Today, caves and some bat populations are declining worldwide because of anthropogenic pressures such as habitat use, tourism, quarrying, and guano mining. The protection of caves is very essential for bat conservation programs because some caves are indispensable and specific living areas for many bat populations. In this chapter, the species composition, colony structure, seasonal population dynamics, roosting habits, and roosting requirements of the bats in Dupnisa Cave System and Koyunbaba Cave in Turkish Thrace are discussed. Dupnisa Cave System and Koyunbaba Cave, which have different roost characteristics and microclimates, are alternative to each other in terms of the season. Therefore, they are inhabited by different bat species for different purposes at different levels according to weather conditions changing throughout the year. Dupnisa Cave System is mainly used by 18 bat species for hibernating, whereas Koyunbaba Cave is mainly used by 11 bat species for breeding and nursing. Due to different roost characteristics and microclimatic conditions, Dupnisa Cave System and Koyunbaba Cave are the most important underground habitats for bat populations in Turkish Thrace. Therefore, the protection of these caves is very important for the future of bat populations in the region.
Part of the book: Cave Investigation