Bats Article: Story, Photos and Layout by JC Amberlyn.
July, 2004- This was my first major wildlife project for the Kingman Daily Miner. I went out one hot July night in the wilds of the Black Mountains in northwestern Arizona and watched as scientists from several different agencies captured and studied the rare Allen's Lappet-browed bat. (Also known as the Allen's Big-eared Bat.) These tiny bats with the gigantic ears are one of the rarest species of bats in North America, and scientists hope to learn more about them and their roosting sites in order to save them. I already liked bats and liked them even more when I learned how incredibly good they are at controlling insect numbers. A highlight, for me, was venturing inside one of the caves with scientists and having bats whizzing around my head (but never crashing into it- their sonar systems are far too sophisticated for that). Ok, so that little adventure might not be for everyone, but I thought it was cool to see them that close! I give thanks to the scientists working that night for letting me tag along and get this great story.
This article won 2nd Place, Best Feature Photo Layout, by the Arizona Newspapers Association for 2004.
Another image I took that night that didn't make it into the paper:
Image flipped for better viewing (poor guys weren't sure what that flash was all about, but they sure weren't used to it while living in a dark cave):
(Bat Page Photos copyright JC Amberlyn/Kingman Daily Miner.)