Merlin Tuttle

Time: 10:30am – 11:30am

CEUs: 0.1 Biomedical

Bats comprise nearly a quarter of all mammals. And contrary to widespread misconceptions, they rank among our most fascinating, important, and safe neighbors. Nevertheless, they are widely misunderstood, feared and persecuted.

As Dr. Tuttle will show, they come in an incredible variety, as cute as any panda, as strange as any dinosaur, from bumblebee bats that weigh less than a penny to giant flying foxes with six-foot wingspans. Some are even strikingly colorful. He will also show how bats contribute billions of dollars annually to human economies and safeguard our health by greatly reducing needs for pesticides.

When Tuttle announced his resignation from a top research position in 1982, so he could found Bat Conservation International, even his closest friends thought he was crazy. Americans were spending millions of dollars annually to kill bats due to grossly exaggerated disease warnings, and America’s largest conservation organizations viewed bats as too hopelessly unpopular to be helped. Even the most endangered species were being ignored.

Since bats had no friends, winning battles on their behalf simply was not an option.  Thus, as Tuttle will explain, he was forced to learn the power of winning friends instead of battles. And he became so skilled at it that he was able to put an end to the poisoning of bats in America, converted former bat killers into protectors, gained permanent protection for America’s largest remaining bat colonies, and raised millions of dollars in support of conservation-relevant research and habitat protection.

If you’d like to learn more about these fascinating creatures and Tuttle’s timely approaches to solving seemingly hopeless environmental problems, you won’t want to miss this talk. He’ll open new windows of understanding, both into the incredible world of bats and to the power of friendly persuasion.

Merlin Tuttle

Merlin Tuttle

Dr. Merlin Tuttle is an internationally renowned ecologist, conservationist, and wildlife photographer who has studied and photographed bats worldwide for more than 50 years. His work has been featured in the world’s most prestigious publications, including Science, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and five articles in National Geographic. He has lectured from Harvard and Princeton to the Smithsonian and British Museum. Recent international lectures have ranged from South Africa and Bulgaria to Brunei, Cambodia and Taiwan. His spectacular photography has formed a firm foundation for bat conservation efforts worldwide. He also founded and led Bat Conservation International for 30 years. He currently serves as a Research Fellow at the University of Texas and as Executive Director of his newly founded organization, Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation. To learn more of his extraordinary work and see Merlin’s photography go to http://www.merlintuttle.org/ or read his latest book, The Secret Lives of Bats. My Adventures with the World’s Most Misunderstood Mammals (Bring a copy to his talk, and he’ll be happy to sign it for you!).