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[07-08-2020] Monitoring of bats in “Brestovitsa” protected area as part of the Green Balkans Volunteers Summer Academy
A field visit was held on Wednesday as part of the Green Balkans Volunteers Summer Academy and the participants were able to learn more about bats and the process of field research in the protected area. The monitoring was conducted by experts and with the permission of the Ministry of Environment and Water in the Brestovitsa protected area (BG0001033).

It is vital to put attention to the fact that all bats in Bulgaria are protected species and it is required to have a special permission for their research. The individual biometric data is written as part of the research activity and bats are released as quickly as possible without any harm.

The biometrics data of two Common Noctule bats (Nyctalus noctula) was filled in forms by the volunteers and then they would do a report on the performed activities that would be submitted to the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water-Plovdiv. An ultrasonic detector that captures and records the voices of bats was installed close to the net. The so-called acoustic identification is based on the sonogram analysis performance that show a graphical representation of the echolocation sounds of bats. The “shape” of the sound that is represented is individual for the various bat species and it helps for their identification without observing them.
 
*More about bats
33 of all 35 bat species living in Europe can be observed in Bulgaria. All of them are rare and protected by the Biodiversity Act and Natura 2000 ecological network sites are designated for their protection. Bats play a key role for ecosystems and they are keystone species that eat exclusively insects, most of which pests.

*More about Brestovitsa Protected Area
A protected area under the Directive on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora. Habitats with significant Mediterranean influence are among the protected sites under the Directive and it contributes for the protection of one of the very few remaining living populations of tortoise in the area of the mountains surrounding the Upper Thracian Plains. It covers part of the foothills of the Rhodope Mountain Range south of Perushtitsa town and Brestovitsa and Purvenets villages. The area is threatened by the plans for building micro Hydroelectric power plants that destroy riparian habitats; by the decline of extensive gazing that led to the existence of semi-natural dry grass and shrub habitats and that are accordingly the best habitats for tortoises.
 
Trainings, field and office work are part of the activities of the Green Balkans Summer Academy and the volunteers will receive a certificate for their participation.

The volunteers gained valuable knowledge about bats and their biology, research methods and information collection as part of the field research. They processed the photos and the information about the article by themselves.

Anyone who wants to be a volunteer can opt for participation in the Academy for the city of Plovdiv by filling the following form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeEfrj6Y6NIP3YMhBNHmMNlITeKmC9yrjvelAJn8G5dscYq8g/viewform

For additional information:
Aneliya Pavlova – 0899269576, e-mail: apavlova@greenbalkans.org
Polina Hristova – 0882508721, email: phristova@greenbalkans.org


The information activities are part of the project:




 
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