Protecting a Native Species
New Zealand’s long-tailed bats are in decline for a variety of reasons, including habitat loss and predation by invasive pests such as rats and stoats. But UNH students Bethany Balstad ’19, Josie Davis ’18 and Killian Fitzpatrick ’18 have completed research that will help the reverse that trend. This past fall, they took part in U.S. Embassy-funded study that sheds important light on the behavior, habitat requirements and roosting sites of these rarely seen nocturnal mammals. Their findings will inform local, regional and national conservation work.
The study is part of a U.S. Embassy-funded project administered by the EcoQuest program. Since 1999, students from UNH and more than 80 other colleges and universities have participated in this unique study abroad opportunity, engaging in hands-on, multidisciplinary research while contributing to New Zealand’s restoration ecology and sustainable resource management initiatives.
The program, which is a partnership between UNH’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and the EcoQuest Education Foundation, provides a sustainable learning community for students experience first-hand how science, management, planning and policy can interact.