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The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats$
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David C. Culver and Tanja Pipan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198820765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198820765.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 July 2021

Conservation and Protection of Subterranean Habitats

Conservation and Protection of Subterranean Habitats

(p.226) 10 Conservation and Protection of Subterranean Habitats
The Biology of Caves and Other Subterranean Habitats

David C. Culver

Tanja Pipan

Oxford University Press

A critical factor of the subterranean fauna and one that increases the risk of extinction is geographical rarity. Some stygobionts and troglobionts are also numerically rare. Subterranean organisms are also at increased risk of extinction because of low reproductive rates, and in the case of bats, because of their propensity to cluster in large numbers in a few caves. Threats to the subterranean fauna are of four general kinds—alteration of the physical habitat, changes in water quality and quantity, direct changes to the subterranean fauna, and global warming. The selection of sites for preservation requires detailed inventory data, but available evidence suggests that a majority of species can be protected at least at one site and that a relatively small percentage of total land area is required. A variety of mechanisms are available for site protection, including listing as a Ramsar wetland and as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Keywords:   endemism, extinction threats, geographical rarity, Ramsar wetlands, UNESCO World Heritage sites

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