Long-tailed bat crowns New Zealand’s bird of the year for 2021


WELLINGTON, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) – In the past, the critically endangered native long-tailed bat won the 2021 New Zealand Bird of the Year award, the event organizer.

This is the first time that New Zealand’s only land mammal has been included in Forest & Bird’s annual competition, and it soared with the title.

The Bird of the Year competition is an annual competition organized by the independent New Zealand conservation organization Forest and Bird, with the aim of raising awareness about New Zealand’s natural birds. The event generated great interest both at home and abroad.

After a two-week campaign that nearly broke the internet and pitted friends against each other, the Long-tailed Bat was the winner with both the most number one ranked votes and the most. votes after the application of the transferable vote rankings.

“Kiwis clearly love their native bat, and they chose our only native land mammal to be the 2021 Bird of the Year,” said Laura Keown, Forest’s Bird of the Year spokesperson. & Bird.

“The campaign to raise awareness and support this little flying furball has conquered the nation!”

“A vote for bats is also a vote for predator control, habitat restoration and climate action to protect our bats and their feathered neighbors!”

“Long-tailed bats, or pekapeka-tou-roa, are a unique part of New Zealand’s biodiversity, but many people don’t even know they exist,” said Ben Paris, senior advisor. in conservation at the Auckland Council and Batman of New Zealand.

“There are pekapeka projects all over the country with conservation communities making mahi with our bats. Here in Auckland, our bat conservation efforts have been supported by our target rate which has enabled us, with our communities, to do a lot more work, ”he said.

“These bats were added to the Forest & Bird contest to help people get to know them, and their stories have been around the world!

Forest & Bird is leading the Pelorus River Bat Recovery Project in Marlborough with support from the Department of Conservation, involving 250 hectares of predator control and a bat monitoring program each summer to identify sites of rest and protect critical habitat for long-tailed bats.

New Zealand has two native bat species, the long-tailed bat and the short-tailed bat, of which there are three subspecies. A third species, the large, short-tailed bat, is said to be extinct.

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