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Stokes Beginner's Guide to Bats
By Donald Stokes Lillian Stokes Kim Williams and Rob Mies
Back Bay BooksCopyright © 2002 Donald W. Stokes and Lillian Q. Stokes
All right reserved.
ForewordBats capture our imagination for many reasons. First, they are active mostly at night, so we literally do not know much about them. Second, they are mammals, like us, but they can fly. Third, they often roost during the day in dark caves or crevices where we are reluctant to go. And finally, any animal that is more comfortable in the night than the day is a wonder to us humans, who seek out the daylight.
Until quite recently, humans filled the vacuum of their knowledge with superstition and myths. This led people over the ages to be afraid of bats, to try to eliminate them from areas, and to invent stories about them that only increased the fear.
In today's world, the relationship between people and bats is changing. Scientists are learning about the vital role bats play in our environment in dispersing seeds, pollinating plants, and eating insects. People are attracting them to their yards with bat houses and chemical-free landscaping so they can enjoy watching them as well as have a natural control over many night-flying insects. And large organizations, such as the Organization for Bat Conservation, are promoting the understanding and conservation of bats through education, the media, and research. It is a great turn of events.
This is the first field guide to all of the bats of the United States and Canada that has ever been published. We have asked Rob Mies and Kim Williams to write it because they are at the forefront of the movement to appreciate and protect these animals. As founders and directors of the Organization for Bat Conservation, they bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the task.
Of the 4,000 species of mammals in the world, nearly 1,000 of them are bats. There are 45 species of bats in the United States and Canada, and many of them are endangered. We hope this authoritative yet user-friendly guide will help you understand, identify, and appreciate the bats that may live near you, and that this in turn will lead you to take more active steps toward conserving these wonderful little mammals.
Yours in nature, Don and Lillian Stokes
Excerpted from Stokes Beginner's Guide to Bats by Donald Stokes Lillian Stokes Kim Williams and Rob Mies Copyright ©2002 by Donald W. Stokes and Lillian Q. Stokes. Excerpted by permission.
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