An article from the trade journal on natural areas
Espaces Naturels
n°23 (july 2008)

(files pdf - article : 119 Ko / cover : 332 Ko)

Une édition de l'ATEN (Gip Atelier Technique des Espaces Naturels, revue Espaces Naturels n°23-2008, tous droits réservés.

Europe brings its support to a conservation project in favour of three species of cave-dwelling bats endangered in the South of France.

LIFE-Nature Project 2004-2008

Long-fingered bat (Myotis capaccinii), Mediterranean horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus euryale), Schreibers' bat (Miniopterus Schreibersii) ... These strange names belong to three species of bats, or chiroptera, that count among the most endangered of the South of France. In the four years to come, they will benefit from an ambitious conservation project.
This long-pondered project is the result of the collaboration between the Société Française pour l'Etude et la Protection des Mammifères (SFEPM) and the chiropterologists of the Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrénées, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Rhône-Alpes regions. Submitted in October 2003 to the European Commission, it entered into competition with douzens of nature preservation projects for LIFE-Nature funding. A decision has just been reached ... Europe accepts to financially support this project to the fullest extent, that is up to 50%. The SFEPM and its partners will bring 10%. Subventions from the DIREN, the Regional Counsels and the General Counsels of the concerned regions and departements will cover the remaining 40%.

The long-fingered bat, the Mediterranean horseshoe bat, and Schreibers' bat are cavernicole species, which means that, during their yearly life cycle, they mainly dwell in underground lairs, of the grotto, old mine type. A network of 26 priority lairs, distributed in thirteen Natura 2000 sites
*, have thus been identified and will benefit from conservation actions. These actions are divided in three principal sections :

  • Actions aiming at acquiring knowledge on the three species' biology and ecology, namely on the habitats they use to feed themselves,
  • The installation of physical protections and the implementation of regulations to ensure tranquillity at the bats' main lairs,
  • Information and public awareness, intended for the general public and also for explorers of the underground world.

Through these actions the SFEPM and its twelve partners** set for themselves the goal to stop the three concerned species' population's decline, as well as that of all those sharing the same ecological niche, and nurture the hope for the future to witness their increase...

* Massif de la Rhune et de Choldokogagna (64) ; Montagne de St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (64) ; Montagne des Aldudes (64) ; Massif des Arbailles (64) ; Vallée de la Dordogne quercynoise (46) ; Gorges de l'Aveyron, Causses proches et vallée de la Vère (81 et 82) ; Grotte de Julio (34) ; Causses du Minervois (34) ; Gardon et ses Gorges (30) ; les Alpilles (13) ; Plaine et Massif des Maures (83) ; Basses Gorges du Verdon (04 et 83) ; Sables du Tricastin (26).

** Organbidexka Col Libre ; les Conservatoires d' Espaces Naturels d'Aquitaine, de Midi-Pyrénées, de Languedoc-Roussillon et de Provence ; la Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux en Aquitaines ; le Syndicat Mixte d'Aménagement, de protection et de mise en valeur du Massif et des gorges du Gardon ; le Conseil Général du Gard ; Espaces Nature Environnement ; le Groupe Chiroptères de Provence ; l'Agence Publique du Massif des Alpilles
et le Centre Ornithologique Rhône-Alpes – délégation Drôme.

Contact scientifique : Mélanie NEMOZ,
Contact communication : Dominique PAIN, bureau de la SFEPM
Tél/Fax :