Miniopterus schreibersii and Rhinolophus euryale in the old mines

The underground cavities are used by bats from all families and the numbers found in the cavities can be very high. There is a little ecological difference between natural and man-made underground cavities; whether they are frequented by bats is governed by other attributes, such as size, situation and number of entrances, air currents, temperature and relative humidity. The specific microclimate conditions of both types of underground roost sites can play an important role in the life strategies of individual species of bats. There are a lot of caves in the territory of Spišsko-gemerský karst, Slovenský karst and Drienčanský karst (in Slovakia). Revúcka highland (a part of the project area) surrounded by these territories, and Štiavnické mountains are well-known for mineral richness, which inspired the development of mining. Today there are hundreds of sites hidden in the past mines. Abandoned shafts and galleries (the old mines) are mostly used by bats.
The occurrence of Miniopterus schreibersii was recorded in two old mines, one used during the summer season and the other whole year-round. Some 40 years ago the underground roost site degraded and the numerous colony (about thousand individuals) left these spaces. Another record of the species occurrence in the area was not noted for long time. In the years 1999 - 2000 a few individuals were found hibernating. The species might occupy also other underground roosts in this area.
About Rhinolophus euryale colonies in Revúcka highland and Veporské mountains we have also insufficient data. We know two undeground roost sites in the old mines of the species there, with about thousand of individuals in the colony. In Veporské mountains were found only 1-3 individuals. For providing its protection it is necessary to complete the data. To conserve the bat species colonies, it may be necessary to protect the whole network of roosts used throughout the annual cycle.
In the case of Miniopterus schreibersii, there is cca 1/3 of population bound to rely on the old mines as important roosting sites. For Rhinolophus euryale it is cca 1/5 of the population, but this information is only a guess. There is a question - what will happen with demolition of, for example four entrances to the old mine, that serves as a significant roost side for bats? In the old mines are reproduction colonies (Rhinolophus hopposideros), too. In Slovakia they use mostly the attic rooms.
In Revúcka highland we will collaborate with a team of experts from the Institute of Biology and Ecology of Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. In the area, they will continue with the research of Rhinolophus euryale by the telemetry method. The results of this activities can include the information on new territories of species occupation. From the Slovak Bat Conservation Society, the members of the Society will be helpful with the project activities implementation (field survey).

The project solves the problem of survival of populations of bats in abandoned mining systems (old mines) in Slovakia on a sample of two mining areas. Project implementation will ensure protection of key local populations. Expert working group on bat protection, specialised on work in mining areas, will be established within the project. Close cooperation with the Geological Institute and mining companies will be established. The project will create a model of cooperation, will define the recommendations for application of mining activities in other mining areas. The findings and experience will be processed and analysed, and recommendations will be listed for establishment of such cooperation and creation of bat working groups elsewhere.
Public, or local communities often don´t know about bats occurrence in the old mines, or there is a lack of information on their importance in ecosystems. In most cases, inhabitants of the villages near the existing old mines request their demolition, to ensure safety in the neighborhood of their homes. We can provide new information to those people, about an easy solution to make their territory safe and to ensure the bats protection at the same time.

Identification of important underground sites for bats, site condition monitoring ;;Improve conservation status of selected species of bats - ensurance of protection of entrances to the significant old mines in accordance with security of inhabitants as well as with protection of bats; Promote awareness and provide advice

Description:systematic field survey - direct survey of the project area, monitoring of mine entrances and their surrounding based on available information, survey of larger neighbourhood, works implemented during following days (form of camps)
Start date:01 August 2012
End date:31 August 2013
Responsibility:Denisa Löbbová, Slovak Bat Conservation Society
Output:entrances to mining systems identified, some field characteristics, coordinates documented in a database
Description:elaboratiion of Progress Report
Start date:01 August 2012
End date:31 August 2013
Responsibility:Marcel Uhrin, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Faculty of Science, Institute of Biology and Ecology
Output:Project Progress Report elaborated and submitted
Description:evaluation of the significance of individual old mines for bats - night research of bats occurrence - by the methods of detectoring and netting
Start date:10 October 2012
End date:30 October 2013
Responsibility:Martin Ceľuch, Slovak Bat Conservation Society
Output:the old mines occupied and used by bats identified, the importance for bats defined for each mining object, Important Undegroud Sites for Bats updated
Description:negotiations with mining authorities and mining companies responsible for closing of old mines in the target area, participation in elaboration of project documentation to secure the old mine space, taking over the responsibility to manage the object secu
Start date:01 September 2013
End date:30 October 2013
Responsibility:
Output:bat species protected in accordance with legislation provided, mining sites secured in accordance with legislation, documentation of projects to secure the mining sites in accordance with protection of bats elaborated
Description:statistical analyses of results, definition of experiences, new findings and reccommendations for protection of bats, communication, distribution of information to relevant stakeholders
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End date:
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Output:results presented at the Conference ""Mammals of Slovakia"", materials for the State Nature Conservancy prepared, Data analysed, interpreted and included in the report to the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats and the Bonn Convention
Description:elaboration of Final Report
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Implementing AgencySlovak Bat Conservation Society
Collaborating agenciesPavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Faculty of Science, Institute of Biology and Ecology, RNDr. Marcel Uhrin PhD., marcel.uhrin@gmail.com, +421911563107

Activity start dateAugust 2012
Activity end dateOctober 2013
CMS AppendixAppendix II
Taxonomic groupTerrestrial mammals
Target regionEurope
Target countrySlovakia
Final technical reportNo

Habitat loss and degradation
Human Disturbance
Recreational activities
Pollution