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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Flyover Over: NZTA Not Appealing Flyover Decision

The NZ Transport Agency has decided not to appeal the High Court’s Basin Bridge decision, and says the High Court’s findings provide valuable clarity to help guide the development of future infrastructure projects throughout the country. More>>

ALSO:

Developing Crown Land: Government, Auckland Iwi Reach Agreement

The government has reached agreement with Ngati Whatua and other Auckland iwi over developing 500 hectares of excess land in Auckland for private housing which had been under High Court challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Maurice Williamson

Maurice Williamson seems to have been granted an annual licence to embarrass the National Party, and its that time of year again. Also as per usual, Williamson’s recent exercise in sexism and homophobia has passed by with barely a murmur from his leader. More>>

ALSO:

Green Climate Plan: Shaw Launches 40% Emission Cut Target

Green Party co-leader James Shaw has announced an emissions target initiative for 40% reduction by 2030. He said agriculture has to long been used as a reason for inaction, a roadblock to action... He proposed a tax of 8 cents per kilo of milk. More>>

ALSO:


Images & Video: Four Alternative Flags For Referendum

Flag Consideration Panel chair, Professor John Burrows, said the Panel’s decision had been guided first and foremost by the results of its engagement programme across a range of communities where thousands of Kiwis shared what was special about New Zealand, as well as the Panel’s own selection criteria. More>>

ALSO:

Transport Report: LGNZ Calls For Proactive Approach To Mobilise Regions

LGNZ has today released Mobilising the Regions, its major transport study, which highlights the economic and social impact of strategic transport decisions nationally and in the regions, and the direct link between regional development, national prosperity, social well-being and cohesiveness. More>>

ALSO:

Transport: New Rules Bring Double-Deckers To Our Cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say. More>>

ALSO:

Cycling:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news