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January 21, 2018

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Secretariat of the Agreement on the
Conservation of Populations of European


Bats have populated the earth for the last 50 million years. These flying mammals have produced all sorts of prejudices and myths since ancient times. Bats are neither vampires in the sense of Count Dracula, nor do they live up to their creepy image in any other way. Bats play a significant role in the ecosystems they inhabit.

In Europe, bats hunt insects such as mosquitoes and moths, making bats an important link in the ecological chain. Their nutritional requirements also help prevent occasional plagues of insects. However, human activities have caused deterioration of vital bat habitats, such as forests and wetlands. This has led to a drastic decline in the European bat populations, which in turn could influence entire ecosystems.

The Agreement on the Conservation of the Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS) was set up in 1991 under the auspices of CMS after recognising the unfavourable conservation status of bats in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. It deals with 52 species of bats known to live in the Agreement Area. Until now, a total of 35 out of 63 range states have acceded to the Agreement. Its main aim is to provide a framework for member countries, and those that have not joined yet, to cooperate for the conservation of bats throughout Europe and beyond.

The EUROBATS Secretariat started its work in Bonn in 1996. It coordinates and organises the activities of the Standing and Advisory Committees and arranges the Meetings of the Parties. It also undertakes initiatives for implementing the Agreement, attracting more member states, raising public awareness, exchanging information, coordinating international research and monitoring initiatives.

In 2001, the EUROBATS Agreement became part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It serves as a successful model to promote similar agreement structures for bat conservation on other continents.

(Source: Common Information Space of the UN Organizations in Bonn)

UN Campus
Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
53113 Bonn

Tel.: +49 228 - 81 52 42 1

e-mail address:


Last update: July 31, 2013



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