As early as 2019, the CBRC had constructive discussions with fellow chiropterologists from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia about an international bat conservation project. After the elaboration of the project, clarifications and additions, in the middle of 2021 we received the long-awaited news that the project will receive funding from the European Union, through the LIFE+ instrument.

The title of the project is LIFE PODKOWIEC PLUS: back to the forest – holistic conservation of bat breeding habitats (LIFE+ PODKOWIEC TOWERS, LIFE20 NAT/PL/001427). The coordinator of the project is the Polish Society of Friends of Nature “pro Natura” (Poland), the other beneficiaries being the General Directorate of State Forests (Poland), the Czech Society for the Protection of Bats (Czech Republic), the Association Center for Bat Research and Conservation (Romania) and Bat Protection Society of Slovakia (Slovakia). The project page also exists in English, respectively on the European Commission page.

The project is implemented between October 1, 2021 and September 30, 2026, with a budget of EUR 4,924,974, of which the European Union’s contribution is EUR 2,954,984, and that of the National Fund for Nature Protection and Water Management (Poland) is EUR 1,656,349. The CBRC / Romanian budget is EUR 64,147, of which CCCL’s own contribution is EUR 3,000. The objectives of the project are:

  1. Protection and improvement of conditions of the important roosts for nine bat species
  2. Change from a reactive to a proactive approach to the protection of bats
  3. Enhancement of institutional support for bat conservation

Below you can track the project implementation activities in Romania, with the most recent event at the top of the list (without general project management activities).

  • 2023 March

    We finalize the concepts for the conservation measures at caves, for the protection of resident bat colonies. A total of five locations will benefit from direct conservation measures (ex. bat-friendly closing, consolidating entrance etc.), while a total of seven sites will benefit from indirect conservation measures (information and warning boards, cleaning of the cave environment).

  • 2023 February

    We monitor the hibernation colonies in the two target Natura 2000 sites, and where direct and indirect conservation measures will be implemented.

  • 2022 October

    Independently of this project, we are the co-organizers of the 5th National Bat Research Conference of Romania (together with the Myotis Group), taking place in Cernatu de Sus, Covasna county, on October 21-23. The conference was the ideal place to present the LIFE+ project to fellow bat researchers in Romania. The October activity was undertaken under E1.10.

  • 2022 June

    We travel to monitor the nursery colonies at the locations where we know about such colonies and where conservation measures will be implemented: Ungurului de la Pecenișca Cave, Veterani Cave, Padina Matei Cave, Gaura cu Muscă Cave, and Despicătura Cave. We are also looking for a possible replacement for this last site, at the Baziaș Tunnel. The June activities were undertaken under D1.3.

  • 2022 April

    We are travelling to Domogled National Park – Valea Cernei and Iron Gates Nature Park, to evaluate the locations that will benefit from conservation measures, respectively to the following caves: Ungurului de la Pecenișca Cave, Mare de la Șălitrari Cave, Veterani Cave, Padina Matei Cave and Gaura cu Muscă Cave. We are also looking for a replacement for Despicătura Cave, which has been preserved by restoring the existing gate already. The April activities were undertaken under A2.3.

  • 2021 October

    The project is officially launched. The Romanian part targets 2 Natura 2000 sites, respectively ROSCI0069 Domogled – Valea Cernei, and ROSCI0206 Porțile de Fier, by conserving bats with activities at / in 6 caves.

Contact person and project manager for Romania: Szilárd-Lehel Bücs, 0747 921 684,