International expedition in Panama
From 11 to 15 January 2017 an international cave expedition was held in Panama. The expedition was attended by researchers from the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Costa Rica, France, Poland and four Bulgarians under the flag of the Bulgarian Federation of Speleology. The event was organized by scientists and researchers from different spheres of science.
The purpose of the expedition was to study the difficult and unfamiliar Baiano area in eastern Panama.
The area is only accessible by boat and the climate is heavily influenced by the artificial Baiano Lake, which determines the way of life of the local population of the Kuna Yala, which mainly feeds on fishing and farming. Around the lake, one of the most preserved rain forests in Panama is growing.
So far, 50 caves have been known for the country. During the expedition, 10 caves were discovered and described, some of which are connected to a complex underground system, which may be the longest in Panama. Several cliffs have been explored, the most interesting of which is the “Magic Hole” – called by the local people so that something once released in the cave disappears forever. In addition to speleological activity that included environmental research and mapping, surveys of above-ground fauna were conducted.
For the limited time, it has been found that the area has great potential and requires more in-depth research that we hope to do soon.
List of participants:
|Austin Garrido||Expedition leader||USA|
|Bernadette Rigley||Research Assistant||USA|
|Nia Toshkova||Bat biologist||Bulgaria|
|Stanimira Deleva||Bat biologist||Bulgaria|
|Angel Ivanov||Cave instructor||Bulgaria|
|Ilouise Ebr||Sustainable development expert||France|
|Richard Solano||Caver||Costa rica|
|Michael Martinez||Caver||Costa rica|
|Christian Salazar||Bat biologist||Costa rica|
|Michelle Nowak||Research Assistant||USA|
|Gerald Carter||Bat biologist||USA|
Cave bat (Pteronotus gymnonotus)
At the entrance of the “Magic Hole”