31 Mar 2019

Council says rare bats won't be harmed in tree felling

11:45 am on 31 March 2019

Rare native bats have been found in dangerous pine trees at a Waikato reserve, leading to the park being closed.

Native NZ Bat

Endangered native bats have been found in trees due to be pruned in Tamahere Reserve. Photo: Kerry Borkin

Endangered long-tailed bats have been spotted in Tamahere Reserve in pine trees that pose a risk to people using the reserve and Tauwhare Road, said Waikato District Council open spaces team leader Duncan MacDougall.

The council has organised for arborists to prune the dangerous trees as soon as possible, but has temporarily closed the reserve until the work can be done.

Mr MacDougall said the council was working closely with the Department of Conservation to make sure the tree work went ahead, without harming the bats.

"As the reserve is especially important for bats, we are working with the Department of Conservation to ensure their continued presence in and around the reserve but need to carefully manage this with the safety of the public and the danger that some of these pine trees are causing," Mr MacDougall said.

Work on the pines is planned within the next month, but will be carried out under conditions imposed by DOC to protect the bats.

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