Pekapeka (bats) are the only native land mammals in Aotearoa.
By Michelle Swanepoel on 21st March 2022
Listed as nationally critical and in danger of extinction, Auckland is one of the only cities in New Zealand that still has resident populations of long-tailed bats. They have been recorded in the Waitākere and Hunua Ranges, Riverhead, Pakiri, Henderson and Swanson. Pekapeka are the only mammal capable of true flight able to fly 60 kmph. A bat colony can have a range of more than 100 square kilometers.
Our only native land mammal, long-tailed bats (pekapeka) are chestnut brown in colour, smaller than short-tailed bats and weigh just 8-11 grammes. They produce one pup a year and are important pollinators. As an aerial insectivore they eat small moths, midges, mosquitoes and beetles.
Pekapeka are active from spring through summer and feed at dawn and dusk. They enjoy:
Their decline is being driven by habitat loss, reduced food supply, roost destruction and predation. You can help this tiny native bat by:
Would you like to go bat-spotting? You can borrow a bat detector for free from Auckland Council. Please share this bat poster by Community Waitākere to spread the word!