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Guinea Corn Cave

February 8-9, 2010

District: Richmond

Parish: St Ann

WGS84 L/L: 18 26 13.1, 77 14 23.2

JAD2001: 724669 E, 698382 N

JAD69: 224558 E, 198093 N

Altitude: 105m WGS84

Accuracy: +/- 5m horizontal; +/- 15m vertical


Type: Chamber

Accessibility: Vertigear

Depth: 6m

Length: 10m

Explorers: GSD

Survey: None

JU Ref: pg 192

JU Map: N/A

Entrance size: 3m, 1.5m, .7m W

Entrance aspect: Zenith (all)

Vegetation in general locale: Scrub/farm

Vegetation at entrance: Scrub

Geology: White limestone

Bedding: Poor

Jointing: Poor

Speleothems: Stals

Palaeo resources: None seen

Archaeo resources: None seen

Hydrology: Dry

Dark zone: 0%.

Climate: 25 deg C, dry.

Bats: <500

Bat guano: Some

Guano mining: Occasional

Guano condition: Dry

Visitation: Occasional

Speleothem damage: None

Graffiti: None

Trash: Some (trash)

Ownership: Private

Protection: None

Vulnerability: Low.

Guinea Corn Cave
February 8-9, 2010
Team: RS Stewart, A Donaldson (NEPA)
Notes: RS Stewart

Guinea Corn Cave was visited twice - first on Feb 8, 2010, by Stewart, during which the cave was entered, and again the next day, Feb 9, with the NEPA crew, to carry out capture and release bat netting.

The Jamaica Underground coordinates for the site have poor accuracy, as do most of the others received from the Geological Survey Department (GSD), and are out 655m. There is also a problem with the stated length, which is given as 30m. The true length is 10m, or apx 30 feet. Because of these descrepancies, a thorough search for other caves in the area was carried out to make sure the identification was good. None were found or learned of, and the other details in JU were a match for the site, so we believe it was truly the listed cave. Specifically, the cave is 45m east of the road, the depth is 6m, there is a hole about 1.5m wide (although there are also two others), and the local district is/was called Guinea Corn (the name does not seem to be in current use).

Three upward facing holes give access to a small chamber cave. The smallest, a little higher than the others, can be scrambled via tree roots to the bottom. There are about 15 bellholes in the ceiling with most of them occupied by Artibeus jamaicensis. Total bat numbers are about 100-200. The entire chamber is well lit during daylight hours.

On February 9, a team made up of Stewart from the JCO, Andrea Donaldson and several others from NEPA, and Susan Koenig from the Windsor Research Centre carried out capture and release netting with a harp trap. The two smallest holes were covered, and tarps erected around the one open hole to direct bats into the trap. Shrubby canopy somewhat sealed the top, although some bats were seen to fly through this. Local sunset was 18:06. At 18:06, bats were seen circling in the open hole. Actual emergence did not begin until 18:18, and this was not complete - that is, the bats repeatedly rose, circling out of the hole, to sink back into the cave again. It appeared as though they were so confused by the enclosed area that they would not even use the most open route out, which was through the harp trap. After about 30 minutes of this, Susan suggested that we open a tarp a little beside the trap to invite them to fly in that direction. This was of some help, although by the end of the netting we had only caught 2-3 Artibeus. A bat detector showed only Artibeus, no other species, so at about 19:30 we gave up, removed the gear, and made the short hike back to the vehicles.

The cave is a very minor roost, and has no dark zone, so we are listing it with low vulnerability.

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