First breeding and hand rearing of the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata at Auckland Zoo

  • Published source details Searchfield D. (2016) First breeding and hand rearing of the New Zealand lesser short-tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata at Auckland Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook, 50, 165-173.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Breed bats in captivity

Action Link
Bat Conservation
  1. Breed bats in captivity

    A study in 2007–2014 at a zoo in Auckland, New Zealand (Searchfield 2016) found that two of five New Zealand lesser short-tailed bats Mystacina tuberculata born in captivity survived and were successfully hand-reared. In 2012, two live pups (one male, one female) were born and removed from the colony for hand-rearing after showing signs of dehydration. Both pups reached adult body weight (approximately 14 g) at seven weeks of age, were observed flying at 10 weeks and successfully rejoined the colony at 12 weeks. One other pup was stillborn in 2010. Two other pups born in 2012 died at 16 and 22 days old. The colony of 13 adult bats was transferred to the zoo in 2007 following a failed translocation attempt. The two hand-reared pups were removed from the main enclosure at 2 and 18 days old and placed in an incubator. The pups were fed milk formula and weaned onto mealworms Tenebrio molitor and moths. Electrolytes were given to treat dehydration. At 50 days of age, the pups were placed in a small cage within the main enclosure and gradually re-introduced to the adult group.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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