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Underground sites

Pan-European Monitoring of Bats in Underground Sites - PEMBUS


London workshop 2005

The idea of pan-European monitoring of bats was discussed by international bat conservation experts at workshops in the UK in 2005 and 2006. It builds on work done by EUROBATS to produce guidelines on standardised bat monitoring methods and on protecting and managing underground sites for bats.

EUROBATS Resolution 5.4 (adopted in 2006) urges Parties and Range States to:

1. Support the development of long-term pan-European surveillance to provide Europe wide population trends for bat species and site condition monitoring of protected sites for bats, with particular reference to underground sites;

2. Raise awareness of the importance of underground sites for bats at the local, regional, national and supranational scales;

3. Maintain collaboration and information exchange within the EUROBATS Agreement area on surveillance and monitoring activities in their country;

4. Support the use of the Guidelines on Bat Monitoring Methods to Assess Population Trends at Different Levels in developing common protocols for bat surveillance across Europe;

5. Support the development of standardised survey forms for use in pan-European bat surveillance and monitoring;

6. Support the development of appropriate data storage and analysis mechanisms to facilitate the production of Europe-wide trends for bat species;

7. Encourage and assist with capacity building of bat workers and surveyors and, where possible, volunteer networks in their country, to carry out bat surveillance projects. 

Surrey workshop 2006

PEMBUS Feasibility Study 

In 2008, BCT was funded to carry out a six-month feasibility study for project PEMBUS. The aim of the study was to agree the scope of the monitoring project and an approach to its implementation. In total, 33 EUROBATS Range States have expressed an interest in taking part in the project. The project aims to:  

  • provide population indices for European bat species on a regular basis;
  • identify important underground sites and provide information to assist in their protection;
  • raise awareness, enhance information exchange, build capacity and increase volunteer engagement;
  • contribute towards delivering obligations under the EC Habitats Directive; and
  • measure and assist in predicting the effect of future global change on bat biodiversity.

The feasibility study was funded by Governments of the Republic ofIreland, France, The Netherlands, Estonia, and the UK (Defra) and was alsosupported by the Bosnia Speleological Association, the Slovenian Association for Bat Research and Conservation, the WildlifeConservation Society MUSTELA (Serbia), the Polish Society of Wildlife Friends 'Pro Natura' and the Field Researcher's Union CAMPESTER (Georgia).

Next steps

London workshop 2005

BCT is exploring the possibility an application for EU Life+ funding for the PEMBUS project with partners from a number of EU countries. 


For more information about the development of Project PEMBUS please download reports of the workshops and feasibility study.  

Download the report of the April 2005 pan-European monitoring workshop

Download the report of the April 2006 pan-European monitoring workshop

Download the report of the 2008 PEMBUS feasibility study (updated May 2009)


BCT is involved with setting up BatLife Europe, a network of like-minded conservation organisations dedicated to maintaining the diversity, distribution, abundance and habitats of all bat species throughout Europe. For more information please visit

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