3 Main Ecosystems:EPIGEAN ZONE (entrance): smallest and located in thefront of the cave. Home to animals such as:raccoons, pack rats, snakes, bears and porcupines.ENDOGEAN ZONE (twilight): behind the entrance ofcave. It is darker and cooler. Animals that live there arecalled troglophiles (“cave lovers”) such asbats, owls, beetles and salamanders.TRYPOGEAN ZONE (dark): No light what so ever. It iscool and wet year around. Animals that live in this zoneare troglobites. Examples are blind crayfish, giant cavecentipedes, eyeless shrimp, glowworms and spiders thatdo not spin webs.
There are more than 7,000known species of troglobites.They have no eyes but othersharp senses.Can live weeks and evenmonths without eating.Some have life spans of morethan 100 years. Example:~ Glowworms - have glandsin mouth that create silk.~ Bats - a key species in theecosystem of a cave.
There are more than1,100 different speciesof bats in the world.Their guano(droppings) providesfood for a variety ofcreatures, like crabsandcockroaches, which isfood for the giantcentipedes. If a bat isawaken it is at risk ofstarvation and death.
Problems?Caves can be harmed by thingsthat happen on the earthssurface.Polluted water can carrysewage and chemicals fromfactories or farms into caves.Dams can cause lakes or riversto rise, filling nearby caves.Animals living in these cavesmay drown. Speleothems stopgrowing. The caves can nolonger be visited or studied.Most cave damage, however, isdone by careless or thoughtlessvisitors. some people dumptheir trash in caves. Otherspaint cave walls, carve theirnames on rocks, or breakspeleothems. In a fewseconds, vandals can destroythe beauty of a cave that tookhundreds of thousands of yearsto form
The most dramatic declinesin macroscopic cave faunaswere caused by the directdisturbance and killing ofbats and massive kills ofstygobites from waterprojects, sewage, andchemicals. Perhaps six cavespecies became extinct as aresult of human activities, butother extinctions may haveoccurred. Many species ofbats, cavefishes, andcrustaceans cannot be foundin their historic sites today.
Clean up after yourself!Don’t shine light on the animals! Don’t tag on the walls. Solution
Work CitedTypes of Caves pictures: Google imagesCaves Located: http://www.travelet.com/2010/02/10-awesome-caves-of-the-world/Solution: they can visit American Cave Conservation Association :http://www.cavern.orghttp://www.cave-research.orgProblems :http://www.utexas.edu/tmm/sponsored_sites/biospeleology/pdf/2006%20cavebio%20issues.pdfElliot William R. (2005) Critical Issues in Cave Biology. (35-38).Solution :http://www.scavalon.be/avalonuk/protection/protection_DIY.htmhttp://www.cavern.org/acca/aboutacca.php