We all know what batman gets up to after he leaves that bat cave, but what about the night manoeuvres of real bats? This is a rare opportunity for you to discover the acro-bat-ic adventures of the critically threatened long-tailed bat, one of only two bat species found in New Zealand – our only native land mammals.
Your long-tailed bat - yes you can choose your own name - will be equipped with a miniature radio-transmitter that emits a regular pulse at half the speed of a human heartbeat. The tiny bat-signal will be detected by a team of bat-trackers on the ground using radio-tracking equipment. Long-tailed bats move to a new roost tree almost every day, so early each morning the bat will be tracked to discover where it chooses to spend the day with its colony mates after a busy night on the wing.
If possible, your bat will also be tracked through-out the night on up to three nights, revealing where it prefers to hang out, where it goes for a good feed and how it moves from A to B. The radio-transmitter, which is glued on to the bat’s back, naturally falls off after about 10 days and does not harm the bat. Even after your bat drops its transmitter it can still be identified from its ‘wing bling’ if captured again - a tiny band with a unique ID number fitted to the bat’s forearm.
Bat tracking provides valuable insight into the behaviour of one of our most elusive and critically threatened creatures and supports the bat protection work done by Forest and Bird’s the Top of the South Bat Recovery Project in Marlborough, including identifying sites to target for predator control and roost tree protection. Habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals are two of the key threats to this precious bat that is found only in New Zealand. Your generous support will contribute to the cost of transmitters and equipment for bat tracking.
As part of your adoption you will be able to name your bat, receive a certificate, photographs and updates on your individual bat’s movements while it is wearing the radio-transmitter. And so you always have a reminder of your bat hanging around, we will provide you with a plush toy.