nzgeo

New Zealand Geographic

The magazine that celebrates our country in all its diversity: its people, places and wildlife. #nzgeo

The 158th issue of New Zealand Geographic is on sale and online now. Look out for your free VR headset that comes with every print issue. Get yours today, link in bio!
Bats need the forest, but the forest also needs bats: they are thought to play crucial roles as efficient, prolific pollinators of forest species. They’re potentially a missing puzzle piece when it comes to restoration efforts in native forests.  📷: Rob Suisted  Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!  #bats
“For an animal that feeds mostly on insects, pollen and nectar, the giant fangs seem like overkill to me,” writes journalist Jonathan Carson, who got up close with some of Pureora Forest Park’s lesser short-tailed bats. “No wonder people associate them with vampires.”  📷: Rob Suisted  Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!  #bats
“You fold out their wing and you can see the shoulder back to the elbow within the wing membrane, the forearm and the thumb pointing forward and the long finger bones and you’re like, ‘It’s a hand, it’s a human hand, it’s just a different shape’,” says biodiversity ranger Abi Quinnell.  📷: Rob Suisted  Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!  #bats
Lesser short-tailed bats caught in a harp trap by Department of Conservation rangers await radio-tagging. Once the bats are tagged, dataloggers attached to roost trees will record their comings and goings. How many bats who were recorded last year are still alive this year? Has the population changed—or is it stable?  📷: Rob Suisted  Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!  #bats
Male lesser short-tailed bats compete for the attention of females in elaborate displays—and their technique for attracting mates involves singing while peeing on themselves. The scent, apparently, allows female bats to figure out which bats are their brothers or cousins.  📷: Rob Suisted  Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!  #bats
Nightfall, and the forest comes alive with squeaking. Or it used to. Lesser short-tailed bats are clinging on in a handful of places, their populations blinking out of existence. Yet researchers are only just beginning to learn about our #bat species—New Zealand’s only native mammals—and what they’re finding out is pretty weird.  📷: Rob Suisted  Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!
“We’re all here for the same reason,” says one man, who wants to go on the record as Booza: “a love of bikes. I even rode a BMW the other day.” ⠀ ⠀ This is plainly one of the funniest gags everyone has heard in some time.⠀ ⠀ “When we’re down here, we’re all just one big family, having a good time,” says another, who calls himself T.H.E. (“Don’t ask,” he tells me, “it’s a long story.”)⠀ ⠀ Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!⠀ ⠀ 📷: @robsuisted
For one fossil-fuelled week every summer, anyone can be an Invercargill motorcycling legend.⠀ ⠀ It’s February, and the Burt Munro Challenge is back in town.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!⠀ ⠀ 📷: @robsuisted
Johnny Racz looks away as a rival takes out the beach race he was leading just moments ago. His engine blew.⠀ ⠀ Incidents of this nature are common at the Burt Munro Challenge, as riders push themselves and their machines to the limit. At the speedway, for instance, a race in which the whole start list crosses the finish line undisqualified turns out to be an aberration.⠀⠀ ⠀ Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!⠀ ⠀ 📷: @robsuisted
“Speedway is like a fight,” says Burt legend and martial arts master Kevin Ryan. “It only lasts 80 seconds, but you come in dry retching and completely f—ed.”⠀ ⠀ Ryan is one of the few who’ve raced every Burt Munro Challenge. The first year, he rode only speedway, but ever since, he’s ridden every event—or tried to. His smile is the more winning for the absence of a couple of front teeth.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!⠀ ⠀ 📷: @robsuisted
Legendary motorcycle racer Herbert ‘Burt’ Munro is arguably Invercargill’s favourite son.⠀ ⠀ Out of the crate, Munro’s bike could do 88.5 kilometres per hour. It took 20 years of long, laborious nights, countless failures, and the unfailing generosity of mateship before he wrung 295.453 kilometres per hour from it—in 1967, at age 68.⠀ Now, the biggest motorcycle rally in the Southern Hemisphere bears his name.⠀ ⠀ Read more from the latest issue. Link in bio!⠀ ⠀ 📷: @robsuisted
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