Photo ©Michael Durham

Historical records show long-tailed bats have vanished from many sites where they used to be found; with introduced predators such as rats getting the blame for their demise. But John Allen, from Grovetown near Blenheim, believes he has uncovered another reason behind disappearing bat populations in Marlborough; lack of food…He says flying insects have disappeared from the immediate area, leaving bats with no food source. He believes insecticides are to blame for their disappearance. The bats that used to live on Māori Island have disappeared as there is no food source for them.”It’s absolutely incredible. There are no insects flying around at night now. You can leave your windows and doors open with the lights on and nothing will fly in.”I reckon there’s been around a 75 per cent reduction in the number of insects. There are no grasshoppers, crickets or cicadas and we are surrounded by vineyards,” Allen says.

Read the full article “Lack of insects bad news for bats” by Paula Hulburt for Marlborough Express.



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