Welcome to the Hawaiian Hoary Bat Fan Site. This site has been set up to recognize the Hawaiian Hoary Bat as the official Land Mammal for the State of Hawaii. Photo by Jack Jeffrey Photography.
“The arrival and establishment of bats in Hawai‘i is perhaps among the most spectacular over-water colonization events in mammalian history. The Hawaiian island archipelago is 2400 miles from the nearest landfall on the North American continent. The distances to other large land masses such as Australia, New Guinea, or Asia are even larger. To our knowledge, two bat species have colonized Hawai‘i since these volcanic sea mount islands arose from the ocean depths. One successful colonization was the Pleistocene Era arrival of the lava-tube bat which survived on Hawai‘i until about 6,000 years ago. This extinct species currently is being described by scientists from the Bishop Museum, American Museum of Natural History, and U.S. Geological Survey. A later arrival, around the end of the Pleistocene (9 to 10 thousand years before present) was the hoary bat from North America. Ōpe‘ape‘a (oh-pay-ah-pay-ah) was the name given to this bat by the early Hawaiians. Over the last few thousand years, isolated in the Hawaiian islands, Ōpe‘ape‘a have decreased in weight by about 30%, become more acrobatic in flight, and have lost much of the white frosting on the fur that its ancestors had. This Hawaiian subspecies (Lasiurus cinereus semotus) of the hoary bat is listed as endangered by both the Hawaii Department of Forestry and Wildlife and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”
— Excerpt from the “Natural History and Migration of the Endangered Ōpe‘ape‘a in Hawai‘i” by Frank J. Bonaccorso, Ph.D., Wildlife Ecologist, Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, U. S. Geological Survey/BRD
For more information about the Hawaiian Hoary Bat please visit the links to the left side of this entry. We will be posting more information and news about the Hawaiian Hoary Bat and the status of a bill we will be introducing to name the Hawaii Hoary Bat as the official Land Mammal for the State of Hawaii.
About this blog: This blog is published by the office of State Senator Sam Slom who is the sponsor of the bill and supporter of the Hawaiian Hoary Bat.