Art. 1. Any kind of research or monitoring which involves elements of the Romanian bat fauna requires permits from authorized bodies (if the work includes capturing bats and/or access to caves), and/or permits from administrators or custodians of those protected areas, in which the mentioned activities take place.

Art. 2. Any kind of research or monitoring of the Romanian bat fauna should have a well-defined purpose and timeline, a well established, scientifically and ethically correct methodology, and the activities must yield such scientific data, as to be useful in better understanding aspects of the Romanian fauna, and/or contribute to a durable protection, without having negative effects on studied bats.

Art. 3. Bat research, which can artificially alter the results of the national bat monitoring in key roosts (ex. additional visits or studies above the standard of two visits/season) must be communicated to the Romanian bat research community, by electronic mail to liliecarii@googlegroups.com, before starting the project.

Art. 4. Bat research and/or visits undertaken on the territory of Romania, which is conducted in collaboration and in the presence of foreign researchers, must be communicated to the Romanian bat research community, by electronic mail to liliecarii@googlegroups.com, before starting the project.

Art. 5. Research or monitoring involving elements of the Romanian bat fauna must take into account the following:

  1. Intentional waking of bats during the hibernation period (November 1 – March 31) must be avoided;
  2. The handling of bats during the hibernation period (November 1 – March 31), including their removal from their hibernation position or location hibernation must be avoided, with the exception of rescuing bats that are in imminent danger, where there is no other possible measure of protection;
  3. Photographing bats or bat colonies during the hibernation period (November 1 – March 31) and the maternity period (May 15 – August 15) for longer periods than 1 minute, or with more than 1 light source, and for purposes unrelated to the issued authorization or activity must be avoided; It is recommended that preparations for photographing bats (installing speedlight, tripods, etc.) in order to document specimens or subsequent colony counts on computers, be done away from the colony;
  4. Stopping below colonies during the hibernation period (November 1 – March 31) and the maternity period (May 15 – August 15) must have the shortest duration possible, and must not exceed 5 minutes;
  5. Camping and bivouaking in caves must be done at a distance greater than 100 meters from the nearest bat colony;
  6. Capturing bats or any kind of sample collection from bats must be avoided in the period of hibernation (November 1 – March 31), with the exception of collecting dead animals or guano samples from underneath colonies;
  7. Capturing bats with any kind of method must be avoided during the maternity period (May 15 – August 15) at entrances and inside of roosts that are known to harbour maternity colonies, and within a radius of 200 meters around the roost;
  8. In case of any roost, it is mandatory to immediately release, without any kind of intervention, sampling or marking, those female bats that are pregnant;
  9. Researching and capturing bats with improvised methods and equipment must be avoided;
  10. Avoid keeping bats in captivity for more than 30 minutes;
  11. The ringing of bats in Romania must follow a national plan, with centralized data, standard rings and unique national code, which makes possible the exact identification of the recaptured bat, as well as done only by experts who have obtained the right to ring bats;
  12. The right to ring bats can be obtained by successfully completing specialized trainings organized for this purpose, that are organized at the national level by experts who already obtained the right to ring bats;
  13. It is prohibited to ring bats with improvised rings, or with rings that are not manufactured by authorized companies;
  14. The species Rhinolophus hipposideros, Rhinolophus mehelyi, Rhinolophus blasii, Rhinolophus euryale and Plecotus species must not be ringed;
  15. Juvenile or injured specimens, as well as specimens who have an obvious bad physical condition (ex. below average bodyweight, large numbers of parasites, etc.) must not be ringed;
  16. Females captured during the maternity period (May 15 – August 15) must not be ringed;
  17. Research methods that present a high level of disturbance to bats (radiotelemetry, sample collection, etc.) but which do not have a clear goal, have small chances of resulting in scientific data, that contributes to a better understanding of the Romanian bat fauna of Romania and/or a durable protection, must be avoided;
  18. Permanent collection of live bats must be avoided;
  19. The use of carbide based light sources is prohibited in Romania by Decision nr. 1 of the Speleological Heritage Commission from 12.09.2012;
  20. The use of bright lights to facilitate research in the area of influence of bat colonies (at less than 100 m), and/or in the hibernation (November 1 – March 31) and maternity periods (May 15 – August 15) must be avoided;
  21. Genetic, virological or parasitological sampling in the pre- and post-hibernation periods (2 weeks before and after hibernation), as well as during hibernation (November 1 – March 31) and from pregnant and nursing females must be avoided, and also genetic, virological or parasitological sampling from newborns in maternity colonies;
  22. The capture of bats to conduct laboratory experiments must be avoided.

Art. 6. The process of elaborating scientific and/or educational articles, that uses chiropterological data collected by Romanian researchers, must take into account the following:

  1. Unpublished data can be used to develop scientific and/or educational articles, or distribution maps only with the agreement of the author(s) of the data, and/or where appropriate, with the agreement of the data owner, and only by clearly referencing the source of the data;
  2. Data from existing publications may be used in the development of scientific and/or educational articles, or distribution maps without consulting the original authors, but only by clearly referencing the source of the data; It is recommended to contact authors directly, to inform them about the intention of data use;
  3. The materials and methods section of scientific papers dealing with chiropterological data from Romania must contain details about the authorizations/permits obtained to carry out the activity (issuing authority, number, year, etc.), or arguments about why an authorization/permit was not necessary to carry out the work;
  4. In case of creating public databases, using published and unpublished data related to colonies of national importance, the initiators must consult with the Romanian bat research community, by electronic mail to liliecarii@googlegroups.com, before starting the project.

Art. 7. In case of bats collected in urban settings due to public distress, these specimens can be set free in the wild (at caves, potholes, etc.), but not at sites which are categorized as nationally or continentally important for Romanian bat populations.

Art. 8. In the case of abusive and/or unauthorized research, unintentional or intentional destruction, significant disturbances, or activities that result in high bat mortality, or which do not comply with the conditions imposed in authorizations/permits, the penalties are based on the provisions entailed in existing legislation of animal protection, referring to:

  1. Law nr. 13/1993 for ratifying the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats in Europe;
  2. Law nr. 13/1998 on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals;
  3. Law nr. 90/2000 for ratifying the Agreement on the Conservation of Bats in Europe (EUROBATS);
  4. Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law (Habitats Directive);
  5. Law nr. 49/2011 approving Government Emergency Ordinance no. 57/2007 on the regime of protected natural areas, conservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna;
  6. Law nr. 205/2014 on the protection of animals;
  7. De lege ferenda.

Note: Authorizations/permits for research or access into Romanian caves are obtained from the Speleological Heritage Commission. Permits to access and undertake research activities in Romanian protected areas are obtained from administrators or custodians of those protected areas.

Ethical aspects of Romanian bat research were elaborated by the Romanian bat research community in frame of the project “Uniting the efforts of Romania bat conservation”, implemented during the 2015-2017 Klaus Toepfer Fellowship Programme.

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