Can one undertake a round-the-world trip with conservation uppermost in the mind? This is exactly what Nils Bouillard sought to do in 2019, adapting a popular concept in birding known as the 'big year' and focusing instead on bats. This had never been done before and so became the ideal platform to spotlight countless conservation projects across the globe. In this engaging and inspiring account, we follow Nils on his adventures – along the way discovering the extraordinary diversity of bat appearances and behaviour, and learning how we might help to protect these fascinating creatures.
During his itinerary covering just shy of 30 countries, Nils was lucky enough to encounter no fewer than 400 bat species. But beyond the impressive list, Big Bat Year is a passionate tale about the people who are protecting bats all over the world, the amazing life of these animals and the unique and doughty journey it required to set a world record. Going off the beaten path isn't difficult when it comes to bat watching, offering the chance for genuine exploration and even discovery – as evidenced by the important discovery of a species new to science while visiting Southeast Asia. This book is will appeal to any nature enthusiast, regardless of whether you enjoy chasing new species.
Nils Bouillard is a bat ecologist, bat conservation advocate and keen naturalist. He runs Barbastella Echology, specialising in bat sound analysis and training. He is passionate about improving our knowledge of bats through acoustics and sharing his love for these animals with the public.