1. 8. 2018 – 31. 7. 2020
PI / SubBioLab Coordinator:
Maja Zagmajster, Montenegrian PI: Marko Karaman
Dinarides are a world hotspot in subterranean species richness, with a robust pattern of two regional biodiversity hotspots – one in southern Slovenia and the other one in the area of southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, southern Croatia and northwestern Montenegro. Slovenia has the longest tradition of speleobiological research, while studies in some countries, like Montenegro, are few. Such lack of data greatly hinders practical conservation of subterranean species and habitats. Fieldwork conducted in Montenegrian caves in recent years resulted in interesting findings, already opening new views on the distribution of subterranean taxa and even discoveries of new species for science. In this bilateral project between Slovenia and Montenegro, we will strengthen the links between the two research teams, by mutual visits in partner countries. Researchers will have the unique opportunity to transfer Slovenian experiences in subterranean biodiversity research and conservation to Montenegro. Fieldwork conducted in some of the less explored parts of the country will help in evaluating the importance of such areas for subterranean biodiversity in Montenegro. By mapping all available records, we will be able to identify gaps in knowledge on subterranean species in the country. This presents a scientific basis for further research and nature conservation activities in Montenegro. We will also compare the efficiency of conservation policies of each country for the protection of subterranean biodiversity.