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New Zealand bats treated at Wildlife Ward

PostPosted: Aug 30, 2006 8:19 am
by Wayne Harrison
<img src="" align=left vspace=0 hspace=10>Veterinary surgeons at the University’s NZ Wildlife Health Centre are trying to find the cause of a severe dermatitis damaging the ears of native short-tailed bats recently relocated to Kapiti Island.

Two of Kapiti’s population of the endangered, endemic mammal are being treated for the condition, which affects bats’ ability to echolocate.

The bats were brought to the Palmerston North-based ward by the Conservation Department, which has relocated short-tailed bats from a population in the Tararua ranges to Kapiti Island.

Surgeon Dr Brett Gartrell says the department’s staff have been monitoring Kapiti’s bat population since their relocation last year. Despite a loss of up to two thirds of their ears due to the dermatitis, the bats have maintained a healthy weight and continue to forage on the ground – a unique behavioural characteristic of the species.

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