The Underground World

 

Slovenia is a world-renowned country for karstic phenomena and especially caves. Even the scientific term “karst” is used worldwide to describe geological phenomena formed during the dissolution of limestone and dolomite rocks, “The Karst” being the name of the extensive limestone plateau stretching from western Slovenia, to northeast Italy and northwest Croatia. Although the Karst is full of surface phenomena like dolines, poljes, limestone pavements and so on, the greatest natural treasures are found underground. In Slovenia there are around 10,000 known karstic caves, with an average 100 new caves discovered every year. Most of them are found in western and central Slovenia. Some of the most famous and beautiful caves in Slovenia include Škocjanske jame (UNESCO site), Postojnska jama, Križna jama and Planinska jama.The Slovenian Karst is also known as one of the most species-rich in terms of its underground fauna, hosting about 400-450 species of cave animals. The first cave animals in the world were described using specimens from Slovenian karstic caves. The caves at Postojna are also known as the cradle of speleobiology, a branch of biology concentrating on the study of life lived underground.

 

 

Most famous and charismatic species : 

 

 

Olm Proteus anguinus

Black Olm Proteus anguinus

Common Cave Cricket Troglophilus cavicola

Neglected Cave Cricket Troglophilus neglectus

Harvestmen Arachnids (Opiliones)

Greater Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum

Lesser Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus hipposideros

Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat Rhinolopus euryale

Common Bentwing Bat Miniopterus schreibersii