Monday, July 2, 2012
In 2009, I read an article by environmental journalist Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker about the endangerment of frogs and bats – two animal species now facing the threat of mass extinction. I was moved by this article as I have visited caves and bat habitats in California, New York, Micronesia, Panama, Mexico and Brazil. I became fascinated by bats for their magical ability to echolocate, navigating with precision through pitch dark caves. I started doing more research about bats, their behavior, their habitats and their fight for their very survival. Since 2006, seven million bats in North America alone have perished from White Nose Syndrome – a mysterious fungus that attacks bats while hibernating, disabling them from flying, and eventually causing them to starve to death. I became a member of Bat Conservation International, whose mission is to conserve the world's bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet. Every time I read their newsletters and email blasts explaining how White Nose Syndrome has spread to a new region, depleting even more bat colonies, my heart breaks. I realized that I had to turn my life’s passion into action to educate other people about bats’ great contribution to our ecosystem. So I’ve decided to make a nature film about bats, their habitats, their behavior, their unique abilities, and their plight for daily and existential survival on our planet. This film will follow bats as they migrate to their seasonal habitats, showcasing their unique gifts of flight and echolocation, and demonstrating how we humans must protect them. It will also explore the threat of White Nose Syndrome and raise awareness about the disease that is rapidly killing bats in North America and beyond. These magical, mythical creatures need us to tell their story as much as we need them to sustain our healthy and balanced environment. My film and transmedia adjuncts are currently in development, with principal photography beginning in Spring of 2013. Please consider supporting this project so together we can ensure the prosperity of these fascinating creatures of the night. Our own survival depends on theirs.