Uchlovitsa Cave

Uchlovitsa Cave is considered an important roost for the conservation of bat populations in the Western Rhodope Mountains. A small (probably breeding colony) colony of  Mediterranean horseshoe bats lives in the cave during the summer. In the period 15th August – 30th September Uchlovitsa cave serves as an important place for autumn gathering of bats, called swarming. At that time of the year , a lot of male and female individuals from at least 6 different species gather near the entrance of the cave. The cave is also known to serves as a winter roost for 50 to150 individuals from at least 3 species of bats: the greater and lesser horseshoe bats and the greater mouse-eared bat.

Uchlovitsa Cave serves as a roost for а total of 8 species of bats which inhabit the cave in different seasons of the year:

  1. Greater horseshoe batRhinolophus ferrumequinum
  2. Lesser horseshoe batRhinolophus hipposideros
  3. Mediterranean horseshoe bat -Rhinolophus blasii
  4. Geoffroy’s bat -Myotis emarginatus
  5. Greater mouse-eared batMyotis myotis
  6. Serotine bat – Eptesicus serotinus
  7. Grey long-eared bat – Plecotus austriacus
  8. Common pipistrelle bat – Pipistrellus pipistrellus

Bulgaria boasts 33 out of the 35 bat species living in Europe. All bats in Bulgaria are under the protection of the national Biodiversity Act! Five of the species living in and around the Uchlovitsa cave have a priority conservation status for all Europe: the greater and lesser horseshoe bats, the Blasius’s horseshoe bat, the greater mouse-eared bat and the Geoffroy’s bat.