The South-West University “Neofit Rilski” is the Lead Beneficiary of the project “Sustainable bats conservation in the cross border area” (BatsConserve) under the European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece – Bulgaria 2014-2020.
The overall objective of the project is improvement of bat population (Chrioptera) along the bangs of Mesta (Nestos) River and caves in the region of Momchilgrad – Komotini through joint activities on conservation of significant bat habitats.
The project's approach is based on research, assessments and taking integrated interventional and methodological measures for conservation of significant bat habitats, not only in NATURA 2000 sites, but also in surrounded areas. This approach guarantees improved state of bats population in the cross border area. It corresponds with the Cooperation Programme, which enhances actions that exhibit considerable added value in terms of species protection. These parts of NATURA 2000 sites, where measures are taken for improving bat habitats will contribute to Programme's aim for better conservation status of habitats. Target group under the project is the population from both sides of the border, local governments aimed at biodiversity conservation, land owners and land users, forestries and stakeholders.
Project outputs consist of the following:
1) Database on species composition and state of bats within the project area;
2) Map of bat habitats;
3) Two assessments on species diversity, activity and habitats of bats and potential threats and on favourable conservation status;
4) Placing of bat boxes;
5) Three Guidelines on bats conservation – in agro lands, in forests and in urban areas;
6) Six trainings on bats conservation for achieving awareness among farmers, forestries, local people and students.
Lead Beneficiary: South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, Faculty of Economics
Project Beneficiary 2: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Special account for research funds, Department of forestry and natural environment