The LIFE-NATURE project «Greek Caves and Bats: Management Actions and Change of Attitude», LIFE17 NAT/GR/000522 – LIFE GRECABAT, aims to implement demonstration conservation actions, raise public awareness about caves bats and cave life, implement new monitoring systems and promote integrated cave management.
The project duration is 4.5 years (01/09/2018 - 28/02/2023) and is co-funded by the European Commission's LIFE financial instrument (EC/EASME). Coordinator Beneficiary is the University of Crete (UoC - Natural History Museum of Crete NHMC), and associated beneficiaries are: (1) Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEEN), (2) Green Fund (GRUF), (3) Institute of Speleological Research of Greece (HISR) and (4) ATEPE Ecosystem Management Ltd. (ATEPE).
The total budget of the project is €1,270,000.00 with 60% (€762,000.00) European funding and 40% (€508,000.00) own contribution of the project beneficiaries and their co-financiers [€80,000.00 by the A.G. Leventis Foundation, €55,000.00 by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation and €373,000.00 own contribution of the project partners].
The project implements conservation actions in 10 selected NATURA 2000 sites in Greece (from Crete to Evros) and also inform and train the involved stakeholders. It aims to improve the conservation status of 10 bat species (of Community interest, Annexes II-IV of Directive 92/43/EEC) and selected caves (Habitats Type 8310, Annex I to Directive 92/43/EEC), while is helping the survival of the unique cave fauna (dozens of endemic species of insects and other invertebrates live exclusively in one or more caves of Greece).
It is the first nationwide effort to manage, protect and promote bats, caves and cave life. It is intended to be an example of their integrated management at national level.