Establishing a Conservation Network for Protection of Threatened Cave-dwelling Bats in Turkey

Emrah Çoraman

Globally threatened cave-dwelling bat species in Turkey are under threat by increasing mining and construction activities, cave tourism, and by human disturbance. Lack of population data and legal protection status of underground roosts of globally threatened cave-dwelling bat species in Turkey hinder the conservation of these species. The main aim of this project is to establish a national conservation network for identifying and monitoring underground roosts that host globally threatened cave-dwelling bat species in Turkey, and using this information to initiate the acquisition of legal protection status for the identified sites. For this purpose, we will contact governmental agencies and local/university caving groups to identify underground sites that harbour cave-dwelling bat populations. We will conduct field work for assessing species diversity and population size in the identified caves, including the sites identified in the previous CLP project. We will establish online platforms to enable communication within the network and prepare a field guide and educational material for cavers about cave-dwelling bat species. By organising local workshops for the interested local/university caving groups, we aim to build capacity in bat conservation. Finally, we will apply to the related ministries for establishing the legal protection status for the identified sites.

"My first CLP Project [in 2010] was a game changer for my career. Now as an assistant professor, I am starting my own group with several enthusiastic young students. I think this project will be one of the major conservation projects that will have a long lasting effect in cave and bat conservation in Turkey and enable my team to pursue a career in conservation. We are really excited!" Emrah Çoraman

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