Pekapeka, classified as nationally critical under the New Zealand Threat Classification System, are New Zealand’s only native land mammals. Historical records and surveys since 1990 show that long-tailed bats are now rare or absent at many North and South Islands sites where they were formerly common.

There are two species, the long-tailed bat Chalinolobus and the lesser short-tailed bat Mystacina. Pekapeka are highly mobile, with flights of 10 to 25 km common. An individual can fly over 50 km at night and cruise to a favourite feeding site at over 60 km per hour. Emerging at dusk, pekapeka navigate and catch insects by bouncing high-frequency sounds off their surroundings.

Long-tailed bats stick to a diet of flying insects – moths, midges, mosquitoes and beetles, using a membrane along their tails to scoop up insects on the wing. Because they feed over such a wide area they need about 150 km2 of forest to sustain a colony. Both species depend for shelter on the oldest and largest trees in cool temperate rainforests, forming colonies in well-insulated tree-cavities.

Decline is due to clearance and logging of lowland forests, cutting of old-age trees for fire wood, predation by introduced mammals and exclusion of bats from their roosts by introduced mammals, birds and wasps.


Species video

View Other Species

Learn More

Blue Duck

Whio have a habitat and diet that make them a good marker for a healthy river eco-system.

Learn More


Möhua are found only in beech forests with fertile soils where they can find plenty of food.

Learn More


Kea, the well known, cheeky, high country, South Island parrot, is one of the world's most intelligent birds.

Learn More

Long-tailed Bat

Pekapeka, NZ’s only native land mammal, shelter on old and large trees in temperate rainforests and form colonies in tree-cavities.

Learn More

Yellow-Crowned Parakeet

Kakariki are common on some predator-free islands and some valleys in east Fiordland and west Otago.

Learn More

South Island Kaka

Kaka are large parrots that are now mainly limited to a few localised forest strongholds in the central North and South Islands.

Learn More


Tītipounamu are New Zealand's smallest birds. They live in high altitude beech forests and near rocky outcrops.

Learn More

South Island Robin

Toutouwai are sparrow sized and enjoy forests with dense, even canopies and ground covered with leaf litter.

Learn More

Rock Wren

Pīwauwau are small, ground-feeding birds found only in the Southern Alps of the South Island.

NZ Threat Classification
Go left Go right