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Archive for the ‘bat’ Category

Scoop: Rare bats landing at Auckland Zoo

click on the Image by Peter Schouten for more on the short-tailed bat

The Department of Conservation (DOC), Auckland Zoo, and iwi, Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitane o Wairarapa, are hopeful that the bats will successfully breed to assist the recovery plan for this genetically unique group. The Waiohine Valley population, discovered in the late 1990s, is the only known short-tailed bat population living in the southern North Island, and currently numbers just 200.

Aged between two and three years, the 12 zoo-bound bats have been part of the most ambitious conservation project ever undertaken anywhere in the world for native bats. During 2005 and 2006, this involved DOC taking pregnant females from the wild (Waiohine Valley) to the National Wildlife Centre at Pukaha Mount Bruce until they had given birth and weaned their pups. The females were then returned to Waiohine Valley, and the pups taken to Kapiti Island, held in captivity for several months, and then released on the island. full media release

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Scoop: OSNZ publishes significant scientific resource

Scientific knowledge about New Zealand birdlife took a great leap forward today as the Ornithological Society of New Zealand published the Atlas of Bird Distribution in New Zealand 1999-2004.

The atlas was launched today at Government House in Wellington by the Administrator of the Government, Rt. Hon. Dame Sian Elias. Birds are some of the best natural indicators of the health of our environment – an environment we like to promote as clean and green.

President of the Ornithological Society, Professor Richard Holdaway said that the bird distribution atlas has demonstrated dramatic and rapid changes in bird distribution in all parts of the country since the 1970s. As land use has changed, so have the communities of bird species in those areas.

Examples of this included areas that have changed from exotic forest to dairying, and areas that have reverted from cleared land to native scrub. Species that did well in the first habitat have been pushed out as the land was converted. Atlas project Convenor, Christopher Robertson notes that “Green in colour we may be, but these atlas surveys continue to demonstrate that some of that greenness is both increasingly monocultural, and the battleground of territorial invaders among the avifauna. New Zealand endemics are retreating to enclaves where introduced mammalian predators increasingly threaten the food supply, productivity, and individuals of remnant species.”    more

http://osnz.org.nz/

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Spotting ‘little spots’ on Wellington’s wildest night out

Sanctuary Entry Gates

Wellington’s wildest night out just got even better! Throughout July and August, we are running a special two-for-one deal on our unique nocturnal tours. Conditions apply.

Take a tour by torchlight through New Zealand’s native forest at night. Your guide will help you to spot morepork, tuatara, glow-worms and weka. And if you hear a snuffling and a rustling in the bushes, it will probably be one of our rare little spotted kiwi – there are over 100 living wild in this magical valley! Tours depart nightly, with transport available to and from town for an extra $10pp.

Places are limited, so call 04 920 9213 to avoid disappointment!

Tour cost: $45 adult, $20 children (minimum age 12 years). 2-4-1 offer applies to PHONE BOOKINGS ONLY. more

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Media release: Fun format for garden bird survey

Male bellbird

Calling all bird watchers! Your help is requested for a national Garden Bird Survey.

With a simple and fun format, anyone from seasoned bird watchers to families and school groups can take part in the survey, which has proved popular overseas. In the UK more than 400,000 people participated in last year’s survey, with a tally of eight million birds.

“Are our common bird populations increasing or decreasing? That’s the question we want to answer,” says Landcare Research scientist, Eric Spurr. more

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Rare short-tailed bats transferred to Kapiti Island in a bid to save a threatened Tararua Forest Park colony have bred, but sadly the two pups produced were stillborn.

While disappointed that the pups died, the Department of Conservation says the fact that bats from a ground-breaking translocation attempted to breed so young adds to the important knowledge known about bats’ basic biology.

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