Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Bat Conservation Group Pushes for Better Protection

Bat Conservation Group Pushes for Better Protection for Endangered Native Bat Species

A group of bat conservationists are banding together to save New Zealand’s endangered native bat species. Recently, bat ecologists and educators from all over the country came together at the 5th New Zealand Bat Conference in Taranaki, to discuss the management of bat populations nationwide. The consensus was that further measures are needed to ensure the protection of both species of native bat, the short-tailed bat and the long-tailed bat, from the risk of extinction.

On Friday, the Department of Conservation (DOC) announced that in the North Island the long-tailed bat is now considered critically endangered, which reveals a major decline in numbers from its 2012 status as ‘vulnerable’. This means that long-tailed bats are more prone to extinction than kiwi, kokako and whio. This has prompted the group to put pressure on the government to increase measures to protect bats. On Wednesday the group sent a letter to relevant ministers in a call to action for better resourcing and direction on bat policies.

While the recent announcement from DOC also revealed good news that the southern short-tailed bat is now ‘recovering’, where previously it was ‘threatened’, bat ecologists are quick to point out that this success is due to sustained and intensive predator control in an intact forest habitat, as the short-tailed bat is still declining in less well managed parts of the country.

The main current threats to bats include predation by stoats, rats, possums and cats and habitat clearance, in particular the loss of old and large trees that the bats require to make their roosts. Bats require a number of different habitats within a large range (up to 50 km) that include waterways, gullies, native forest remnants with large forest tracts, and plantation forestry. With pest control and protection of their habitats, our only native land mammals have the potential to recover.

In the North Island, many long-tailed bat populations can be found in the rural landscape, including plantation forestry. Without careful management of tree felling and protection of key bat roosting and feeding areas their habitat will disappear, and bats will be injured or killed during felling. Educating land owners with bats roosting on their property should also be a priority, as many people have negative opinions about bats and may not wish to protect them. Additionally, on the margins of towns and cities, urban expansion is encroaching on bat habitat and it is likely that bats will also disappear from these areas unless measures are put in place to protect them.

Current measures such as establishing a ‘bat box’ (a wooden structure that is put up high in trees to encourage bats to roost in) to mitigate the felling of potential bat roost trees may not be sufficient to replace lost roosting habitat. Bats are very slow to take up home in bat boxes, and they often do not provide the ideal humidity, temperature and space that large, old trees can offer them.

The letter suggests that the ministers work with bat practitioners to consider updates or changes to current legislation to enhance the protection of bats, and to work with community and industry stakeholders to develop guidelines and education tools. Other proposed options for halting the decline of bat populations included specific policy and regulation to protect and enhance bat habitats in District Plans, Regional Plans and Regional Policy Statements.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages