From June to August 2019 we conducted 11 field expeditions to 8 Natura 2000 network sites. Our main purpose was mapping and counting all summer roosts in the project area of LIFE UNDER ONE ROOF.
We visited 82 bats roosts, where we recorded more than 39 200 individuals from 22 species. The most common species were:
- Myotis schreibersii – 16 637 individuals;
- Myotis capaccinii – 6 370 individuals;
- Rhinolophus ferrumequinum – 4 578 individuals;
- Myotis myotis – 4 284 individuals;
- Myotis emarginatus – 2 752 individuals;
- Rhinolophus euryale – 2 191 individuals;
- Rhinolophus blasii – 836 individuals;
- Myotis blythii – 694 individuals.
The roosts of three of the major colonies, which in the past were composed of thousands of bats, have been compromised, probably due to disturbance and destruction of the roosts. We did not register breeding colonies in them. However, in an important colony near Bachkovo village, Asenovgrad, we observed a natural improvement of the habitat and reduction of the disturbance. Accordingly, this has led to an increase in the number of bats at the roost, compared to previous years.
Several new bat species were registered in new locations in Bulgaria: Myotis schreibersii, Myotis bechsteinii, Rhinolophus hipposideros, Myotis blythii and Myotis emarginatus. A new location of bats with white nose syndrome was also established.
The study of the bats is part of two projects – “LIFE UNDER ONE ROOF” of the LIFE Program (with the financial support of Dundee Precious Metals, Krumovgrad) and “Of Bats and Men”, funded by Disney Conservation Fund.