ESR 8:33-39 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00181

Assessment of the short-term success of a translocation of lesser short-tailed bats Mystacina tuberculata

Jay Ruffell, Stuart Parsons*

School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Translocation is a powerful tool that has been used in the conservation of a wide range of taxa. However, few translocations of bats have been attempted and we know of no successes. The few translocations which have been attempted have either failed due to dispersal from the release site or have not been monitored sufficiently to determine the cause of failure. We assessed the short-term success of a translocation of lesser short-tailed bats Mystacina tuberculata by the New Zealand Department of Conservation, where 3 release methods were used to minimise dispersal or mortality: bats were juveniles, were maintained in captivity at the release site, and were provided with supplementary food and roosts following release. Success was assessed by determining if founders remained at the release site and maintained condition (weight). Recapture showed that at least 9 of the 20 bats remained at the release site 232 d after release. There was weak evidence that bats lost weight, although final weights were comparable to those of bats from a natural population. However, all bats captured 8 mo after release had damaged, infected ears and some were balding. The problem was treated but recurred, and bats were returned to captivity. Our results are the first to demonstrate that translocated bats can remain at their release site and survive. However, disease may be an issue in future translocations.


KEY WORDS: Lesser short-tailed bat · Mystacina tuberculata · New Zealand · Translocation · Relocation · Reintroduction · Soft release · Supplementary food · Disease


Full text in pdf format  
Cite this article as: Ruffell J, Parsons S (2009) Assessment of the short-term success of a translocation of lesser short-tailed bats Mystacina tuberculata. Endang Species Res 8:33-39. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00181

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -