The idea of pan-European monitoring of bats was discussed by international bat conservation experts at workshops in the UK in 2005 and 2006. The idea was to build on work done by EUROBATS to produce guidelines on standardised bat monitoring methods and on protecting and managing underground sites for bats.
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 expressed an interest in taking part in the project. The project aimed 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 of Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Estonia, and the UK (Defra) and was also supported 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).
A PEMBUS project has not yet gone ahead however EUROBATS has developed a underground sites database. Recognising the importance of underground habitats and the many threats they face, Eurobats Resolution 2.4 (Bonn, 1998) set in place a project to identify and list the most important underground habitats across the Agreement area. You can find out more here.