our emphasis is primarily on exploration, The China Caves Project expedition
this year is being orchestrated and funded by the Nanning-based Guangxi
Biodiversity Office (GBO) and Guangxi Forestry Commission (GFC) who
have made requests for local and international expertise to assist in
the assessment of several karst areas, particularly in north and northwest
Guangxi. The GBO are particularly keen to find out about the karst and
cave biodiversity in the Mulun National Nature Reserve as well as some
caves in the adjoining Huanjiang County karst areas; this of course
will involve considerable exploration and mapping of new cave systems,
particularly in conjunction with the cave biology work or those caves
that have been previously studied but not surveyed.
To this end, using the Mulun karst and cave biodiversity as a model, we are being commisioned to assist scientists to produce a report detailing the Guidelines for the Protection, Management and Monitoring of the cave biodiversity for the whole of Guangxi. They have already engaged a French cave biologist (Louis Deharveng) and another Chinese cave biologist (Tian Mingyi) to do previous cave biology surveys in Leye and possibly Fengshan and also previously in Mulun, together with Chinese cavers. A Chinese vertebrate specialist (specialising in cave fish, reptiles, frogs, birds and bats) will join this venture plus a Chinese botanist who will study plants growing near the cave entrances and on the surface. Scientists will collate all their data, collections, observation and identification results together in one report, including the results of previous work. The GBO are also looking at some future karst exploration/ cave biodiversity work in several Counties adjoining the border with Vietnam in southern Guangxi.
Observation on Geology & speleogenisis will also form part of a portfolio that will hopefully help the park achieve geo-park status. Additional areas will also be visited outside of the park.