The Echo
The Facebook Bat Photography Challenge

The Echo

The Facebook Bat Photography Challenge

Published on October 27, 2016

**In the weeks leading up to #BatWeek and Halloween we have started to see a stream of amazing bat photos spread across Facebook, and they are not all from the vaults of BCI’s famous photo library! We asked Daniel Hargreaves to tell us the story behind this great Facebook challenge.


Waterhouse's leaf-nosed bat
Waterhouse's leaf-nosed bat, Macrotus waterhousii
Credit: Daniel Hargreaves

In September I was nominated by a friend to complete a nature challenge the idea was to post a nature photo for the next 7 days and nominate a friend each day. Normally I ignore these challenges but on this occasion I decided, as Halloween was approaching (the season where bats are often portrayed as scary and creepy), that I would take on the challenge but with a twist - pushing the emphasis towards bats. The challenge was set. Each day I posted a bat photo nominating a fellow bat enthusiast to post another photo each day and to continue the challenge so as to flood Facebook with wonderful images of bats!

My photo on day five of the challenge was the one that received the most interest, with over 300 shares and over 2,000 likes! The image is a portrait of a Waterhouse's leaf-nosed bat, Macrotus waterhousii, a photo I took in Cuba as part of a conservation project. The amazing ears and large eyes of this bat is probably what made it the most popular and attracted some great comments:

Laurie Varellas “So Beautiful! Completely misunderstood and the subject of unfair propaganda. Love OUR Bats...Our Earth needs them in order to pollinate, and eradicate insects and make us embrace the night time!”

Linda Miku “This is one good-looking bat (nose leaf and big ears and all!).”

Deborah A. Weinberger “What a wonderful photo that lets us gaze into the eyes of this beautiful bat.”

The challenge quickly took off with bat enthusiasts around the globe taking part. The comments like the ones above are the real reason I started the challenge. Bats are amazing animals and the diversity and complex of forms is astonishing. Sharing cute photos of bats with the public can really help to transform people’s opinions from that of mislaid fear to wonder and fascination. I’m really happy that the challenge has continued into Batweek and my friends (the bats!) are getting the positive media coverage they deserve on the run up to Halloween

mixed bats

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