Promoting the Conservation of Native Birds in Taranaki and New Zealand and Providing information and resources on the New Zealand Falcon and Bats


New Zealand Long-tailed Short-tailed Bats


More often than not our New Zealand bats are simply referred to as the long-tailed bat (LTB) and the short-tailed bat (STB). Though more correctly they should be called the New Zealand long-tailed bat and the lesser short-tailed bat.

The STB is considered to have colonised NZ sometime after New Zealand’s separation from Gondwanaland but very possibly as long ago as 20-25 million years. They are now the only example remaining in that family of species.

Whereas the LTB has been a far more recent self-introduced species and are thought to have been in New Zealand for only approximately 1 million years.

NEW ZEALAND LONG-TAILED BAT

(Chalinolobus tuberculatus)

Crown Copyright: Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai


2 Taxa recognised

North Island and South Island

Threat Classification

Nationally Vulnerable

Weight

8-11 grams

Wingspan

24-30 cm

Ears

Small, broad and rounded

Tail

Long with membrane

Fur

Chestnut brown

Prey

Insects on the wing

Habitat

Forest incl exotic pines

Roosts

Tree hollows/cavities, caves

Active

Before or just on sunset

LESSER SHORT-TAILED BAT

(Mystacina tuberculata)

Crown Copyright: Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai

2 Taxa recognised

North, Central and South Island

Threat Classification

At Risk - Declining

Weight

12-15 grams

Wingspan

25-30 cm

Ears

Large and pointed

Tail

Short

Fur

Mousy grey

Prey

Nectar, fruit, ground insects

Habitat

Old growth native forest

Roosts

Hollow trees

Active

After dark







THREATS FACED


Like many of our other native species NZ bats face a number of threats, that include:

  • Loss of suitable habit – much of New Zealand’s native forest has been cut down and especially the STB require large tracks of old growth native forest, though the LTB has been found roosting in exotic pine forest.
  • Competion for food – many of the introduced species also feed on the same species as our bats.
  • Predation by introduced predators – both species of bat are preyed on by introduced predators, including stoats, rats and cats.

1 cat 7 days 102 short-tailed bats!

Crown Copyright: Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai