Protection and promotion of cave crab (Alpioniscus Slatinensis) and globally endangered bat (Rhinokophus Hipposideros) within caves in Natural Monument Slatinski Izvor
Protection and promotion of cave crab (Alpioniscus Slatinensis) and globally endangered bat (Rhinokophus Hipposideros) within caves in Natural Monument Slatinski Izvor
Natural Monument “Slatinski Izvor” (NM “Slatinski Izvor) is located in the Porece basin, on mountain Pesjak in the lower riverbed of Slatinska Reka. Administratively, the protected area belongs to Municipality of Makedonski Brod. Beside the main cave Slatinski Izvor, within the protectred area there are 4 more caves located: Gorna Slatinska, Slatinska II, Ovcharska Cave and Puralo. All of them are evolved in the oldest rocks on Earth. Due to its speleological, hydrogeological and biospeleological characteristics, the cave is on the tentative list of UNESCO since 24th of June 2004. Additionally is declared for Natural Monument by the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia on February 22, 2011 with the Law for declaring Natural Monument Slatinski Izvor (Official Gazette No. 23/11). Exploring Society “Ursus Speleos” from Skopje, undertook the Management for Nature Monument “Slatinski Izvor” on May 31. 2012 by the Municipality. The decision was confirmed by the Council of Municipality Makedonski Brod (Decision No. 07-409/12 from May 31, 2012).
Cave habitats represent world in complete darkness with constant temperature and high humidity. Species that live in such habitats have to adapt on the conditions and live in surroundings with limited food. Hence, significant amount of caves species are endangered. Sometimes the basic food source of the species in the caves is the guano from bats, which are feeding themselves in the outside. Some animals are feeding themselves directly from the guano, while others from the bacterias and fungus from the decomposes. Small cave species are feeding themselves with the bacterias and fungus, and become food for the larger predators. The following feeding chain within the cave, cause for the species to depend of each other. Due to these specific circumstances it is important not to hinder the life processes of the cave animal.
The cave fauna is represented in the caves within Natural Monument “Slatinski Izvor” through the cave crab (Alpioniscus slatinensis) and the bat (Rhinolophus hipposider?s), as well as other species.
Alpioniscus slatinensis is cave specie that spent the whole life cycle within the cave (troglobiont) and they are not able to survive in the outside. Due to the shortage of food within the cave, this species developed different senses in order to survive. The analyzed specie is local endemic specie and it is evidenced in the scientific literature for first time in this caves.
Rhinolophus hipposider?s is one of the smallest bats in the world. It can live in total darkness, but it can also survive in the outside (trogloxen). In certain time he goes out of the cave for food, and use the cave mostly for hibernation and breeding. Due to its vulnerability for any hinders within the cave system, these bats are globally endangered species.
The relatively easy access to the horizontal entrances of the caves, are challenging for many visitors. Uncontrolled visits in caves by regular people represent serious risk in shifting the natural balance within the cave and put their existence at stake. Low level of knowledge and education in overall of locals about the cave fauna demands promotional and educational activities to be undertaken in order to protect, but also promote the significant species living in the area.

Conservation of natural habitat of cave crab (Alpioniscus slatinensis) and bat (Rhinolophus hipposider?s), within the caves in Natural Monument “Slatinski Izvor”
The existence of cave crab is conditional from the existence of bats. On other hand, the existence of bats is conditional from the surroundings in its natural habitats. The disturbance in general is the highest risk for the bats themselves. Protection of their natural habitat and ensuring continuance is project priority. Setting cave gates in compliance with EUROBATS standards, will allow practical protection of their natural habitat without disrupting the natural system.

Increasing and protection of endangered species in Natural Monument “Slatinski Izvor”
One of the main challenges within the project is to influence the reducing of endangered populations within the protected area. Through promotional and educational activities, to the local stakeholders from Municipality of Makedonski Brod, the project will directly influence the increasing of awareness about the biodiversity, which would result with increasing and protection of populations within the protected areas.

Promotion of approaches for protection and conservation of local endemic cave crab (Alpioniscusslatinensis) and globally endangered bat (Rhinolophus hipposider?s) within caves in Natural Monument “Slatinski Izvor”
Through promotion of different approaches presented by experts engaged within the project the capacities for management will be significantly improved towards general management, sustainable usage of available resources while protecting the biodiversity.

Educating the local about the importance of protecting the cave biodiversity within the Natural Monument “Slatinski Izvor”
Exploring Society “Ursus Speleos” - Skopje is responsible to seek different management tools for improving the local awareness of the locals. Thus it would significantly improve the capacity of the organization itself. With the undertaken activities local will learn what and how to do in the protected area and it would significantly reduce the risk of unintentional mistakes. The entrance will be controlled and vy purpose. Direct meetings with locals, development of brochures and info boards are planned means in order to increase the awareness.
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Project Snapshot

Ursus Speleos
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 14,610.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 800.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 14,047.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Number of globally significant species protected by project 2
Number and type of support linkages established with local governments/authorities 1
Number of individuals (gender diaggregated) who have benefited* from SGP project 30

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Zlatko Samardziev
Ms Melita Ivanova


Majka Tereza 15/6
Skopje, 1000