Since 2013 to 2015 production and installation of 400 bat boxes to be posed in the whole coastal area of Molise region.
-What is the problem addressed and the context which triggered the introduction of the practice?
The scarce awareness of people on the importance of bats for ecosystem services even in land sea environment and their potential for ecotourism
How does the practice reach its objectives and how it is implemented?
400 bat boxes were produced and installed during the Life Maestrale project. This practice besides having direct conservation impact on bat population because bat boxes offer possible alterative roost opportunities to the species present in the coast, it had a very high success in term of dissemination of conservation results and ecotourism. Indeed lots of events related to bat boxes were organised for stakeholders, schools, tourists with a great success in terms of participation.
The bat boxes in wood were built by a local artisan following the instruction provided by the expert on bat of the University of Molise. They were installed in the whole coast of the region from Montenero di Bisaccia to Campomarino, in the Pinewoods close to the sea, in the schools, in agri-tourisms, in farms, in riparian woods near rivers, in planitial forests.
-Who are the main stakeholders and beneficiaries of the practice?
Owners of bars and restaurants
1 expert of the University of Molise to follow the construction and execute the monitoring and the ecotouristic events.
1 member of Ambiente Basso Molise to coordinate the action and organise the dissemination in schools
A local artisan for the bat boxes construction.
Evidence of success
-Increase of the awareness in local people and tourists that ask to repeat the experience and disseminate the news.
-Bats as important vehicle of conservation dissemination
-3 events per year dedicated to bats for adults. At least 10 for children
-An average of 30 people to each event regarding adults
-5000 students reached
9 municipalities interested by travelling exhibits
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice showed how a good dissemination programme could make species who are not so well renown by the public and that can be considered as scaring, become flagship for nature conservation and drivers for ecotourism. Indeed, this practice showed as animals that are less considered in a land-sea system are actually important for the ecosystem services provided in this vulnerable areas. Bats resulted incredible indicators of a good conservation status of the land-sea habitats after conservation actions. In addition bats became a real ecotourism attraction in the Molise coast because of the events organised around bat boxes installation and monitoring and the success obtained by them. Actually we could not imagine to obtain a so important result in term of tourism influence with bats as animal flag species. However now we are confident that bats can also be an engine for ecotourism and this practice can be effective in all places that as conservation strategy installed bat boxes.