Cambodian farmers in the Mekong River Delta have a long history of attracting bats to their farms. Merlin has documented with photographs the step-by-step process of this win/win situation for the farmers and the bats. (Be sure to watch the video below!)
After arriving home from South Africa on the 1st of May, Merlin immediately began work revising his manuscript titled Adventures of the Real Bat Man. Intended as a story-telling introduction to the amazing world of bats, it is now in press with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and the first round of editing has been completed. And there will be LOTS of bat photos in it! Prior to making final photo selections for the book, Merlin wants a few more photos of bats catching insects, one of the more difficult challenges in bat photography.
To that end, we leave tomorrow for Bulgaria. Merlin will provide a public bat lecture in Sofia at the British Consulate on Saturday. Then well drive north from Sofia to the Siemers Bat Research Station in the village of Tabachka. Located near the Romanian border, and surrounded by hundreds of caves, the area supports 23 of Bulgarias 33 bat species. Well be joined in Sofia by bat research colleagues, Daniela Schmieder and Antonia Hubancheva, both of whom are exceptionally experienced in captive maintenance and training of insect-eating bats.
The combination of Dani and Tonis special knowledge and help, bat research facilities and diverse and abundant bats, combined with enthusiastic invitations to visit, was too much for us to resist. We hope to have internet connections there, so stay tuned for progress reports!