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Bat Research News Archives

Bat Research News logo For over 60 years, Bat Research News served the community of biologists studying bats. In many ways, it helped lay the foundation for Journal of North American Bat Research. As such, we are glad to provide a new home for its archived volumes, where researchers can freely access all past content of BRN. Just click on any of the volumes listed at the bottom of this page to download it as a pdf.

For those not familiar with the background story of BRN ...

A Brief History of Bat Research News

     In the 1960s, few biologists in Canada and the United States were interested in bats, and these naturalists were scattered across the continent.   Many field techniques that we take for granted today, such as mist netting and harp trapping, were in their infancy, and much research involved banding.  Early in 1960, Wayne Davis, then at Middlebury College, in Vermont, sent a questionnaire to the few dozen bat banders that were active at the time, asking them what species they worked with, how many animals did they band each year, and whether they would be interested in a newsletter related to that activity.  Thus, in autumn 1960, the first issue of Bat Banding News, consisting of four pages, was typed on a stencil, duplicated with a mimeograph machine, hand collated, and mailed.  Starting with volume 5 in 1964, however, Davis changed the name to Bat Research News to broaden its appeal and because, as he readily admitted, “research” sounded more sophisticated than “banding”.
     The early content, though, was primarily about banding––which size band to use, development of new types of bands, prevention of band-related injuries, how to pluck animals from the ceiling of their hibernaculum for banding, and what type of cage was best for holding 200 animals at a time.  Although Davis wrote much of the newsletter himself, he regularly included “Correspondence”—brief letters from subscribers describing their bat-related activities.  Beginning with volume 2, Davis printed a list of recently published articles from the scientific literature, to help the readers remain up-to-date, and also in volume 2, he began to publish short contributed articles.  The first of these was “Notes on the Bats of E. Tennessee,” by a young Merlin Tuttle, who lamented that he saw Northern Hoary Bats (Lasiurus cinereus) only “when he did not have a gun or they were out of range”—a statement that aptly reflected the methods in use at the time.  Over the decades, these research articles became more sophisticated and covered a diversity of topics, although most were ecological and behavioral observations and descriptions of innovative techniques.  Articles became peer-reviewed starting with volume 23, in 1982.  News, recent literature, and research articles, became the mainstays of Bat Research News, which ultimately became international in its reach.  At its peak, the quarterly journal was sent to almost 500 subscribers in 46 different countries.
     Wayne Davis was sole editor through 1969, but afterwards, editorial responsibility was shared by two or more persons (Table 1).  After a brief hiatus in 1976, during which no one volunteered to produce the journal, Bat Research News resumed publication in 1977 (volume 18), with one individual, the Managing Editor, responsible for printing and distributing the periodical, whereas the other handled the content.  Beginning in 1993 (volume 33), at least three editors were involved––the Managing Editor, a Feature Editor for articles and notes, and an Editor for Recent Literature, who compiled the ever-growing list of new articles.  However, the evolution of computerized literature searches and web sites like and, as well as instant communication through e-mail and listservs, lessened the need for Bat Research News, and it ceased publication with volume 63 at the end of 2022.  Although the Journal of North American Bat Research does not include news or lists of recent literature, the online journal builds upon the legacy of Bat Research News and publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed articles and notes on the biology of bats.

     Allen Kurta, Eastern Michigan University

Table 1.  Editors of Bat Banding News and Bat Research News.

Year Volume Name Position
1960–1970 1–11 Wayne H. Davis Editor
1970–1975 10–16 Robert L. Martin Editor
1973–1974 14–15 Stephen R. Humphrey Editor
1977–1981 18–22 M. Brock Fenton Editor
1977–2003 18-44 G. Roy Horst Managing Editor
1982–1986 23–27 Kunwar P. Bhatnagar Editor
1987–1992 28–33 Thomas A. Griffiths Editor
1988–1990 29–31 Peter V. August Editor for Reviews
1996–2010 37–51 Patricia Morton Editor for Conservation/Education
2004–2007 45–48 Karry Kazial Editor for Recent Literature
2008–2013 49–54 Jacques P. Vielleux Editor for Recent Literature
2014–2015 55–56 Jodi L. Sedlock Editor for Recent Literature
1993–2022 33-63 Allen Kurta Feature Editor
1993–2003, 2016–2022 34–44, 57–63 Thomas A. Griffiths Editor for Recent Literature
2004–2022 45–63 Margaret A. Griffiths Managing Editor
Past Volumes of BRN ... click on the volume to download a pdf.
VOLUME 1, 1960 VOLUME 2, 1961 VOLUME 3, 1962 VOLUME 4, 1963
VOLUME 5, 1964 VOLUME 6, 1965 VOLUME 7, 1966 VOLUME 8, 1967
VOLUME 9, 1968 VOLUME 10, 1969 VOLUME 11, 1970 VOLUME 12, 1971
VOLUME 13, 1972 VOLUME 14, 1973 VOLUME 15, 1974 VOLUME 16, 1975
VOL. 17 NOT PUBL. VOLUME 18, 1977 VOLUME 19, 1978 VOLUME 20, 1979
VOLUME 21, 1980 VOLUME 22, 1981 VOLUME 23, 1982 VOLUME 24, 1983
VOLUME 25, 1984 VOLUME 26, 1985 VOLUME 27, 1986 VOLUME 28, 1987
VOLUME 29, 1988 VOLUME 30, 1989 VOLUME 31, 1990 VOLUME 32, 1991
VOLUME 33, 1992 VOLUME 34, 1993 VOLUME 35, 1994 VOLUME 36, 1995
VOLUME 37, 1996 VOLUME 38, 1997 VOLUME 39, 1998 VOLUME 40, 1999
VOLUME 41, 2000 VOLUME 42, 2001 VOLUME 43, 2002 VOLUME 44, 2003
VOLUME 45, 2004 VOLUME 46, 2005 VOLUME 47, 2006 VOLUME 48, 2007
VOLUME 49, 2008 VOLUME 50, 2009 VOLUME 51, 2010 VOLUME 52, 2011
VOLUME 53, 2012 VOLUME 54, 2013 VOLUME 55, 2014 VOLUME 56, 2015
VOLUME 57, 2016 VOLUME 58, 2017 VOLUME 59, 2018 VOLUME 60, 2019
VOLUME 61, 2020 VOLUME 62, 2021 VOLUME 63, 2022

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