• Nature Conservation
  • Rural Development
  • Communication

Bat Report on Forchtenstein Castle

What is at issue?

In Forchtenstein Castle in the Austrian province of Burgenland, tourism, architectural heritage conservation and the protection of species have been coexisting for a long time. However, since the castle has been designated part of the European nature reserve “Mattersburg Hills” (Mattersburger Hügelland), there has been a lot of mistrust between the castle administration and nature conservation professionals, due to the current nonexistence of stipulations regarding the management of the rare lesser horseshoe bat, which lives in the castle.

What is the benefit?

Particularly when it comes to modification and renovation work, basic knowledge of the species is just as necessary as a solid management strategy taking its requirements into account. The “bat report” serves to provide the castle administration with information on the correct handling of these endangered animals, and on the other hand helps restore trust between the administration and nature conservation professionals.

Pictures from the project


What do we do?

In collaboration with bat experts and the castle administration, we create a situation analysis of the bat population including challenges the castle management is confronted with. Taking into consideration the specific conditions on site, we present the administration with the ecology of the lesser horseshoe bat, and propose specific management measures. All this should help the responsible individuals evaluate what kind of activities (e.g. renovations, expansion of tourist infrastructure, etc.) could be potentially harmful.

What else?

«For over 100 years the bats have been living with and among us.»

Herbert Zechmeister, Forchtenstein Castle Administration

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Identification of central factors characterizing the habitat for the definition of targeted renovation and development measures; Supporting arguments for public relations and educational work;

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