Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bats on the agenda at next ORC meeting

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Regional conservation status of pekapeka under the spotlight
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A report on the regional conservation status of pekapeka or bats will be presented at an Otago Regional Council meeting in Wānaka on October 11.

Pekapeka are New Zealand’s only native land mammals.

In Otago the long-tailed bat (pekapeka-tou-roa) was assessed as regionally critical. It is found in or within a night’s flying distance of three Otago territorial authorities: Central Otago District Council, Clutha District Council and Queenstown-Lakes District Council.

The southern lesser short-tailed bat (pekapeka-tou-poto) was assessed as regionally data deficient. 

While there are no recent records of it in the Otago region, the species is found nearby in the upper the Eglinton valley along the Te Anau-Milford Highway, with the closest record less than 2km from Otago’s western boundary.

Otago Regional Council (ORC) chair Gretchen Robertson said three local conservation groups are taking part in the public forum at the ORC’s Environmental Science and Policy Committee meeting, and there will be presentations by specialist ORC staff on new and emerging technology and the regional conservation status report for bat species.

“There’s a diverse range of subjects being considered at this meeting, which will give people a flavour of the wide-ranging environmental work ORC undertakes for communities,” she said.

 Robertson said representatives from three groups will speak at the public forum: Wai Wānaka, Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society and the Wānaka Catchment Management Group.

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