Welcome to the website of the European LIFE+ Chiro Med program
The LIFE+ Chiro Med program aims to ensure the conservation and integrated management of two species of bat in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and Languedoc-Roussillon regions, amongst the 34 species present in France: The Greater Horseshoe Bat and Geoffroy‘s Bat.
This program is coordinated by the «Syndicat mixte de gestion du Parc naturel regional de Camargue» (Joint Management of the Camargue Regional Nature Park) which consists of eight technical partners, five French financial partners, eleven scientific experts, the European Commission and an external agency.
The program focuses on three geographic areas, the Camargue, the Alpilles Massif and the Gardon gorges, and on eight sites of common interest, called SIC (Sites d’Intérêt Communautaire) In effect, in the French Mediterranean region, the main populations of the two species targeted by the program are concentrated in these three territories. In winter, these species hibernate in the cavities of the Alpilles and the Gardon gorges, while in summer they come to feed and reproduce in the Camargue.
Thus, the program allows the combination of technical and territorial skills to overcome the five major threats to the Greater Horseshoe Bat and Geoffroy’s Bat in all the stages of their life cycle:
- The loss and alteration of breeding and hibernation grounds, in particular caused by the renovation of buildings or bridges, felling of old trees, the closure of underground cavities, over population, etc..
- The loss and alteration of habitats used as feeding sites (hunting grounds) and transit areas, especially those generated by urbanization, road development, the levelling of hedges, etc..
- The reduction of food resources due to pesticide use and modification of pastoral practice, with the advent of powerful pesticides having a devastating effect on dung insects which the bats feed on.
- Mortality on the roads,
- Misunderstanding of bats.
To fight against these threats, the program plans for the implementation of 29 actions grouped into three strategic areas:
- Improved knowledge of the species,
- The development and protection of breeding areas,
- Dissemination of knowledge and information to increase public awareness.
You will find on this site, the latest news and information about the program and the results of action taken, and media information to download.
Calendar: From January 2010 to March 2014
Total Budget: 2 320 060 euros
European funding: 1 160 030 euros