Natural History of Australian Bats
Working the Night Shift
Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs, this is the first book on Australian bats focusing on their natural history.
To hold a little microbat in your hand, its body the size of the end of your thumb, is nothing but astounding. Its head is nearly the size of a man’s fingernail, its tiny ears are twitching as it struggles to get free, and then it bares its teeth to try and scare you into letting it go. Inside that tiny head is a powerhouse of information. Some of our little bats know the entire landscape of our east coast, and can pinpoint a cave entrance in dense forest 500 km from its last home. When they get there they know what to do – where to forage, which bat to mate with and how to avoid local predators. + Full description
A Natural History of Australian Bats uncovers the unique biology and ecology of these wonderful creatures. It features a description of each bat species found in Australia, as well as a section on bat myths. The book is enhanced by stunning colour photographs from Steve Parish, most of which have never been seen before.- Short description
To hold a little microbat in your hand, its body the size of the end of your thumb, is nothing but astounding. Its head is nearly the size of a man’s fingernail, its tiny ears are twitching as it struggles to get free, and then it bares its teeth to try and scare you into letting it go. Inside that tiny head is a powerhouse of information. Some of our little bats know the entire landscape of our east coast, and can pinpoint a cave entrance in dense forest 500 km from its last home. When they get there they know what to do – where to forage, which bat to mate with and how to avoid local predators.
A Natural History of Australian Bats uncovers the unique biology and ecology of these wonderful creatures. It features a description of each bat species found in Australia, as well as a section on bat myths. The book is enhanced by stunning colour photographs from Steve Parish, most of which have never been seen before.
"Overall, I was very impressed by the breadth of subjects covered in the book and especially how well illustrated each of these different topics are. I think the book thoroughly meets its aims and will go a long way to informing the public about the lives and nature of Australian bats, which ultimately will result in a greater appreciation of this special group and assist in ensuring their long-term conservation."
Brad Law, Acta Chiropterologica, pp. 264-265, 2013
"The book reflects its title and is a natural history at its best, by two of Australia's most experienced bat biologists. For anybody, amateur or professional, wanting to know more about the distinctive and fascinating bat fauna of Australia, this book is a must."
Paul A. Racey, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol 167, pp.600, 2013
"...it manages to present factual information that would intrigue bat scientists, making this an enjoyable read for them too. All readers benefit greatly by the profusion of photographs that enhance the text to make this book a very engaging read. I guarantee that, by the end of this book, readers will be hooked on bats, if they are not booked already!"
Tanja Straka, The Victorian Naturalist, pp. 59-60, Vol 130 (1) 2013
"From the moment I laid eyes on the cover of this book, I wanted to read it. Now that I have, I am very pleased I did so, as it has broadened my understanding of these amazing creatures. This is a truly well written comprehensive book..."
Jolanda Keeble, WA Naturalist Club Newsletter, December 2012
"This is one of the best, all-round introductions to Australia’s diverse and under-appreciated bat fauna I’ve seen. The experience of the authors and high impact photography by Steve Parish and others combines to produce a rich experience for the reader. The text is easy to read and the combination of information and photos will appeal to the widest audience of all ages.
I recommend you get a copy – better still, get two and give one to that neighbour who needs to be liberated from the old mindset about bats being dirty, disease ridden vermin. They’re not, and this book proves it without a doubt!"
Dr Harry Parnaby, Explore 34 (4), pp. 27, Summer 2012
"Nature lovers will want to buy two copies – once for themselves and once for a politician. The pictures, most by Steve Parish and Les Hall, are wonderful. The book will support essential conservation tasks of entrancing more Australians with the magic of bats and encouraging budding bat biologists and advocates."
Erica Odell, Wildlife Australia Magazine, pp. 43, Spring 2012
"Throughout the book's journey, this personalised approach - never anthropomorphic, just the excitement of true enthusiasts for their topic - adds to its appeal and digestibility. A feature of the book is the collection of very impressive, sometimes startling, photographs, especially given the intrinsic difficulty of recording small fast nocturnal fliers. The approach to the contents is refreshingly original."
Ian Fraser, The Canberra Times, August 2012
"What a beautiful book. Hardcover and packed full of professional "wow" photos of bats and the places they live. This book has a heartfelt introduction by the authors who are obviously passionate about bats and their conservation. It is clear that they study of bats has enriched their lives with wonder, travel and an unending desire to learn more about these animals. We are incredibly lucky to have this book. It distils two lifetimes of work from the authors, plus knowledge from bat carers, nest box manufacturers, photographers and others involved in bat conservation. Steve Parish should be commended on the outstanding photography throughout this book making it a joy to look at. It is a must-have book for those interested in Australian wildlife."
Deborah Metters, Land for Wildlife South East Queensland, pp. 12, July 2012
"I'm always a soft touch for a book on bats, surely one of the most fascinating of all mammal groups, and I love well-planned and -designed natural history books, especially when written with passion. This book then is a real winner for me, ticking all the boxes. The approach to the contents is refreshingly original. A Travelogue chapter includes (along with major regions), bats of each capital city. As a happy Canberran I am delighted to read that “As well as being a great place to live in the 'Bush Capital' is also a great place for bats”."
Ian Fraser, Natural History Publications, No. 17, June 2012
DetailsHardback | June 2012 | $ 79.95
ISBN: 9780643103740 | 192 pages | 297 x 210 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs ePDF | ISBN: 9780643103757
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
June 2012 | Available from ePUB | ISBN: 9780643103764
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
June 2012 | Available from
- Learn amazing information about bats.
- Does not require any prior knowledge of bats or a high level understanding of biology.
- Beautiful photographs of bats in their natural environment.
- The Travelogue chapter details local environments as well as places to which bats travel.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Travelogue
Chapter 3: How bats are designed and how they work
Chapter 4: Breeding
Chapter 5: Bat ecology
Chapter 6: Trials and tribulations of being a bat
Chapter 7: Bats in history and in our lives today
Chapter 8: Facts about bats and species profiles
Further reading and study
List of photographers
View the full table of contents.