International Year of Caves and Karst 2021

Cave Beetle - the first International Cave Animal of the Year

As part of the International Year of Caves and Karst 2021 (IYCK), UIS announced the first International Cave Animal of the Year. The International Cave Animal will raise worldwide attention on the little-known zoological diversity and importance of subterranean habitats, and thus contribute to global awareness of the urgent need for cave protection.

The first international Cave Animal of the Year are cave beetles.

The Slenderneck Beetle Leptodirus hochenwartii was the first cave insect described. It was first discovered in September 1831 by a cave guide who picked it up while exploring a part of the Postojna cave system in southwest Slovenia. 

To raise the awareness of the importance of cave ecosystems and their fauna, we are preparing the publication of book Life Deep Beneath, written by an expert speleobiologist, Slavko Polak, which will be published in English and Slovenian language.

Throughout the year we will be notifying you of variety of events that celebrate the International Year of Caves and Karst.