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Crofts River Cave Two

August 15, 2010

District: Crofts River

Parish: Clarendon

WGS84 L/L: By request only

JAD2001: By request only

JAD69: By request only

Altitude: 470m WGS84

Accuracy: +/- 5m horizontal; +/- 10m vertical


Type: Complex river passage

Accessibility: Scramble

Depth: >30m

Length: >275m

Explorers: JCC, 1976; JCO, 2010

Survey: JCC (incomplete)

Vegetation in general locale: Scrub/farm

Vegetation at entrance: Scrub

Geology: White limestone

Bedding: Poor

Jointing: Poor

Speleothems: Stals, flowstone

Palaeo resources: None seen

Archaeo resources: None

Hydrology: Wet

Dark zone: >99%

Climate: ~22, Humid

Bats: ~1000

Bat guano: Some

Guano mining: None

Guano condition: Wet

Visitation: Rare

Speleothem damage: None

Graffiti: None

Trash: None

Ownership: Private

Protection: None

Vulnerability: High

Crofts River Cave One
August 15, 2010
Team: RS Stewart, J Pauel, Kingman, IC Conolley, A Hyde
Notes: RS Stewart

Video: Crofts River Caves (70 MB WMV)

The personnel for the visit were the same as Cave-1. The entrance had been found by Stewart in 2006, but not entered.

First, it must be noted that the map in Jamaica Underground (JCC 1976) is very inaccurate, as is the description, and there is much more to the cave than is indicated. A mapping survey of the site is high on the JCO to-do list.

The entrance consists of a south facing collapse pit, with a scramble down over boulders leading to two routes further into the cave. Kingman and Stewart took the eastern branch, and the others went west. We met up again lower down, after Kingman and Stewart had gone through a complex series of small chambers on the east, in a lower river passage that had standing water during the time of our visit. This was followed, and beyond about 50 metres, a couple of small passages on the east side fed water into the main collector; we were then in flowing water.

After a couple of hundred metres, the passage opens up into a chamber where there is a bat roost of moderate size (apx 1000). It then narrows again somewhat, and starts to descend in a series of steps. There was a good flow of water down this. At the bottom, it levelled out again, but because time was growing short, and there had been storms outside when we entered, we decided to stop there (flood risk). Adam Hyde went somewhat further than the rest of us, and reported that the passage seemed to continue.

Cave-2, with regard to the bat inventory, has higher priority than Cave-1. The roost seemed to be mixed-species, and is entirely in the dark zone. Catch and release can take place with a mist net just outside the entrance collapse.

The invertebrate inventory was neglected by Stewart due to the exploratory nature of the visit, and is also on the to-do list.

N.B: Caution. The water in the cave seems to be very polluted with bacteria. Stewart had several small cuts on his right foot and leg that subsequently became badly infected, and needed two courses of antibiotics to clear up. This caused him to lose ten days of fieldwork afterward in the session.

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