Caves are one of the key shelters for bats in Bulgaria, but many of them are subject to vandalism. This has a negative impact on bats, because they are extremely sensitive animals and in case of disturbance they leave their shelters. During the winter bats are really helpless, because in Bulgaria they hibernate (they sleep through the winter). In this physiological condition their heart rate slows from over 400 to around 10 beats per minute and their body temperature drops to 0 – 10 °С. For this reason, if they are suddenly awakened, they could not fly and they would fall to the ground.
Our goal is to protect key caves from encroachment, by going on site and providing information on the key role of bats. This winter the Science for Nature Foundation organized for four weekends guarding of key caves in the municipalities of Asenovgrad and Peshtera.
On January 30, 2021, the guarding started in the town of Peshtera, visiting the caves Novata stara, Yubileyna, Ushatovi Dupki and Vodna. Our team, together with the volunteers who joined the initiative, found traces of hoarding and vandalism. On February 6- 7, 2021 we continue with the guarding of caves in the municipality of Asenovgrad.