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Proposal of protection zones for bats and caves in Greece

In the context of LIFE GRECABAT actions and in particular the preparation of actions A3 and C3, we selected 230 of most important bat shelters in Greece (caves, mines, buildings etc.) as well as cave habitats of Directive 92/43/EU (8310: Caves not open to the public), to be proposed as protection sites by the under progress Special Environmental Studies and the accruing Management Plans.

Main selection criteria were the number of species and sizes of bat colonies as well as the number of typical species and narrow endemic invertebrate species for Habitat 8310.

Inevitably, the proper management of most bat species listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, as well as of caves and other typical and important species, requires the proper management of these caves’ surrounding area. The surrounding area nourishes bats, but also determines the availability and quality of organic matter and water inside the parent material and caves and plays a key role in their microclimate. Based on the above, we designed and suggested protection areas around each location.

Vector files of the proposed sites are available here to anyone interested.