Volume 1, Issue 3, Fall 1984

Books of Interest


THE LIVES OF BATS
Wilfried Schober
Arco Publishing, Inc., 1984 200 pp., $24.95

THE LIVES OF BATS is an excellent introduction to bats. It is complemented by a large number of color and black and white photographs and illustrations, is easily understood and is dedicated to the conservation of bats. Anyone interested in helping save bats should read Dr. Schober's chapter titled "Bats Need Friends."

BATS, A NATURAL HISTORY
John E. Hill and James D. Smith
University of Texas Press, 1984
243 pp., $25.00

In BATS, A NATURAL HISTORY, Drs. Hill and Smith have assembled a wealth of detailed information, much of which is not available in previous layperson's books. They also include commendable sections on the conservation and value of bats. Inevitably, in covering so much detail, a few errors were included. For example, the Southeastern Bat (Myotis austroriparius) is not considered endangered, and attempts to destroy fruit bats are no longer "fruitless folly." Many flying foxes now survive only as mere remnants of once vast populations, and eradication attempts that were previously considered unsuccessful now pose serious threats to species survival. There also is much reason to doubt the claim that fruit bats wreak "havoc and devastation" or that they are "serious crop pests" that "must be controlled."

Overall, this book is an excellent reference source on bats, though its textbook style may be too tedious for most laypeople. Illustrations are mostly line drawings, maps and tables.

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