The diversity of life on Earth is extraordinary. Evolution over millennia has given rise to forms and functions that continue to fascinate us. However, we live in an era of unprecedented global environmental change. Owing to their own remarkable diversity of adaptations and value as bioindicators, we use bats as our primary model to address these issues through a fundamental and applied approach. How do species function whilst reacting to global change? Importantly, we ask how we can manage our environment to ensure the conservation of these species for future generations.