Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 18 February 2010 Contents LOCAL NEWS
18 February, 2010 | Page 5
Department of Conservation rangers in Te
Anau are more than a little excited by the
recent confirmed sighting of long-tailed bats
feeding by a street lamp in a residential
area of Te Anau township.
Biodiversity reanger Hannah Edmonds said
the endangered long-tailed bat was now
rare or absent at many sites where formerly
they were common.
"We suspect these bats are roosting in the
Kepler Mountains," she said. "We would like
to confirm this by catching some, attaching
a transmitter, and then tracking them back
to their roosting site".
This monitoring work will be carried out with
the help of funds donated through the Real
Journeys Pekapeka/ Bat sponsorship.
As New Zealand's only land mammal, there
are two kinds of bat found here; the long-
tailed bat and the lesser short-tailed bat.
"We know these are long-tailed bats
because the sightings are at dusk when
they emerge to feed. Short-tailed bats
emerge only when it is properly dark," Ms
The work to discover where they are
roosting will be carried out over the next few
weeks while it is still warm and the juveniles
are flying around. Once the bat roost has
been located, up to 100 individuals could
be found inside Ms Edmonds said. Rangers
would also then be able to set up predator
protection, if necessary.
"Long-tailed bats live in family groups. In
the Eglinton Valley during the last heavy
beech seed (mast) event, rats were most
likely the culprit for killing an entire family of
long-tailed bats," she said.
The recent sighting of bats in the Te
Anau township may indicate the positive
difference initiatives like the Kepler
Challenge Bird Song Project can make.
Set up in 2006 by the Kepler Challenge
Committee, a trap line around the entire
length of the Kepler Track was established
to protect the native birds from predation by
stoats and rats. The success of this project
is now being built on by the Fiordland
Conservation Trust which is seeking funding
for its next major project to protect the
Excitement at urban sightings of bats
Long-tailed bats have been seen feeding in the
Te Anau township.
PHOTO: Department of Conservation
Three life members of the Thornbury
Vintage Machinery Club will be among more
than 70 people setting off next week on a
tractor trek of the South Island.
The convoy, which leaves Bluff on February
22, returning just over three weeks later,
will give participants the opportunity to
traverse some of the South Island's most
scenic back country roads while also raising
money for Cancer Kids.
Stan Bulling, of Te Anau, who's credited with
the idea that sparked the adventure, has
his prized Fordson Super Dexter ready to
His is one of five Thornbury Vintage
Machinery Club members taking part, four
of them driving tractors. Three of them - Mr
Bulling, Owen Anderson, of Waimatuku
and Winston Saxton, of Thornbury were all
awarded life memberships at the club's
Originally hinting that he would only do part
of the trek, there's very little that could stop
Mr Bulling from completing it all now.
"I had an ambition that I wanted a Super
Dexter to go tiki-touring in later in life - the
chance came along, didn't it," he said with
His tractor, manufactured on July 1, 1964
and sold new, complete with cab, by
Macaulay Motors, has been restored by
Thornbury Enterprises and was on display
at the Southern Field Days at Waimumu last
All of the trek participants have to be self
sufficient and fund their own way. They are
also expected to find sponsors and raise
money for the charity.
The tractor trek will arrive in Te Anau on
March 14 where the Te Anau Lions Club has
pledged to donate $250 each for the arrival
of Mr Bulling and Mararoa farmer Max Slee.
This will coincide with a public "wheels
display" day at Lions Park which is being co-
ordinated by Neil Collinson.
Mr Bulling said huge qudos had to go to the
co-ordinators Maurice and Trish Short, of
Balfour, who had spent more than two years
turning the dream into reality.
Mrs Short said all up about 72 people and 50 tractors would take part in the trek.
About 37 would leave from Bluff while
others would join in at various points
along the way.
Tractor trek fulfils 'tiki-tour' ambition
Stan Bulling, of Te Anau, and the 1964 Fordson Super Dexter he will drive the length of the South
Island and back as part of the South Island Tractor Trek for Cancer Kids fundraising excursion which
leaves Bluff next week.
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