Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hawaiian Hoary Bat: A report by Avery

                            The Hawaiian Hoary bat [family:Vespertilionidae]

    The Hawaiian name for the Hoary bat is 'Opa'apa'a. 'Opa'apa'a is a sub species to the hoary bat in the
rest of the U.S. 'Opa'apa'a is the only native land mammal in Hawaii today.
    The Hoary bat gets its name because it has brown and grey fur with white tips on the hair which
makes it looks like it's covered in hoar frost. 'Opa'apa'a means the sail of a boat, which is about the
same shape as the 'Opa'apa'asn wings.
    'Opa'apa'a roosts from 3 feet-29 feet off the ground. They usually roost in ohi'a, coconut palms,
kukui,  kiawe, avocado, shower trees, pukiawe, and fern clumps. They rarely use lava tubes and cracks
in the rocks. They are most abundant from sea level to 7,500 feet. 'Opa'apa'a in the Hawaiian islands, is
mostly found on the Big Island and Kauai.
Hawaiian Hoary Bat ['Opa'apa'a]
    'Opa'apa'a eats mostly moths and flying insects. They hunt
like most other bats by using vibrations to find their food in
the dark, because they are nocturnal. In one meal they will
usually eat half their body weight.
    People think 'Opa'apa'a is the only land mammal in
Hawaii because they are very good flyers, and the only
mammals that could fly here, even if they only got here by a storm.
    From what we know today, 'Opa'apa'a was not that
important to the natives of the islands, probably because they
are night creatures, so the natives rarely saw them.
    They are most helpful when it comes to farms because
they eat a lot of insects that eat the crops.
    Opa'apa'a weighs 5-8 ounces. Their wing span is 10.5-13.5 in.. Females are larger then the males,
and usually give birth to twins in the spring. The baby bats will start flying in 33 days and will live to
about 8 years old.
    'Opa'apa'a is an endangered species, and is one of two native mammals to hawaii. I February 2013
there will be a vote to see if the 'Opa'apa'a or the monk seal will be state mammal. A lot of people
who know that the 'Opa'apa'a is endangered, want it to become state mammal, so more people will
take interest in it, and try to bring 'Opa'apa'a off the endangered list.

1 comment:

Bill Mann said...


Very good and comprehensive report. Have you seen one of these or perhaps heard one? I would be interested to know. We once had a bat in our bedroom for several days and he would fly just over our heads about 3 in the morning. Very scary.

Uncle Bill