Northwest Florida Environmental Conservancy, Part 2
Home | Biodiversity of the Northern Gulf Coast | Ecosystems of Northwest Florida | Bogs, Seepage Slopes, Savannas & Carnivorous Plants | Steepheads | Terrestrial Caves | Caves - Page 2 | Rare & Unusual Plants of the Northern Gulf Coast | Beneficial Critters & Species! | Elusive & Rare Florida Panhandle Amphibians & Reptiles | Which Snake is Venomous? | Rare Amphibians & Reptiles of Upland Sandhills | The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake | Bats Roosting in Florida Bridges | Jackson County, Florida: Rare & Endangered Species Summary | Amphibians & Reptiles of the Florida Panhandle - A Checklist | Bats of Florida - A Checklist | Crayfish of Florida - A Checklist | Damselflies & Dragonflies of Northwest Florida - A Checklist | Darters of the Florida Panhandle - A Checklist | Carnivorous Plant Species of Florida - A Checklist | Carnivorous Plant Species of the United States - A Checklist | At the End of the Rainbow
Terrestrial Caves


(Above) Alamo Cave - Jackson Co., FL.
  Terrestrial caves are extremely unique and delicate ecosystems, with many specialized species of animals utilizing or living in them.  A variety of unusual animals can be found near or in caves, such as bats, salamanders and numerous invertebrates.  A host of endemic or highly adapted organisms can be found in caves such as albino cave crayfishes and the Georgia Blind Cave salamander.  
  At least 380 dry caves are found in Florida and over 140 caves occur in the Marianna Lowlands region, of the larger Dougherty Karst PlainKarst is a term for areas with abundant limestone, and features such as caves, sinkholes and springs.  The Dougherty Karst Plain occurs in southwest Georgia and stretches southwesterly through southeastern Alabama, into the central Florida panhandle.   At least 1,000 caves are also found in Georgia, and over 2000 caves are found in Alabama.


(Above) The boundaries of the Dougherty Karst Plain in northwest Florida fall within the red line.
(Below) The boundaries of the Dougherty Karst Plain in southeast Alabama fall within the red line.



(Above) The boundaries of the Dougherty Karst Plain in southwest Georgia fall within the red line.

Regional examples of where unique Karst features can be found are FL Caverns and Falling Waters State Parks.  Local caves are made of limestone or Calcium Carbonate.  Caves form over millions of years from the compressed remains of dead mollusks such as oysters, clams, snails and other shellfish that once lived in large tropical bays.  It also takes hundreds to thousands of years for formations to develop in caves.


(Above) Terrestrial cave - Jackson Co., FL. Notice the numerous Atamasco lilies around the cave, and several Oak-leaf Hydrangea plants on the left.

Cave Links

National Speleological Society

National Caves Association

Florida Speological Society

Georgia Speleological Survey

Florida Statute providing Landowner Liability Limitation


Pg. 7 Caves - page 2