Bats of British Columbia


164 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7748-0482-3
DDC 599.4'09711





Reviewed by Patrick Colgan

Patrick Colgan is associate director of programs at the Canadian Museum
of Nature in Ottawa.


Provincial handbooks have figured prominently in the literature of
Canadian zoology, and this first of six planned volumes in a new series
on the mammals of British Columbia focuses on a fascinating group rich
in biology and folklore. It is no surprise that among mammalian
enquiries at the provincial museum those on bats run second only to
those on marine species.

The general biology of bats is well treated in the opening section,
which covers their evolutionary origin, diversity, morphology,
echolocation, feeding, reproduction, and roosting sites. Nagorsen also
discusses the impact of feeding bats on insect populations, and aspects
of public health in an attempt to dispel popular myths. With half of the
16 species on threatened or endangered lists, this book’s discussion
of conservation and methods of study, including the design for a bat
house, is most apt, and consistent with the efforts of such leaders as
Merlin Tuttle and Brock Fenton. The individual accounts of the species
are well prepared and pleasantly spiced with such nuggets as the claim
of the big brown bat to being the “provincial bat” because of its
appearance at the legislative buildings in autumn and winter.

The book includes a taxonomic checklist and keys for identification
based on external and internal features. The glossary, references,
illustrative material (figures and maps, colored and monochrome), and
rounded corners (assuring the reader that this really is a handbook) all
contribute to the volume. The intended general audience will be grateful
to the authors and publishers for this fine addition to the handbooks on
regional Canadian fauna.


Nagorsen, David W., “Bats of British Columbia,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 13, 2024,