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Volume 2, Issue 1, Winter 1985

Books of Interest. 1985


1985 Science Year, The World Book Science Annual

R. O. Zeleny , Editor
World Book, Inc., Chicago, 1984 400 pp., $15.95

Ben Patrusky provides an exceptionally thorough and interesting chapter, titled "The Facts About Bats," on pages 55-69. It covers ecologic, economic and research values, behavior and echolocation, and conservation needs. His chapter is especially useful to anyone wishing to prepare an interesting lecture or article about bats. It is based on information, interviews and photographs provided by BCI and cooperating colleagues, and includes 22 color photographs and illustrations.

Those using this chapter should note that some bats live 30 or more years and that available evidence does not support the idea that tropical bats live shorter lives than temperate species. Also, most temperate species mate soon after, not just prior to migration. (Available from: World Book, Inc., Annual Department, P.O. Box 3536, Chicago, IL 60654.)

The Bats of Colorado: Shadows In the Night

J. Scott, D. M. Armstrong, S. Bissell
Colorado Division of Wildlife, 1984
23 pp., no charge

THE BATS OF COLORADO is an outstanding introduction to bats. It is color illustrated, provides many general facts about bats and individually discusses 17 species found in Colorado. Sections titled "The Value of Bats," "Threats to Bats," and "Bats and Human Health" are especially useful.

There are only a few factual errors. The family Molossidae contains about 88 species, not 33. The current Gray Bat population estimate is approximately 1,575,000, not 300,000. Mother free-tailed bats find and nurse their own young. Finally, there is no reason to suspect higher incidence of rabies in city bats than in country bats, as implied, and no evidence is provided to support the local health official's belief that the incidence of bat rabies is comparatively high in Colorado. The relative number diagnosed positive is largely dependent on the diligence of testing in Colorado versus other states.

Overall, this is an excellent contribution, one we hope other states will emulate. (Available from: Colorado Division of Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, 6060 Broadway, Denver, CO 80216.)

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