Restoring a scenic reserve will pay off for future generations of endangered bats.
Endangered long tail bats are set for a helping hand as conservation teams join forces to bring Ronga Reserve in Pelorus back to its best.
And an appeal has gone out for members of the public to help plant saplings that bats will one day roost in.
Forest & Bird, Nelson Tasman Weedbusters and the Department of Conservation (DOC) hope people will pledge to assist as they get ready to plant rimu, totara and matai.
DOC ranger Wendy Sullivan say they hope the day will make a big difference.
“The 17ha Ronga Scenic Reserve is an important habitat for the endangered long tailed bats.
“The tiny rimu, totara and matai planted by volunteers will eventually become the giant trees required for bats to roost in.
Ronga Scenic Reserve, along with its more famous neighbour the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve, are not only home to long-tailed bats, but are also ‘acutely threatened’ forests.,” she says.
The annual planting days have been organised by Forest & Bird and DOC for six years.
More than 7000 trees have been planted and, despite flooding and ongoing weed issues, has been lauded as a success.
It’s heartening to see the seedlings start to appear above the rank grass,” Wendy says.
Less than 1 per cent of this type of forest remains in the Pelorus District.
Wendy says the ancient podocarps are crucial to the survival of long-tailed bats.
“They need old hollow trees to roost and breed in.,” she says.
A community planting day will be held on Saturday 31 August.
Meet outside the Brick Oven in Rai Valley by 9:45 am. DOC will be providing a wild meat BBQ for a late lunch but feel free to bring a salad to share.
Bring solid shoes, warm clothes and a well-labelled spade. If the weather is bad, check out facebook/ronga reserve restoration for updates – postponement dates are 1 or 14 September.