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Saint-Petersburg society for bat research and conservation

I.Yu.Popov, D.N.Kovaliov, A.N.Ostrovsky, M.G.Noskova, T.A.Rymkevich

Exploring protected areas some years ago we recorded a fact of decline of the quantity of hibernating bats in the caves of the Leningrad oblast.

Revealing the reasons of such situation resulted in a special research programme, publications, statements, etc., in a close co-operation with some European scientists: Finnish specialists conducted a short training on a modern technique to study bats and helped to buy an equipment, and German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and UNEP Eurobats gave a grant for bat research. Also World Bat library (Geneva) sent us the literature, which we asked for.

Gap analysis project (GAP)

in the North-West Russia

"Saint-Petersburg Society for bat research and conservation"

Regional Red Data lists of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region

Habitat (biotope) analysis

Pearl mussel and salmon rivers

 around Saint-Petersburg

Bird migrations in North-West


Research on biodiversity of the

ancient parks of Saint-Petersburg



Working with European specialists we found out that the societies for bat research are rather numerous abroad including Finland. We decided, that since the population of Saint-Petersburg is even bigger than in whole Finland, we are allowed to establish our own bat society.

We regularly count bats in the caves and study their summer distribution using bat-detectors. One of the most outrageous facts, which we was faced with, is the activity of a tourist enterprise in the Sablino caves (the biggest cave congestion in the region). Since 1999 when the enterprise has been established it occupies the biggest and the most suitable for bats cave, organizing various entertainments. As a result, the number of bats had decreased in 5 times there.

The other Sablino caves were put in unrestricted disposal of public. This resulted in a fact, that caves look like garbage boxes and toilets now. As a result bats abandon them. The attempts to extend such a positive experience of the cave exploitation to other caves of Leningrad region were undertaken. However, we prevented them addressing the letters to the administration of Saint-Petersburg region.

In 2009 the part of our research the project Pond bats (Myotis dasycneme) around Saint-Petersburg - was supported by German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety with the assistance of UNEP Eurobats secretariat



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