Environmental education in primary, secondary schools and higher education

Because the young children and teenagers are usually more opened to new concepts and do not yet have preconceptions, they are ideal targets for public awareness of the project. In this purpose we are caring out environmental education activities in schools, kindergartens – by Children’s Palace from Oradea, along with field trips. Presentations are related to general aspects of the biology and bat ecology, the importance of global threat factors and possible protection, and general environmental issues and environmental protection. After conducting presentations were organized competitions, such as the general knowledge regarding the bats and drawing competitions. In addition to presentations at various locations within the project we have developed a book  about bats for children of kindergartens and elementary schools. In this book are explaned the basics informations about bats through a story, making it more accessible for target generation. The book contains a series of worksheets to practice and test the accumulated knowledge by children.

Jud. Alba

Jud. Alba

Jud. Alba

Jud. Alba

Jud. Alba

Bats Ringing

To clarify the possible links between various shelters, in April-May 2012, we realised the ringing activity. In this period were ringed 55 bats. Recognition of individual animals play an important role in ecological research on bats. Temporary or permanent marking can provide information about the fidelity of housing, population dynamics and social behavior. The work was interrupted between June-beginning of August to not to disturb the bats in breeding period. Starting with the secound half of August the activity resumed. Were marked with rings the following species: Myotis myotis (Greater Mouse-eared bat), Myotis oxygnathus (Lesser Mouse-eared bat), Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (Greater Horseshoe bat), Miniopterus schreibersii (Schreiber’s bent-winged bat). In the period of August-September were ringed other 945 bats.

Closing the selected caves in adequate way

Despite of the benefits they bring and their role in the ecosystem, bats are endangered. Some species are endangered or already extinct. General factors with the most significant negative effects on the bat fauna are: loss of the feeding habitat or their alteration, loss of their shelter, the use of toxic materials to treat wood materials for buildings, intensive agriculture, pesticides, uncontrolled speleology or large scale construction, water pollution and construction of wind farms on the way of bat migration routes. Specific factors of threat for bats are changing human shelters regardless of the presence of bats, creation of improperly cave infrastructure for tourism (closing caves, artificial lighting etc..), negative attitude towards bats and, last but not least, unfair media coverage issues about the bats. The effects of these threats may improve, compensate or correct by concrete conservation actions. To this purpose we realized the activity of closing the selected caves in an appropriate manner that does not harm bats by placing special grid at the entrance or around the entry to the cave. These constructions allow bats to fly in and out of the cave, without any restriction.

The third monitoring training between 30.08 – 02.09, 2012

Between 30.08 – 02.09.2012 we organized the third training session to present the methods for the bat species monitoring. The training took place in Şuncuiuş – Pădurea Craiului Mountains. 15 participants were trained. They are representatives of CAPDD Bihar, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism Cluj Napoca, Romanian Association for Speleological Education, Speleological Association Explorers, Romanian Bat Protection Association, Transylvanian Carpathian Society, Association for Bird and Nature Protection “Milvus Group”, Bedeleu Adventure, Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Biology and Geology.

LIFE ROBATS 30.08-02.09.2012 Catches

Placing the artificial shelters for bats

Artificial shelters for bats can be made of wood, similar with the boxes for birds, but with sufficiently narrow entrance (2-2.5 cm) to be inaccessible to birds or martens. To avoid accumulation of guano in artificial shelters occupied by bats is best if they are provided with an opening at the bottom to allow guano drainage. Boxes can be mounted on trees in gardens, parks, forests, near water surfaces, under bridges, or building wall. Artificial shelters must be mounted at a height of at least 3-5 m, south-facing seats to provide sufficiently high temperatures for breeding colonies. Boxes placed in cooler places will only attract males and nonpregnant females. Usually more favorable is to place 5-10 boxes at distances of several tens of meters of each other, so that bats can choose the most convenient shelter and be able to change them depending on the outside temperature. For placing the artificial shelters the most appropriate time is the first part of spring (when were placed 268 artificial shelters), before the start of bats active period, but if this is not possible, the boxes can be placed at any time during the year – the rest of 32 shelters will be installed by the end of autumn. The placed shelters still need to be supervised and cared for. In periods when bats are not using the shelters (usually in the winter) they should be cleaned, drained of dried guano accumulated inside.

Types of artificial shelters

Changing the lighting in caves

In January has been initiated the activity of changing the lightening in three caves: Ungurului Cave, Scărişoara Cave and Vadu Crişului Cave. The work was completed in April 2012. In recent years several studies have shown that artificial lighting has negative effects on bat behavior. This adverse effect is probably due to the anatomy of the bat′s eye. Most species of bats have only rod cells by detecting motion and simple characters during twilight or in the dark. For example common bat retina gathers 4-5 times more light than the human retina, indicating that it is effective for the species of bats in the dark. Consequently, any additional lighting, compared to the natural, beyond a certain threshold, may have negative effects on bats. In conclusion, proved that the species of bats that leave the shelter before dark do not use echolocation for orientation but rather eyes and nights with more light coming from the moon, some species may even avoid chiropterological nets using only visual senses. Disturbance caused by artificial illumination can cause delayed of parturition of the young bats and slowing the growth rate. These factors can influence the ability of feeding the newborn before the hibernation period (hibernation requiring large amounts of fat accumulation), theoretically contributing to a lower rate of survival after waking from hibernation.

Cleaning the selected caves of waste

Traces of human activity are found, unfortunately, in every corner of the modern world, and they are not only positive signs. The major problem for protected areas is the accumulation of waste as a result of increased tourism activity. Without discussing the ways to prevent (ex. public awareness), it is clear that in some cases custodians or administrators of this areas are already powerless against accumulated volume of waste. Even if in the future, through a rigorous education and prevention activities will reduce the waste quantity in protected areas, the amount accumulated so far should be cleaned, thus bringing the cave or tourist target to its original state, or at least to a state as close to the original. In caves often visited by tourists is inevitable waste accumulation in time. Such cases are Meziad Cave, Vadu Crișului Cave or Ungurului Cave. In addition to these, floods or river courses assets (accompanied by human negligence upstream on the karst surface) can cause accumulation of waste in caves. Being underground this elements begin to decompose, affecting the entire fauna and give an unpleasant view to the caves. A particular case is Huda lui Papară Cave being severely affected by the waste  flashed from the surface. Through this project we cleaned the waste from nine affected caves: Betfia, Coliboaia, Huda lui Papara, Vadu Crișului, Fânațe, Meziad, Ungurului, Scărişoara and Poarta lui Ionele. Most of the cases needed only a high vigilence, like collecting the broken glass from Meziad Cave, Fânațe Cave or Ungurului Cave. In other cases, we used the alpine and speleological technique to remove the large amounts of waste in verticals of over 70 meters like Betfia Cave. In Huda lui Papară we  needed a specialized team to remove the large amount of waste, being a high risk flood cave.

The children’s book

We developed a book  about bats for children in kindergartens and elementary schools. In this book are explaned the basics informations about bats through a story, making it more accessible for target generation. The book contains a series of worksheets to practice and test the accumulated knowledge by children. The books are written in Romanian and Hungarian languages.



Consulting the public in Subpiatră at 18 July 2011.

The purpose of the meeting is to involve stakeholders in the Trascău SCI and SPA area in developing the management plan, to insert in the management plan new ideas and protected mesures for bats on the surface of a Natura 2000 site.

Consulting the public in Salciua de Sus at December 19, 2010.

The purpose of the meeting was to involve custodian ( in this case Trascau Mountains Natura 2000 site custodian) in developing the management plan, to take into account  their vision and to find viable solutions, common to any issues raised during the preparation of the management plan.

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