Work within the framework of the LIFE Nature project known as ICOSTACY aiming to protect bat species on the island, have been successfully completed.
Partially funded by the European Union, the co-ordinating beneficiary of the project was the Department of Environment of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment.
Works included the repairing of abandoned buildings and mine roofs in order to enable the 15 bat species in Cyprus to take refuge and allow their study. This provides the bats with protection from predators and the creation of suitable living conditions.
While implementing these repairs, systematic monitoring and data collection was carried out within thirteen old buildings and the shafts of five mines in NATURA 2000 sites in various areas of the island. Repair works included closing windows and doors, leaving an entry way for the mentioned species, placing of bat boxes, propping up and cleaning of mine roofs and installing special metal cages for bats to use. Finally, fences and gates were put in place in order to control access to mines and information signs regarding the objectives of the projects were also put into place. To increase food availability for the Egyptian bat, known as “nychtopapparos”, which is the only species of bat in Cyprus that feeds on fruit, fruit tree plantations were cultivate in the Mammari region.
More information on the ICOSTACY project and its activities is available on the website www.icostacy.gov.cy