Bats are New Zealand's only native land mammals.There are three species: the long-tailed bat, the lesser short-tailed bat, and greater short-tailed bat. The greater short-tailed bat is thought to be extinct.

The long-tailed bat and short-tailed bat are classed as 'critical/vulnerable'. They are in danger of extinction in the medium term if nothing is done to reverse their population declines. These species are a high priority for conservation. 

Long-tailed bat. Photo © Sabine Bernert.
Long-tailed bat

Maori folklore refer to bats as pekapeka and associate them with the mythical, night-flying bird, hokioi, which foretells death or disaster.

Long-tailed bat

Long-tailed bat are widely distributed throughout the mainland and on several offshore islands.

Lesser short-tailed bat

The lesser short-tailed bat is an ancient species unique to New Zealand and is found only in a few locations.

Battle for our Birds logo.


Battle for our Birds

Long- and short-tailed bats are at risk from a predator plague caused by high levels of seed production ('beech mast') in 2014.

Battle for our Birds protects bats and other native species from predators.

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Call to report sick or injured wildlife, and whale or dolphin strandings.