The Mediterranean horseshoe bat and some of its roosts are protected in Europe by national legislation (1). It is included in the Bonn Convention (12) and the Bern Convention (13), and it is also listed on Annex II and IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive (14), which means that protective measures must be taken to ensure its conservation (1).
The Mediterranean horseshoe bat’s habitat receives some further protection through Natura 2000 (15), while the EU LIFE Program, which funds environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, may also benefit this species directly or indirectly in France, Spain and Italy (1) (16). The Mediterranean horseshoe bat is also protected under the Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (EUROBATS), which aims to protect all 52 species of bats in Europe through legislation, education, conservation measures and international co-operation (17).
The primary recommended conservation measure for the Mediterranean horseshoe bat is to ensure the protection of its habitat, particularly its underground roost sites and its foraging sites in broadleaved woodlands (6) (8). Correctly managing these sites is essential to ensure this species’ survival (6).
Management activities identified as being important for the conservation of the Mediterranean horseshoe bat include managing logging and coppicing in its foraging habitat, leaving a system of woodland corridors and patches to connect areas of undisturbed woodland, and maintaining riparian vegetation, hedgerows and tree lines (6).
Reforestation of areas with broadleaved trees has also been suggested as an additional measure to counter the negative impact that urbanisation has on this species (6). Similarly, controlling access to caves and mines where the Mediterranean horseshoe bat roosts and hibernates will be essential in minimising levels of disturbance to this species (3).