1. The Project titled „Protection of endangered bat species within the framework of the Natura 2000 network in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship” aims at protection of endangered bat species that are under protection in the Natura 2000 sites in which the Project measures have been intended to be implemented.
2. The protection measures, that aim at safeguarding the summer bat colonies and winter bat shelters, arise from the Protection Measure Plans adopted for the purpose of protecting those areas. The protection measures under the Project are essential for preservation of the summer bat colonies and winter bat shelters in the area of the Podkarpackie Voivodeship. The counting procedures, that had been carried out in the period of 2013–2015 for the purpose of developing the Protection Measure Plans for the Natura 2000 sites such as the Church in Równe, the Church in Skalnik and Rymanów, indicated a substantial decline in the number of bats in the sacred objects located in the aforementioned Natura 2000 sites. The decline has also been reported in the number of bats wintering in bunkers of the so called Molotov Line, situated in Horyniec and Uroczyska Roztocza Wschodniego Natura 2000 sites.
3. The major tasks indispensable for protection of the endangered bats include:
* Protection of the summer bat colonies by means of replacement of the roofing of 4 churches (the Church in Równe, the Church in Skalnik, the Church in Rzepnik, the Church in Sieniawa),
* the building structure repair works in the Church in Sieniawa,
* construction of guano platforms in 3 objects (the Church in Sieniawa, Skalnik and Rzepnik),
* conversion in order to facilitate the rise in the number of bats in the summer colonies – creation of additional openings for bats and marking the openings accurately or mounting tin shields protecting against predators,
* protection of winter shelters – mounting grids by the entrance to the bunkers and shutting the exit openings in order to prevent hibernating bats from being woken up,
* conversion in order to facilitate occupation of new hibernation shelters,
* local community awareness raising in terms of bats protection, the attempt to change the attitude to those untypical and appealing mammals and publicity of wildlife-based tourism.
4. The intended measures to protect the summer bat colonies and winter bat shelters arise from the best available knowledge and experience. The protection measures were preceded by outdoor studies and are supported by relevant provisions in the Protection Measure Plans as well as the related literature. The measures are also based on implementation of the project „LIFE HORSESHOE BAT +” developed by the Polish Wildlife Friends Society „pro Natura” implementing the Smaller Horseshoe Bat and other bat species protection programme in Southern Poland.
5. With regard to implementation of the Project „Protection of endangered bat species within the framework of the Natura 2000 network in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship” the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Rzeszów was honoured with the Horseshoe Bat Land Award for its commitment to the bat protection measures.