Sunday, July 21, 2019

Talbot Forest Bat Roost Trees

A most pleasant walk in Geraldine's Talbot Forest Scenic Reserve this morning.

The Canterbury long-tailed bat lives here. 
South Canterbury supports the only known long-tailed bat population on the East Coast of the South Island. Bats are limited to a small area from Peel Forest in the north, southwards through the foothill gorges of the Orari, Waihi, and Te Moana Rivers, Geraldine, and the Kakahu and Opihi Rivers.

Geraldine is one of the few towns in New Zealand where it is possible to see long-tailed bats. They flit like large butterflies at dusk as they emerge from giant totara and matai in Talbot Forest.

Bats are dependent on old-aged trees that provide cavities with the correct conditions for breeding. They prefer to roost in the native trees that are now scarce. However, they will roost in introduced trees that are allowed to get old and large enough for natural cavities to form.

Predator control. Smooth aluminum bands prevent cats, possums, rats, and stoats from climbing to where the bats roost.

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