We invite everyone to participate in our speleological projects in 2019, about which you will learn below.
Our speleological projects – are studies of unexplored or barely explored karst areas, studies of new caves and caves spoken by locals. In the study of caves, we use a comprehensive methodology taking into account the interests of archaeologists, biologists, geologists, hydrogeologists and other areas of speleology. All projects are carried out with the permission of local authorities, and we are trying to give people who are not indifferent to the fate of the caves the results of the research.
The caves of Central Asia can be carriers of different kind of information related to the long history of this region, many of which are places of biodiversity, especially different species of animals from the international red list. The caves contain archaeological artifacts and ancient petroglyphs. In our region, many caves have been and still are places of worship.
Our mission is to teach officials and local residents to learn to save caves and use them for research and education.
To this end, we invite all interested speleologists and colleagues, to take part in our expeditions to various karst regions of Central Asia.
Underground habitats as a unit for conservation of vulnerable bat communities in southwest Kyrgyzstan
Application ID: 24890-1
The Title of Your Project
Underground Habitats as a Unit for Conservation of Vulnerable Bat Communities in South-western Kyrgyzstan
Summary of Aims of Your Project
The project is aimed at surveying underground habitats and clarifying the important summer and winter bat sites in south-western Kyrgyzstan. Collected information will be used to evaluate the vulnerable bat communities and will serve as a basis to recommend and implement a specific conservation strategy in the country. In addition, the educational aspect of the project will contribute to the establishment of a local bat working group. The group will help to achieve favourable future for the long-term conservation in the region.
The south-western part of Kyrgyzstan is a transboundary territory situated between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The region is mountainous with karst relief and encloses the southern wall of Fergana Valley. These characteristics suggest a variety of underground habitats which play an important role for bat communities.
The life cycle of the cave-dwelling bat species is closely related to the underground sites. Moreover, they form nursery colonies in the summer, which have high conservation priority. The conservation significance also applies to the winter hibernacula, where caves are shelters not only for the cave-dwelling but also for forest-dwelling species. The illegal entry into the caves for entertainment or treasure-hunting/mining activity in the region is one of the main threats for bats. The impact of these unregulated practices is high mortality rate for the new-born bats in the summer and lethal impact on the bat aggregations in the winter. In this regard, summer and winter monitoring will contribute towards taking adequate measures for protection of the vulnerable bat communities and serve as a prerequisite to form the basis for a bat conservation framework in the region.
The educational aspect will be held in high priority during the project, and a local bat group comprised mainly of students will be established. They will pass series of lectures about bats, including species identification, morphology, anatomy, ecology, and conservation importance, combined with practice on the field. Training for safe access to the caves for the involved student will be provided before the main fieldwork and combined with practical activities during the project duration.
The project is a pilot study for the transboundary territories of central Asia and is essential for future, more thorough, research on bats.