The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats came into force in 1994 and until now a total of 36 out of 63 range states have acceded to the Agreement.
The Agreement was set up under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, which recognises that endangered migratory species can be properly protected only if activities are carried out over the entire migratory range of the species.
The Bat Agreement aims to protect all 53 European bat species through legislation, education, conservation measures and international co-operation with Agreement members and with those who have not yet joined. The Agreement provides a framework of co-operation for the conservation of bats throughout Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.
In 1995, the First Session of the Meeting of Parties to the Agreement formed an Action Plan, which was to be translated into international action. They established an Advisory Committee to carry forward this Plan between the Meetings of Parties.
The most significant items for the Advisory Committee are monitoring and international activities. A pan-European observation study identifies population trends and facilitates the timely introduction of measures to address any problems which the study's results throw up. The study is based upon representative species, and consistent methods for observing them are used.
International-protection measures for bats are most important for those species which migrate the furthest across Europe. Possible dangers caused by bottle-neck situations in the migratory routes of various species are identified and addressed. The Advisory Committee also examines the available data about the migratory behaviour of representative bat species.