At least 26 bats species have been observed in Lombardy region; among these, 9 are listed in the Annex II of the habitat Directive and especially protected.
They are the greater horseshoe bat, the lesser horseshoe bat, Bechstein’s bat, the lesser mouse-eared bat, the long-fingered bat, Geoffroy’s bat, the greater mouse-eared bat, the barbastelle and the common bent-wing bat.
The conservation status of all these species is not favorable, due to habitat reduction and poor awareness among the general public. In order to improve their conservation status, the project aims at drafting a Bat Action Plan and specific technical information sheets illustrating specific conservation actions to be taken on in different environments, such as underground caves, cities, forests, fields (action A13). These guidelines will be especially useful starting from the project second phase, while implementing the concrete actions (action C8).
The crucial role of the Centers for Wildlife Recovery in the region, especially of the CRAS WWF in Valpredina (BG), located in the natural reserve Oasi di Valpredina, and of the CRFS LIPU “La Fagiana”, in the Ticino Park, will be strenghtened by capacity building activities targeting those caring for and managing the injured animals in their custody.
Awareness on this species is still poor: therefore, an information center focusing on bats, the so-called “Bat helpdesk” managed by the CRAS WWF in Valpredina (BG), will be set up (action E7). It will support people facing bat-related issues and will provide instructions for the rescue of injured or endangered specimen. It will answer to phone calls, collect bat sightings, run rescue surveys while also promoting networking of all the local stakeholders carrying out bat-related activities, actions and projects.
Furthermore, the helpdesk will support the spreading of bat knowledge, organizing learning evening events, bat nights, trainings and conferences. “Batnights” and educational activities involving schools will be run during the whole project lifespan in order to promote the project and offer first aid and care instructions for species threatened of extinction. A brochure raising awareness on bat first aid among the general public will be published. Communication in the second project phase will focus on the spreading of knowledge on the Bat Action plan in the Lombardy region (action A13) and on the implemented actions (action C8).