Big Bat Year

A Conservation Story

  • Raises awareness of numerous important bat conservation initiatives around the globe.
  • The first ever competitive world tour centred on bats.
  • Details some significant discoveries, including one species new to science and two rediscoveries.
    We currently have 922 in stock.

    • Big Bat Year is a breath-taking and heartfelt story. It is well written, full of humor, and accompanied by stunning photographs.
      —Arjan Dwarshuis, conservationist, writer and Guinness World Record holder for most birds observed in a single year
    • bats
    • chiroptera
    • conservation
    • travel


    Can one undertake a round-the-world trip with conservation uppermost in the mind? This is exactly what Nils Bouillard sought to do in 2019, adapting a popular concept in birding known as the 'big year' and focusing instead on bats. This had never been done before and so became the ideal platform to spotlight countless conservation projects across the globe. In this engaging and inspiring account we follow Nils on his adventures – along the way discovering the extraordinary diversity of bat appearances and behaviour, and learning how we might help to protect these fascinating creatures.

    During his itinerary covering just shy of 30 countries, Nils was lucky enough to encounter no fewer than 400 bat species. But beyond the impressive list, The Big Bat Year is a passionate tale about the people who are protecting bats all over the world, the amazing life of these animals and the unique and doughty journey it required to set a world record. Going off the beaten path isn’t difficult when it comes to bat watching, offering the chance for genuine exploration and even discovery – as evidenced by the important discovery of a species new to science while visiting Southeast Asia. This book is will appeal to any nature enthusiast, regardless of whether you enjoy chasing new species.

    DOI: 10.53061/JVJH4376


    • This book is as inspiring as it is informative. I hope it encourages others to follow in Nils's footsteps to celebrate each and every one of the 1450 species of bats and their intriguing, incredible lives.
      —Jon Hall,
    • Big Bat Year is a breath-taking and heartfelt story. It is well written, full of humor, and accompanied by stunning photographs. From now on, when I see a bat traverse the sky in the twilight, I will look at it in a different way, but I will also think of Nils and his incredible adventure.
      —Arjan Dwarshuis, conservationist, writer and Guinness World Record holder for most birds observed in a single year
    • Big Bat Year is an essential read for anyone interested in these fascinating creatures. With informative text boxes and stunning photographs, the book presents a captivating account of Nils’s travels while revealing the lives and habits of bats, dispelling common myths and highlighting their importance to the natural world. It is an immersive and enlightening journey that will leave readers with a newfound appreciation for these often-misunderstood creatures. An eagerly-anticipated book that does not disappoint!
      —Jon Russ, author of Bat Calls of Britain and Europe
    • Nils Bouillard’s quest to encounter as many bat species as possible makes birding big years seem a bit tame by comparison. Like all great obsessions, the bat year includes joys and disappointments, ecstasy and boredom. The highs and lows are all conveyed in this wonderful book. But this is more than an adventure story: it’s a book that shares a passion for often-misunderstood bats and why their fate is intermingled with ours.
      —Matthew L. Miller, author of Fishing Through the Apocalypse
    • ...accounts of racing around the world finding wildlife can be quite gripping – provided that the tale is well told. This tale is well told and I enjoyed it.
      —Mark Avery, author and environmental campaigner
    • Highly recommended! ...I found the book very interesting, at times exciting, and overall inspiring. It would be of interest to anyone connected to bats in any way; and would also be a great introduction to the world of bats for a newcomer. If you know a birder, who either would (or should!) be interested in learning more about bats: This is the book to gift them!
      —Al Milano, Bat Detecting blog
    • This book is a unique blend of travel writing and popular science... I found this book to be very engaging and informative with a strong theme of research and conservation. Whilst obviously a good book for those with a strong interest in bats, Bouillard also describes the many birds, mammals and even some insect and marine species he sees, making this book interesting to the general naturalist.
      —Benjamin Hodgson, BNA News Bulletin

    About the Author

    Nils Bouillard is a bat ecologist, bat conservation advocate and keen naturalist. He runs Barbastella Echology, specialising in bat sound analysis and training. He is passionate about improving our knowledge of bats through acoustics and sharing his love for these animals with the public.

    Bibliographic Information

    • 232 pages
    • 55 colour photographs
    • BISAC SCI070030, SCI020000, NAT019000