Trans-border collaboration in bat migration research in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, 2014

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Four field expeditions to Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey and Romania were undertaken under the project in June-October 2014. 21 localities were inspected, 29 mist-netting nights were carried out and 880 individuals of 25 bat species were captured. Altogether we collected 382 fur samples and passed them to the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research for stable hydrogen analysis.

 

  

15 bat researchers and students were involved in the field work during the project. We confirmed the existence of stopover site for migrating bats in the steppe part of Ukraine («Staroberdyansky» Reserve). Several hibernation sites of supposingly migrating bats were discovered in Turkey (Edirne province) and Romania (Dobrogea province and Cioclovina karst complex).

    

The offshore survey was done along the Black Sea coast. Only two call sequences of N. noctula had been recorded at the distance of 25 km from the coast of Crimea. The question whether the bats do perform their seasonal migrations over the Black Sea needs further investigations. The western coast of the Black Sea is the area of intensive wind farms development and repowering. It became clear that poor knowledge on migrating bats and insufficient environmental impact assesment studies before siting new wind turbines along the Black Sea coast could significantly affect migration of bats and birds. A cooperation between several teams of bat researchers in the region achieved during the project is an important step in the direction of further investigations of bat migration routes and the connectivity of populations of migratory bat species.

Vitalij Gukov near the mist netting point.jpg