The Research Station in Tabachka, Bulgaria
The Siemers Bat Research Station (SBRS) in Tabachka, Bulgaria, is the field station of the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Group, run in cooperation with the Directorate of the Rusenski Lom Nature Park. The goal of the field station is to investigate fundamental questions on the ecology and behavior of bats and at the same time to provide scientific information needed for the conservation management of the local bat populations. It is situated in the village of Tabachka in Northern Bulgaria. The station was founded in 2007 by PD Dr. Björn M. Siemers as Tabachka Bat Research Station. Since 2014, it is run by the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Group. In remembrance of Björn Siemers, the station now bears his name.
The landscape of the Rusenski Lomarea is characterized by about 170 km of carstic river gorges, forest, bush and steppe habitats, small scale self-subsistence farming in the gorges and large scale agriculture on the plateau. More than 600 caves and rocky niches provide natural roosts for bats. At least 23 bats species occur in the area, of which we regularly include 10-15 in our research work.
At the field staion, bats can fly freely in two large flight rooms. Here we simulate natural situations for studying animal behaviour, such as foraging or interspecific communication. Using infrared sensitive cameras, some of them high-speed, and ultrasound recording equipment, we observe the animal's behaviour without disturbing them. In addition to the studies at the station, the station is our perfect base to go out and study bat biology in the field.
In addition to members of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, international colleages regularly work in Tabachka, and we warmly welcome any interested colleagues.