Pekapeka-tou-roa is a party leader species, representing both species of bat in Aotearoa, the long-tailed bat and the short-tailed bat. Long-tailed bats live throughout New Zealand, and fly at dusk along forest edges using echolocation calls to hunt moths, mosquitoes, and other yummy insects. They are as small as your thumb, the wingspan of your hand, and weigh the same as a $2 coin. They are in serious trouble from habitat loss and introduced predators.
Once common across the motu, pekapeka-tou-roa (New Zealand's long-tailed bat) are now so rare we don't know how many are left. These kind night flyers get a bad rap from their cousins overseas. A rap which COVID-19 has made worse. A rap they do not deserve. After winning Bat of the Year too many times to count, pekapeka-tou-roa are ready to step up to the plate. Pekapeka are more bird-like than wannabirds in this competition. Saying this may ruffle some feathers but can any of our flagship species fly? Pekapeka are deservedly manu. In New Zealand we believe in the underbird. We believe in the little fly. We believe that where you come from doesn't have to determine your future. Pekapeka-tou-roa, it's your time to rise up and grow our understanding of manu. Koia nei te houanga o pekapeka-tou-roa! #pekapeka