Amid global pandemic, bats lead race for 'bird of the year' in New Zealand

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Oct 27, 2021, 01:09 AM IST

Representative image Photograph:(Reuters)

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The competition to select bird of the year takes place annually in New Zealand and has been going on for 16 years. Bats' entry in the competition has also got a strong endiorsement

Bats have already got a bad name in times of the pandemic. The coronavirus that rattled the world and even made major lifestyle changes for everyone allegedly originated from wet markets in China and bats were the agency.

But even after all the bad publicity, bats may win an award of a sort in New Zealand. The race is on for 'Bird of the year' and if an independent conservation organisation in the country is to be believed, bats are well in front.

“It’s winning overall, yeah,” said Forest and Bird spokesperson Laura Keown. “Actually, when you look at the number one and number two rankings, it’s not winning by a little. It’s winning by quite a lot.”

The spokesperson was quoted by The Guardian.

The competition to select bird of the year takes place annually and has been going on for 16 years. Keown said that bat had been given an entry into the fray this year to raise awareness about its status as endangered species.

The specific species of bats in the race is called pekapeka-tou-roa, or long-tailed bat. This one of New Zealand's only land-based mammals that are native to the country.

The bat has found a powerful endorsement that is likely helping it lead the race for bird of the year. New Zealand's environment ministry has recently declared that it was backing the bat's candidacy in the race.