Featuring incredible photography and insight from an international team with long-term ties to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Bat Island spotlights the unique beauty and environmental importance of the seventy-six species of bats on Panama's Barro Colorado Island.
For decades, scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have studied the remarkable biodiversity of bats on Barro Colorado Island in Panama, where an astonishing seventy-six species coexist. Now, for the first time, Smithsonian scientists' expertise pairs with the stunning photography of National Geographic contributor Christian Ziegler for a captivating visual journey into the fascinating world of these elusive night creatures.
Bats are unique among mammals: they have acquired true flight, provide essential ecosystem services, and represent the ecologically most diverse group of mammals worldwide. Synthesizing decades-worth of intensive study, Drs. Rachel Page, Dina Dechmann, Teague O'Mara, and Marco Tschapka provide authoritative insight alongside 150 photographs that showcase bats' extraordinary environmental adaptations and rich natural history.
- Over 150 stunning photographs: National Geographic photographer and contributor Christian Ziegler has captured over a decade's worth of images of the myriad of bat species living on Barro Colorado Island that capture these elusive animals in a variety of settings, from night shots of flight through the tropical rainforest to closeups of their remarkable wings and feeding patterns.
- Written by Smithsonian scientists: All chapters of Bat Island are written by scientists long affiliated with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, one of the world's leading tropical research organizations that spans a century. Topics include bats' diverse sensory abilities, foraging strategies, roosting ecologies, and social systems.
- Decades of cutting-edge research: Bat Island, published in partnership with the Smithsonian, presents fascinating insights from scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, which boasts decades of study of the hyperdiverse bat population on Barro Colorado Island in addition to the most comprehensive and long-term datasets on tropical bats.
- Call for conservation: Drs. Page, Dechmann, O'Mara, and Tschapka highlight how bats are threatened by habit fragmentation and land degradation, and communicate the initiatives needed to ensure the survival of these animals, which are critical to maintaining healthy, balanced ecosystems.
- Rare beauty: Award-winning photojournalist Christian Ziegler's photography illuminates the unique beauty and allure of bats and the tropical rainforest in Panama.