bat women of panama, the

Follow Elisabeth Kalko and her fellow scientiest as they study why, in a 600 acre patch of forest in Panama there are over 72 speices of Bats, more than the whole of Europe.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Fitz Productions






IWFF 2005, USA, Best Newcomer Award IWFF 2005, USA, Merit Award for Educational Value IWFF 2005, USA, Merit Award for Scientific Content

Episode Information

There is a 600 acre patch of forest in Panama where 72 species of bats co-exist – more than in the whole of Europe or the USA. Biologists are perplexed as to how this can be possible. So many species competing – and thriving – in such a small area is extraordinary. Scientist Elisabeth Kalko has spent over 10 years working in the dark on Barro Colorado Island. She has gathered a group of the world’s most adventurous and daring women scientists: the Bat Women of Panama. This story follows the scientists as they carry out their studies in pursuit of their goal to understand this perplexing puzzle. The highs and lows of research life, and their journey through frustration to the truth, combine with startling footage of the bats in action. The bats are extraordinarily specialised, and it may be the intricacies of these specialisms which allows so many species to co-exist. But how has the ecosystem developed to this point? Remarkable natural history footage combines with human interest to make a fascinating, intelligent film.

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