Jamaican Caving Notes
Dunco Spring Cave
May 4, 2005
Team: Stewart, Conolley
Notes: RS Stewart
It took us two tries to nail this one, but we definitely got it, and the position is good.
This cave is not a "spring", it is a sink, primarily taking water seasonally from a medium-sized cockpit that it sits on the north edge of. The entrance is not easy to find, because there is a long stretch of low bedding-plane passages cut into the hill that all seem to take some water. We looked at several spots along this on our first visit, without being sure that we had the right site. The second time, we crawled into the right place, found the passage, and followed it for about 60m until lack of air-space above the water, and rainy-season, suggested that we go no further.
During rains, there is a real flood-risk in this cave. Where we turned around, the water would have only had to risen about 50cm to cut you off from the entrance, if you were further in. In low caves that take water from a cockpit, this can happen very quickly if a large storm pulls in.
A small colony of bats is using the outer part of the cave, mostly in the twilight zone, but not entirely. We saw no trog inverts. It floods to the roof in much of it.
S. verleyi were present in the passage. E. cundalli are using the outer part.
The cockpit, which is the catchment, was not in cultivation when we were there, but it has been in the past. The topsoil made available for the run-off during those times continues to be present in the cave. Garbage has also been rafted-in.
We are listing this site with a medium vulnerability, due to the potential for agriculture to resume in the cockpit. Whatever chemicals are used will soon find their way into the cave, and siltation will begin again. If one looks at the WGS84 plot of this site on the topo, it will be seen that these passages are the only route out for rains that fall on the glade.
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