Our Field Research Station in Tabachka, Bulgaria
The SBRS is the field station of the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Group. It is run in cooperation with the Directorate of the local Rusenski Lom Nature Park. The goal of the field station is to investigate fundamental questions on the sensory ecology, behaviour and biology of bats. At the same time, it provides scientific information needed for the conservation management of the local bat populations.
The station was founded in 2007 by PD Dr. Björn M. Siemers as Tabachka Bat Research Station (TBRS). Since 2014, it is run by the Acoustic and Functional Ecology Group. In remembrance of Björn, the station now bears his name.
The landscape of the Rusenski Lom area 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 station, 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.
International collaborations: Not only members of our research group, but also international colleagues regularly work at SBRS. We warmly welcome any interested colleagues, either as collaborators or as guests contributing to running costs by paying station fees. Contact Holger Goerlitz for further information. Requests for field work need to be received by January 31st each year.