LIFE Project Cover Photo

Bats and men - sharing LIFE under one roof

Reference: LIFE17 NAT/BG/000602 | Acronym: LIFE UNDER ONE ROOF



Insect pests are a major problem in agriculture and forestry. All European bat species are insectivorous; they can eat up to 80–100 % of their body mass in insects every. In this respect, one of the most important ecosystem services of insectivorous bats is the control of pest insects. Attracting bats to farms can make a significant difference to organic farmers who want to use natural biological insect control and fertilisers, for example, by installing artificial roosts. Another ecosystem service provided by bats is their guano which is a very effective natural fertilizer. Restoring livestock watering ponds in agricultural areas improves access to water for many species and attracts insects that form the bats’ diet, including mosquitoes which spread diseases of humans and livestock. Improving knowledge and changing the attitude of local communities towards bats also provides an opportunity for ecotourism development.


LIFE UNDER ONE ROOF aims to improve the conservation status of nine bat species listed in the Habitats Directive (Annexes II and IV), in eight key Natura 2000 network sites in Bulgaria. The project will enhance and maintain bat habitats for breeding, hibernating, roosting and foraging, and will address the threat of disturbance during the most sensitive lifecycle stages. Project actions will include creating bat houses and bricks to increase roosting opportunities, restoring livestock watering places to benefit foraging bats, and guarding bat colonies during sensitive breeding and hibernation periods. The project aims to raise public awareness, positively change attitudes towards bats, build capacity for bat protection by involving more professional and volunteer conservationists, and highlight the economic benefits of bats for insect pest control. It will also produce an inventory containing up-to-date information on the population status of bat species and their habitats.

In addition to directly implementing the Habitats Directive, the project helps implement the Bern Convention, the EU Water Framework Directive, Biodiversity Strategy, Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES), and the Action Plan for the Conservation of Bat Species in the EU.

Expected results:

  • At least a 10 % increase in the populations of the nine target bat species in eight key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria;
  • Enhanced roosting, breeding and hibernating habitats of the target bat species with 560 new bat roosts (bat houses and bricks) in the project area;
  • Improved water conditions at 84 ‘biodiversity hotspot’ bat foraging sites;
  • Increased breeding success and winter survival of the target bat species;
  • At least a 15 % increase in the number of people with positive attitudes towards bats in the project area;
  • Educational activities reach at least 2 000 members of local communities, and 150 amateur or professional speleologists, local businesses managers, farmers, local authority administrators and nature conservation organisation employees;
  • At least 75 volunteers, students and speleologists trained in bat conservation, with many of these then actively involved in the project and its follow up activities;
  • Publication of a guide and a book on bat conservation, and construction of information boards along main roads in Bulgaria;
  • Improved coordination and experience sharing between bat conservationists in the EU; and
  • Transfer and replication of project outcomes to at least one new area with similar conservation problems and threats.


    Reference: LIFE17 NAT/BG/000602
    Start Date: 01/08/2018
    End Date: 31/07/2023
    Total Budget: 939,752 €
    EU Contribution: 560,251 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Fortis Visio Ltd.
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Akademik Metodi Popov str. 2A, bl.46, ent.B, fl.4. ap.18, 1113, Sofia, Bulgaria Balgarija
    Contact Person: Rashid RASHID
    Tel: 359899205776

    LIFE Project Map



    • Mammals


    • voluntary work
    • pest control
    • Inventory


    • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directive (21.05.1992)
    • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020” (03.05.2011)
    • Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (01.06.1982)


    • 0 - Non applicable (i.e.species project)


    • Myotis capaccinii
    • Myotis blythii
    • Myotis myotis
    • Myotis bechsteinii
    • Barbastella barbastellus
    • Miniopterus schreibersii
    • Rhinolophus blasii
    • Rhinolophus mehelyi


    Type Code Name
    SCI BG0001032 Rodopi - Iztochni (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0000218 Derventski vazvishenia 1 (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0000219 Derventski vazvishenia 2 (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0000304 Golak (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0000366 Kresna - Ilindentsi (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0001028 Sreden Pirin - Alibotush (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0001030 Rodopi - Zapadni (DEPRECATED)
    SCI BG0001031 Rodopi - Sredni (DEPRECATED)


    Name Type
    Fortis Visio Ltd. Coordinator
    Science for Nature Foundation, Bulgaria Participant