The See More: FOR the Bats project is based on the bold idea for an entirely positive information campaign.
A bat-shaped informational board with wide-spread wings with a span of 150 cm invites visitors to 10 touristic caves to ‘see more’ FOR the bats. Only later readers will learn that the board represents the actual wingspan size of the world’s largest bats.
But what do bats have in common with touristic caves?
Bats are among the shyest mammals on the planet. They choose roosts where they can hang from the ceiling undisturbed during the day; they leave them only after sunset when they can feed safely under the cover of darkness. And where are these roosts? Well… in caves, for example!
Touristic caves are developed for mass tourism: they have lights and installations that allow visitors to walk around in them without even getting dirty.
All Bulgarian touristic caves are inhabited by species of bats that have international conservation status; some caves serve as important winter or summer roosts for bat colonies, and the Devetashkata Cave, Dyavolskoto Garlo Cave and Orlova Chuka Cave are habitats of international importance for the conservation of the European populations of bats. At the same time the ‘houses’ of the bats are visited by more than 400 000 tourists every year.
Don’t worry; we will not describe battle scenes or quote intricate legal acts.
Instead we invite you to see more of the world of these unique creatures, so that when you visit their home next time, you do so as their friends, and not as conquerors.
The ten text boxes on each informational board are centered around the comparative phrase “What do bats have in common with…”; there readers can find various intriguing facts about bats based on a comparison with a well-known animal or object that will bring bats closer and make the facts about them easier to remember.
Our website won’t bore you with endless bans, regulations and wearisome statistics. It was conceived as a sequel of the information on the informational boards and aims at presenting you with more intriguing, unique facts about bats in a way that will help you remember them for sure!
Our objective is a simple one – we would like you to learn more about these mysterious small mammals so that you choose to vote FOR bats! Because when we know, we care!
The project See More: FOR the Bats is funded by the Mtel donation programme Mtel Eco Grant . The initiative was launched as a part of the socially-responsible policy of Mtel and provides unconditional funding for ecological projects. It focuses on conservation of biodiversity in Bulgarian nature based on our individual personal commitment and social responsibility. The projects need to result in a deeper understanding and public awareness of the problems and also work toward an active participation of local communities in the realization of the ideas.
The Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation team of the See More: FOR the Bats (Svilen Delchev, Blagovesta Pavlova and Elitsa Ivanova) wishes to thank the coordinator of the Bat Research and Conservation Centre (BRCC) at the National Museum of Natural History – BAS, Boyan Petrov, for the data and support he provided. Without them the project would not have been possible.
Text: Blagovesta Pavlova
Translation and еditing: Alexandar Marinov – Sancho
Develоpment and design of the website: Stanimir Merazchiev and Joana Popova