Endangered species of New Zealand

Bats - pekapeka

Bats are New Zealand's only native land mammals and all 3 species are threatened with extinction.

Common page

Greater short-tailed bat (Mystacina robusta)

Greater short-tailed bats are thought to be extinct, last seen when caught in a mist net on Solander Island in April 1967.

Lesser short-tailed bat (Mystacina tuberculata)

The lesser short-tailed bat has a relationship with the rare plant, woodrose (pua reinga) and as the bats move around lapping up its nectar they pollinate the woodrose " pua o te reinga" Dactylanthus taylorii. There are three sub-species of lesser short tailed bat.

Long-tailed bat © NHC
New Zealand lesser short-tailed bats are the woodrose's only pollinator and are the last surviving species in the Mystacina genus of bat. Another unique relationship our lesser short-tailed bat has is with the New Zealand bat-fly which is completely dependant on its host - the lesser short-tailed bat. According to Morris and Balance (2008) a recent survey found no long-tailed bats in 13 of 15 locations that it had been found in the early 1990s. The lesser short-tailed bat has no tail, is larger, and less often seen as it comes out well after dark.


Long-tailed bat (Chalinolobus tuberculatus)

The long-tailed bat, as seen in the first video below, weighs 7 -10 grams at maturity and has a wingspan of about 260mm. Their diet includes insects & nectar. The long-tailed bat is sometimes referred to as the fantail of the night due to its similar unpredictable flight pattern. In proverb, the Maori refer to bats as pekapeka and associate them with the mythical bird of the night, hokioi, and with band news. They were once found in massive colonies and even roosted under Avon River bridges of Christchurch City.