more discoveries.

This project is funded by HBRC with support from DOC and Biodiversity Hawke's Bay

18 September 2020

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