ENDANGERED BAT. In this May 11, 2007 file photo provided by
Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary, a Hawaiian hoary bat
is seen being fed in Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i. Wildlife experts
rescued and nursed back to health the endangered bat after it
was found lying lifeless, dehydrated, and starving on a car. (AP
Photo/Three Ring Ranch Exotic Animal Sanctuary via West
Hawaii Today, File)
From The Asian Reporter, V27, #14 (July 17, 2017),
Hoary bats confirmed on Kahoolawe Island
WAILUKU, Hawai‘i (AP) — After years of speculation, wildlife
officials have confirmed the presence of an endangered bat
subspecies on Kahoolawe Island, seven miles southwest of Maui.
The Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission used eight detectors
to confirm the presence of the Hawaiian hoary bat on the remote
island. Natural resource specialist James Bruch told Maui
News that the bat may be the only native land mammal
visiting and possibly living on the island, which was formerly a
The detectors picked up the first bat in June 2016. It
detected a bat again in August and again in September and
October, before dropping in December and January. There were no
detections again until April, the report said.
Before this, Bruch said Hawaiian hoary bat sightings were
reported, but could not be confirmed.
"Every once in a while either a worker or volunteer would
say, ‘Oh, I think I saw a bat,’ but no one could verify it,"
Bruch said. "We’ve put out a detector one or two nights out of
the year and nothing was ever picked up."
The bat is small in size and dark in color, making it
difficult to spot. It has been seen on Maui, Hawai‘i, Molokai,
and Oahu but is suspected to live only on the Big Island, Maui,
and Kauai, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife website.
Data suggests the bats travel to Kahoolawe and then return to
their homes by nightfall, Bruch said. He thinks it might be
possible that a small population has taken residence and the
bats may be using the island for breeding.
The commission is continuing to review the bat data and is
hoping to acquire funding for more research.
"It’s amazing how little we know about the species," Bruch
said. "They’re cryptic. They’re harder to detect, but the
technology is much better and the prices are coming down to
where it’s more reasonable to do studies like this."