Jamaican Caving Notes
May 8, 2005
Team: Stewart, Conolley
Notes: RS Stewart
Main Entrance: WGS84 - 18 10 34.5, 77 45 15.8; Alt: 170; Accuracy: +/- 10m; Aspect: 190 deg true
East Entrance: WGS84 - 18 10 34.4, 77 45 14.8; Alt: 170; Accuracy: +/- 10m; Aspect: 45 deg true
We found this site easily, with the assistance of the Thompson family, who own the land, and a friend of theirs, Garfield Harris, who led us to the main entrance. We would like to thank them for their kind assistance.
The cave appears to be an old, stranded stream passage, joint-developed, with only this section left in an outcropping of hill, and the terrain on either end eroded away. The passage is quite high, over 25m, and equally wide in sections. There are two entrances, one on the west that can be entered via scramble up a hill, and one at the east end of the passage that is 10+m up a vertical cliff. The entire cave is in the twilight zone.
The cave is a seasonal roost for Artibeus, although there were none present during our visit (Garfield told us he sees them there in Sept). This occupation must go back for many centuries, because large-scale guano mining that has taken place here managed to remove over 10m of material from the floor of the cave. It would be suspected that much of this was nutrient-enriched dirt. We do not know the exact time-frame when this happened, but it was evidently since the 1971 visit by the JCC, because the 7m drop they mention no longer exists. The passage has been excavated enough to have removed this. We actually have never seen anything like it before: the original level of the dirt floor is visible by the staining on the walls of the passage, and our estimate of 10m is conservative - it might be closer to 15.
There are no trog inverts, because there is no dark-zone. The passage is only 80-90 metres long, and both entrances are large enough to admit much daylight. The humidity and temperature are close to outside ambient, because of the breeze that blows through.
We are listing this cave with a low vulnerability, because it is so degraded already. The Artibeus are very tolerant of human disturbance, and would be expected to continue to use the cave as much as in the past. No other Chiropteran species are likely to roost here, because it is well-lit by the entrances.
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