Underground Texas Grotto

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Video . . .
Video: Maple Cave Movie
Video: Guano Gathering
Video: Golondrinas
 

Grace Borengasser explores an underground river -
photo by Peter Sprouse

Cave Conservation in Texas
Caves are a unique and very special part of our natural environment. Because of their slow and gradual formation over many thousands of years, fantastic passage shapes develop, breakdown occurs, sediments are deposited, beautiful calcite formations build up, and various creatures find a home. To be the first to enter such a place is an experience unlikely to be forgotten, but one that only a few people will be privileged to have.

There are approximately 4,000 known caves in Texas, many of which are invaluable as habitats for bats and other animals and are widely used to naturally and artificially recharge the Edwards Aquifer. Where are the caves located in Texas? How did they form? How long are they? How deep are they? Visit the Texas Speleological Survey (TSS) website for more information on Texas speleology. 

Caves can serve as a part of scientific resources. In Central Texas, many caves are found in the Edwards Aquifer. By studying caves, we can determine the amount of flow in the past and the direction of water movement. Improvement on water usage and management can be drawn as a result.

Cave fauna conservation has become increasingly important in recent years. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the Texas Cave Management Association work to preserve endangered cave species in Texas.  These cave animals are under constant threats by urban development and fire ants.