Inventory of bat underground sites
in “not-cave” regions of Ukraine


Background. During previous 15 years hundreds of underground bat roosts were found and/or examined in Ukraine. Most of them were examined for bats for the first time, many of them were firstly revealed as speleological objects. First of all, the attention was given to the regions which are rich for natural caves or mines. The work was carried out in Crimean Peninsula, Podolian Upland, the continental Black Sea Region of Ukraine, Donets River Basin. Brief reports on the work are available at http://kazhan.org.ua/eng/projects.htm.

However, the biggest part of Ukraine is “not-cave”. Underground cavities in this part are represented almost or exclusively with anthropogenic structures (cellars, fortifications, bomb shelters, etc.). Many such regions are characterised by poor bat fauna data or their full absence. Thus, the project dealt with the further search, examination and inventory of potential underground bats sites – in “not-cave” regions of Ukraine. The final aim of the work is revealing of underground sites important for monitoring and conservation of bats.


Study area: Rivne, Volyn, Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Vinnytsya, Odesa, Cherkasy, Kyiv, Poltava, Chernigiv, and Sumy oblasts.

Terms. 2014–2015.

Executors. Lena Godlevska (team leader, Sergiy Rebrov, Petro Buzunko. Students from Kyiv Shevchenko National University and National University “Kyiv-Mohula Academy” took part in the field work.



Over 150 cavities were examined. Most of them were examined for bat for the first time. They included: cellars and unheated basements, fortification objects, mines, monastery caves, crypts of abandoned churches, tunnels, artificial underground cavities of unknown purpose, etc.

For description, examination of cavities a standard set of methods will be applied: visual examination, netting at entrances etc. Each underground cavity will be described by the common scheme.

Based on the new results as well as on previously published data we determined six key underground sites: one, for Dn³propetrovsk and Poltava oblasts; two, for Rivne and Zhytomyr oblasts. We also confirmed the overall significance of two previously identified underground key sites, in Kyiv and Kharkiv oblasts.

Received results were published and presented as oral reports during scientific meetings. The list of identified key sites and bat data on them were submitted for inclusion into the list of internationally important underground sites.



Godlevska L., Buzunko P., Rebrov S., Ghazali M. Underground bat sites of “not-cave” region of Ukraine, on results of 2002–2015 // Visnyk of the Lviv University. Series Biology. – 2016. – Is. 71. – P. 178–189. (In Ukrainian.) >>>


The work was supported by Stichting Zoogdierenwerkgroep Zuid-Holland ņą Bat Support Fund for Eastern Europe.

Photo: by L. Godlevska