Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Hundreds of native bats discovered in new colony

Forest & Bird discovers hundreds of native bats in new colony

Forest & Bird is thrilled that a large colony of endangered South Island long-tailed bats has been discovered during a January survey on D’Urville Island, in the Marlborough Sounds.

The D’Urville population is estimated to number in the hundreds.

The colony was discovered by a Forest & Bird survey team during the fifth and final year of surveys, initiated by Forest & Bird Top of the South Field Officer Debs Martin, alongside bat scientist Dr Brian Lloyd.

“This find is fantastic news,” says Ms Martin. “It means that D’Urville Island is even more important to New Zealand’s natural heritage than we thought.”

Only 10 colonies of long-tailed bats are known to remain on the South Island mainland, with total numbers less than 5000 - and declining.

“D’Urville Island is the fifth largest island in New Zealand. One third of it is public conservation land. It is free of possums and ship rats, which increases the long-tailed bat’s chances of survival. Except for a small colony on Stewart Island, the D’Urville group is the only one known to be living on an offshore island. This find dramatically increases the chances of saving the species from extinction," says Ms Martin. “It was predicted that the South Island long-tailed bat would become extinct within 50 years. But this find may well alter that.

"Our next step will be to work with the Department of Conservation, Ngati Koata and local landowners to monitor the bats and ensure the island remains a safe haven for these animals. Protecting the quality of the island’s remaining forests and not allowing any new predator species to establish themselves on the island is now vital.”

The D’Urville colony was found thanks to the late Colin Iles, whose estate funded the final year of bat surveys.

“Colin was a gentle and compassionate man who was keen to see that his bequest benefited conservation in New Zealand,” says Ms Martin. “This surely is a legacy to be proud of. We are ever grateful to Colin for his generosity.”

One species of native bat – the greater short-tailed bat –became extinct in 1965 from predation by ship rats. Another species of short-tailed bat survives, but in low numbers. Forest & Bird surveys have failed to find any surviving populations of short-tailed bats at the top of the South Island, including in places where it is known historically to have lived.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

'Irregular Accounting': Voluntary Suspension Of Fuji Xerox Govt Contracting

This suspension gives the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment time to understand the full implications of the report from FUJIFILM Holdings into irregular accounting practices at FXNZ. More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Cow Disease Detected In NZ For First Time

MPI is responding to the detection of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis in a dairy herd in South Canterbury... The disease is commonly found in cattle globally, including in Australia, but it’s the first detection of it in New Zealand. More>>

South Island Flooding: Focus Moves To Recovery

As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding... More>>

ALSO:

Superu Report: Land Regulation Drives Auckland House Prices

Land use regulation is responsible for up to 56 per cent of the cost of an average house in Auckland according to a new research report quantifying the impact of land use regulations, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says. More>>

ALSO:

Fund For PPP Plans: Govt Embraces Targeted Rates To Spur Urban Infrastructure

The government's latest response to the Auckland housing shortage will see central government and private sector firms invest in 'special purpose vehicles' to fund essential roading, water and drains that Auckland Council can't fund without threatening its credit rating. More>>

ALSO: