2013 New Zealand Annual Coin: Short-tailed Bat

14 May 2013

Collectors will go batty for these coins

It’s about to get a lot easier to see one of New Zealand’s most elusive and endangered creatures – the lesser Short-tailed Bat.

This ancient creature – listed by DOC as ‘a species of highest conservation priority’ can usually only be found in a handful of isolated bush locations.

But from today you’ll find them in your local PostShop.

The small (12-15 grams) but perfectly formed bat is to be featured on a special commemorative coin – in a series produced annually by New Zealand Post to highlight New Zealand’s endangered native species.

“They’re really amazing creatures, and we believe that awareness of their plight will help spread the message about how important it is that they survive,” Simon Allison, New Zealand Post stamps and coins spokesman says.

“You won’t find these bats anywhere else in the world, and they have a unique backstory.

“Bats are the only land mammals native to New Zealand, and Short-tailed Bats have a bunch of habits which are very similar to New Zealand’s native birds, like spending much of their time pottering round on the forest floor using their wings like a set of legs - which is something most bats don’t do.

“I know there are a few chiroptophobes out there {people with a fear of bats} but come on, these things weigh as much as a pack of chewing gum and they mostly eat flowers and moths.

“It would be an absolute tragedy if they were allowed to die out, and we believe that creating public enthusiasm for this endangered species is half the battle,” Simon Allison said.

The coin itself is also something special – available in two variants. Each type is legal tender, with a face value of $5, showing the bat in two poses - walking on the forest floor, and with its wings stretched in flight - on the ‘tails’ side. The coin is the only $5 New Zealand commemorative coin issued every year.

The ‘Brilliant Uncirculated’ coin – which retails for $39 – is minted from copper-nickel, and sealed in a special presentation card. A coin minted from 1 troy ounce of pure silver will also be available in limited quantities, with just 2,000 to be minted worldwide, and retailing for $129.

The 2013 New Zealand Annual Coin: Short-tailed Bat is available from 14 May through selected PostShops, at REAL Aotearoa stores in Auckland and Wellington, online at www.nzcoins.co.nz or by phoning 0800 NZCOINS.

Note: New Zealand Post is authorised by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand as the only official issuer of legal tender New Zealand commemorative coins.

(ends)

For more information: Trudy Kirkbeck, Marketing Specialist, Stamps and Coins, New Zealand Post 04 496 4392 or trudy.kirkbeck@nzpost.co.nz