The caves require regular care. The karst and cave territories are regularly checked by the speleological guard service – the rangers specialized for cave protection, control of the cave ecosystems and gates closing of the threatened caves. The members of the speleological guard service are named by the territorially appropriate regional offices for the environment according to the § 70-72 of the act no. 543/2002 of the Legal Codes on Nature and Landscape Protection on motion of the Slovak Caves Administration.
The history of the speleological guard service
The activities of the nature guard in the form of the speleological guard service arose in 2001 under the State Nature Conservation of the Slovak Republic. The competency over all the caves in Slovakia was taken over by the Slovak Caves Administration in 2002, which meant also the speleological guard service. Activities of the rangers were widened by practical care for caves (regular control of caves, cooperation at revisions, closing and cleaning the caves and maintenance of gates).
The rangers send regular reports on their control activities to the coordinators at the Slovak Caves Administration. The reports are recorded and if needed immediately dealt with. The speleological guard service was an effective form of cave protection also for other bodies in nature protection.
Every year a vocational seminar is held to coordinate the activities of rangers and improve their knowledge. Lectures on application the legal terms, improvement of their level of knowledge in vocational disciplines, safety in caves, first aid and other subjects are presented.
Overview of organized trainings and seminars:
|Name of event ||Number of participants |
|1st training of the speleological guard service - Pusté Pole 2001 ||29 |
|2nd seminar of the speleological guard service - Teplý Vrch 2002 ||32 |
|3rd seminar of the speleological guard service - Predná Hora 2003 ||42 |
|4th seminar of the speleological guard service - Pružina – Predhorie 2004 ||51 |
|5th seminar of the speleological guard service – Demänovská dolina 2005 ||41 |
The results of activities of the speleological guard service
Brief summary of the most important reports and activities:
- catching of four poachers – Czech entomologists in the Slovak Karst when collecting protected beetles from cave spaces and surface. Inspection of the baggage and car resulted in 90 dead and 2 still living various beetles from the Slovak Karst territory. The action was done in cooperation with Speleoclub Minotaurus and Police from Plešivec and Dlhá Ves.
- inspection of pollution of the Snežná Abyss on the Silická Plateau on the basis of ranger’s report from the Slovak Karst. Detailed analysis showed persisting serious pollution of the abyss.
- the rangers from Liptovský Mikuláš gave notice on polluted Konská diera Abyss in the Važecký karst. Analyses results showed dangerous toxic waste by chemicals.
- on the basis of rangers’ report a control was done of the Havran Abyss in Považský Inovec. The abyss closure was destroyed and abyss polluted by various communal waste, which was in the same year removed and new safer closure installed.
- reported pollution of active fluviokarst Gemer–Teplica Cave in the Slovak Karst. There were many foreign substances and objects after previous survey works. The cave was immediately cleaned.
- report of the ranger about illegal entering the Krištáľová Cave in Malá Fatra. Unknown vandals coarsely broke the precious crystals in the cave.
- reported pollution of the Šingliarova Abyss on the Plešivecká Plateau in the Slovak Karst at the end of 2003. The transport of the waste began after declining the water level in lakes.
- reported pollution of the Dvojitá Abyss on the Silická Plateau in the Slovak Karst. Corroded barrels with unknown chemicals were found here. After analyses and confirming toxicity the specialized firme removed the waste.
- presumed pollution of the Zvonivá Abyss near Silica was confirmed and one ton of dangerous waste was excavated.
- complete closure of the Kadlub Cave in the Drienčanský karst was broked and stolen.
- breaking and devaluation of the closure to the Líščia Cave in the Valley of the Vajskovský potok
- damaging the closure of the Čachtická Cave in Malé Karpaty. Penalty announcement for damaging of other people’s property on unknown delinquent was filed to police in both cases.
- damaging and theft of the palaeontological findings from the Izabela Textorisová Cave. The case is under investigation by police. In this case the rangers played the decisive role at control and monitoring of the cave from the time of stealing the bones of cave bear and damaging the palaeontological layers to construction of gate and securing the protection of the locality.
- repeated pollution of a big doline near Važec at the Konská diera Cave was reported by the ranger Peter Holúbek. SCA filed a motion on the inspection for the environment in Košice. It is sad to say that shortly before this finding the previous pollution was removed from the same place.
- breaking of law was also reported from the Mojtínska Cave in case of sacral use. The case is under investigation.
Number of rangers and reports:
|Year ||Number of contracted rangers ||Number of reports |
|2003 ||24 ||365 |
|2004 ||41 ||372 |
|2005 ||44 ||775 |
|2006 ||46 ||267 |
|2007 ||46 ||692 |