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New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat

Mystacina tuberculata


The New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat is one of the most terrestrial bats, foraging on the forest floor much more frequently than any other species.

They are nocturnal, spending the day roosting in colonies, in old hollow trees. These old-growth roost trees are very important to this species, meaning they are very prone to forest clearance by humans. Further threats include predation by introduced rats and stoats, with an introduction of rats on the southern Titi Islands leading to the local extinction of the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat. The threat rats play was really shown with the removal of rats on Codfish Island, which led to an increase of bat numbers. The lesser short-tailed bat is listed by the New Zealand Department of Conservation as a ‘species of highest conservation priority’.

  • Order: Chiroptera
  • Family: Mystacinidae
  • Population: 30,000
  • Trend: decreasing
  • Size: 6-7cm
  • Weight: 10-22g

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 9.36 (?)
ED Score: 40.45 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


Endemic to New Zealand, previously widespread it now covers 30% of its historic range. . Large populations of this species are also present on the offshore islands of Little Barrier Island and Codfish Island.

Habitat and Ecology

New Zealand lesser short-tailed bats inhabit old-growth temperate forest, with large trees available for colonial roosts, abundant epiphytes and deep leaf-litter. They also use caves for roosting. They are primarily insectivores, but they also consume nectar, pollen and fruit.

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Conservation Actions

For each key category of conservation action, we calculated a conservation attention score based on expert information. In this graph, a higher score means the action is being carried out more intensively over more of the species range. The colour shows how important each action is considered to be for the conservation of this species.

Engaging stakeholders
Addressing threats
Status of knowledge
Management plan
Capacity building
Behaviour change
Awareness raising
  Score: 100 means the activity occurs at high level across more than 75% of the species range
Very Low

Overall Conservation Attention

We combined all of the expert information on conservation actions to calculate an overall conservation attention score for this species. Please help us to reach our goal of establishing dedicated conservation attention at “High” levels for all EDGE species.

Very Low Low Medium High

More information

Recent studies have grouped all possible conservation activities for any species into nine key categories (Washington et. al 2015). For each action, we asked experts for each species to assess the extent to which that action is being carried out and how much of the species’ range that action occurs in. For each action we used these two pieces of information to calculate the conservation attention score per action. A score of 100 means that the action is being carried out to a high level across at least 75% of the species range. We then combined the scores for all actions into an overall conservation attention score for the species. The experts also judged how important each category was to the conservation of that particular species.

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Logging Invasive species Invasive species

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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