The project is aimed at solving a key problem related to the research and conservation of bats in Bulgaria, namely – the lack of expert capacity in the country. In particular: lack of enough people involved in the research of bat species, as well as lack of highly qualified experts (or necessary improvement of their expertise). In addition, the problem is also related to the lack of sufficient technical equipment and relevant training events regarding the exploitation of such equipment, including also the lack of specialized literature (field guides and other training materials). The purpose of this project is building expert capacity for research and conservation of bats in Bulgaria, thus contributing to the quantity and the quality of the data at the NBMS, which, on the other hand, will result in a positive effect on the bat populations in the country. This project is expected to improve the expert capacity for research and conservation of bats in Bulgaria, as well as the quantity and the quality of the data received at the NBMS. The project is expected to achieve the following results: - 20 new fieldwork assistants (graduates, students, young people) will be trained in collecting data and entering this data via the public part of the NBMS. - The expertise, knowledge, and skills of 20 biologists and fieldwork assistants, currently involved in research of bats, will be raised and improved, thus raising the quality and the reliability of the data received at the NBMS. - 20 people will be trained in bat sound identification, which will make possible the provision of invaluable data of completely new type (regarding bats) to the NBMS. - New data about at least 10 underground sites will be gathered; monitoring of at least 10 transects with bat boxes will be implemented. - The public awareness will be raised (as a result of the implementation of the information activities plan).
Summary of project results
The main objective of the project was to contribute to the development of а solution to the key problem of the protection of bats in Bulgaria, namely the lack of sufficient expert capacity for bat research and protection. In order to achieve the project goals, there were two organized trainings for the beginner “bat workers”, they were attended by 20 and 22 participants respectively. On the basis of the acquired theoretical knowledge the participants took part in the field activities, where they had the opportunity to gain practical skills and expertise in determining bat species. During the project’s field activities data for 36 underground bat habitats and 9 house traces was gathered. Owing to these activities the participants gathered knowledge for the forest and underground habitat species. For the purpose of the trainings “Field Guide for Bats in Europe” was reprinted (50 copies), that was distributed between the participants, and other interested parties. The persons concerned in the protection of bats participated in “Bat Sound Analysis Training” (22 participants). In order to increase the expert capacity of people for analysing bat sounds in the country, in the frame of this project was developed a “Bat Sound Analysis Field Guide” (170 copies). The Field Guide was distributed among project participants, biologists, filed workers, students and pupils. Under the project a “bat workers” meeting took place in Bulgaria in 2016 called “Bat Study and Protection”. During this meeting everyone working for the protection of bats in Bulgaria, had the opportunity to share their personal experience and activities, and also to raise their knowledge and skills. In order to raise the public awareness and the bat protection, as part of the project a poster (500 copies), and a sticker (2500 copies), were printed. Additional popularization of the bats was made by 10 presentations carried before the target group of students, pupils and young people. In order to popularize the activities further internet and social media were used. Over 60 bat publications were shared on the “Bat World” and Green Balkans Facebook profiles. The project activities were mentioned in 17 publications, uploaded on the Green Balkans’ website and on the specialized site for bat protection.
Summary of bilateral results