This image was adjudged ‘Photograph of the Year’ at the recently concluded Nature inFocus Awards – 2020.

 

A Greater Short-nosed Fruit Bat Cynopterus sphinx drops out of a Singapore Cherry tree Muntingia calabura, on the footpath of a busy street in Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.

The ever-growing city has seen these nocturnal winged mammals adapt to the chaos of the urban environment. This long-exposure shot perfectly captures the dynamism of city life, indicated by the headlamp streak of a speeding vehicle and the neon lights of business hoardings.

Since just two bat pairs frequented this tree, and they had no fixed flight path and variable flight speeds, it was a big challenge to capture the desired photograph. A laser trigger and four low-powered flashlights were used, to freeze the bat in its flight. It took many days of effort to finally create this image.

Though vilified by much of the human population, bats play a vital role in our ecosystem as seed dispersers and pest-controllers.