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Forest Owners Say ‘back The Bat’

The Forest Owners Association is urging its members and the public to vote for the pekapeka – the Long-Tailed Bat - in the Forest and Bird sponsored Bird of the Year 2021 competition.

President, Phil Taylor, says Forest and Bird should be congratulated for making pekapeka an honorary bird in this year’s competition.

“In the late 19th Century, pekapeka used to be commonly sighted within South Island cities, such as Invercargill, Dunedin and Christchurch.”

“It would be great to see it come back. Forest companies, which have populations of pekapeka, are actively taking action to protect them in their forests.”

“Our own company, Port Blakey, for example, is working with DoC, Environment Canterbury and the Timaru District Council, iwi, and local property owners to monitor a pekapeka colony among a stand of mature podocarps within the Geraldine Forest.”

“The monitoring showed us that possums and rats were preying on the pekapeka. So, we and the Council have a predator control programme. We’ll be putting out the bait stations next month when the pekapeka enter their critical breeding season.”

The pekapeka’s conservation status is described as ‘nationally critical.’ Forest Owners encourage everyone to vote at www.birdoftheyear.org.nz and tick for the pekapeka.

Voting closes Sunday 31 October.

© Scoop Media

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