Monday, August 3, 2009

Native Species of the Week - ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a; Hawaiian Hoary Bat

Hawaiian name: ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a
English name: Hawaiian Hoary Bat
Scientific name: Lasiurus cinereus semotus

Photo: DOFAW

The Hawaiian Hoary Bat is Hawaii's only native terrestrial mammal. It is one of only two native mammals in the entire island chain (the Hawaiian monk seal is the other).

It is an endangered species, and is endemic at the subspecies level, meaning the bat that lives here lives nowhere else in the world.

The bat is brown and gray, and has a wingspan of about 1/3 of a meter, or about 1 foot. This bat has a lot in common with other bat species, but since very little is known about this particular mammal, much more research needs to be done.For example, not very much is known about the habitat requirements or population status of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat. 

" ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a feed on a variety of native and non-native night-flying insects, including moths, beetles, crickets, mosquitoes, and termites; and similar to other insectivorous bats, prey is located using echolocation." -From the Hawaii Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy webpage.

To find out more about the ‘Ōpe‘ape‘a; the Hawaiian Hoary Bat, visit the fact sheet on the Hawaii Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy webpage.

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