A summer research student from the University of Waikato has found evidence of long-tailed bats, a critically endangered endemic species, in the northern areas of Hamilton.
Hamilton is one of the only cities in New Zealand with an urban population of bats, with southern Hamilton a known hotspot for them, where they tend to roost in the semi-rural habitats on the edge of the city and have large home ranges across the area.
Waikato University student Olivia Dixon has just completed a summer research project on the long-tailed bats, with support from Project Echo and the Waikato Regional Council, to discover what bat activity is occurring in north Hamilton.
“The project was a really invaluable experience for me, as it allowed me to develop a different set of skills compared to typical papers. It was great to spend the summer working in a field I’m interested in, learning more about this endangered species,” says Dixon.
Historically, bats have been known to be in the Gordonton area, as well as the Hakarimata Ranges and Pukemokemoke, but no comprehensive surveys have been previously undertaken across the whole northern area.
Dixon initially surveyed around the northern edge of the city, within a 5km buffer, but then expanded to include the Hakarimata Ranges and kahikatea patches around Gordonton.