Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Auckland Zoo batty over bat babies

Auckland Zoo batty over bat babies



Baby pekapeka


Auckland Zoo is celebrating successfully breeding and rearing lesser short-tailed bat twins – the first time this threatened endemic New Zealand species has ever been bred and hand-reared in a zoo.

The tiny short-tailed bats (pekapeka), a male and a female, born in mid-November weighing just 4 grams (weight of a 20 cent coin!), are now a healthy adult weight of around14 grams.

New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine (NZCCM) Clinical services coordinator Mikaylie Wilson says that, “while very rare to produce twins (one pup is usual) their mother had given birth to twins earlier but they did not survive. From this experience, we knew she wasn’t able to cope with raising two, so the decision was made to pull the first twin at two days, and then at two weeks, the second pup was failing to thrive so we pulled it as well.”

Mikaylie, who has experience hand-rearing bats in Australia, set up the programme for the bats, “we had a portable incubator that closely mimicked a nursery in the wild, keeping them warm and secure. The temperature of the incubator was at 28-29 degrees, and we were feeding them every four hours.”

Mikaylie Wilson cared for the bats for five days straight, before training bird keeper Debs Searchfield to play ‘mum’, feeding and caring for them at home.

Debs says, “we were a bit sleep deprived, but it was worth it. It’s been such a great success to be part of, it’s all very exciting and we’ve learnt a lot about them. Gaining more husbandry skills, hands on techniques and knowledge will hopefully help the future of this species and other bats in recovery programmes.”

The bats parents are descendants of a population from the Tararua Ranges in the lower North Island. They came from a group that were collected and translocated by the Department of Conservation (DOC) to Kapiti Island in 2005/6 however a fungal ear infection meant that this group was not suitable for release and the Zoo now displays the only lesser short-tailed bats in captivity.

Lesser short-tailed bat facts
• New Zealand has just two terrestrial native mammals – the long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus) and the short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata).
• An adult weighs 12 – 15 grams, has large pointed ears, a free tail, and uses echolocation to navigate and catch its prey.
• eats insects, fruit, nectar and pollen and is the only pollinator of the rare native plant, dactylanthus (known as woodrose).
• has a heart rate of 250 -450 beats per minute while at rest, and 800 beats per minute while flying!
• Unlike most bats, which catch their prey in the air, it has adapted to ground hunting, and spends lots of time on the forest floor, and folds its wings to use as “front limbs” for scrambling around.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Two Years With New Methods: Crime Stats Show Increase Led By Burglary

The two years of data show an increase in the total victimisation rate of 3.1 per cent, with 12,060 more victimisations in the 2015/16 year when compared to 2014/15 year. From this increase, 72 per cent is attributable to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news