one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is
the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural
This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us." (E. O. Wilson)
The "PROTEUS PROJECT" - 2000-2031
"Successfully Researching and Protecting the Karst Conduit-aquifer Ecosystems
and the Rare, Endemic and Highly Endangered Hypogean Species of Eastern Hercegovina since the year 2000."
(in three 10-year Phases)
"Oh Hello!..We cannot see you but we know you are there. We need your help because our very existence is being threatened by humans."
Interview with and image of this Hercegovinian Proteus, (who is a regular member of our "hypogean team"),
was recorded by Gergely Balázs, (Hungarian Cave Diving & Technical Support Team), September 2008 !!
a result of the present world financial crisis, we have witnessed the sudden
collapse of recent sponsorship arrangements to support Grant-Aid Applications
for this Project
and the on-going situation is preventing us from successfully locating alternative substantial donors.
We are, therefore, urgently seeking donors to support the purchase or acquisition of a wide range of scientific and technical equipment to assure the ongoing successful operational
strategy of the "Proteus Project" into the coming years through the current Phase 2., covering the cross-over time period 2011- 2020.
The Society is seeking either to raise the necessary funds to purchase the required equipment or to acquire the equipment as donations directly via the donors.
"Proteus Project" in Eastern Hercegovina is already a successful Joint-International
multi-disciplinary scientific operation between :-
the Project's designated Local Co-ordinator Group in Eastern Hercegovina, Speleološko društvo "Zelena Brda", based in Trebinje;
the Project's UK Co-ordinator Group, The Devon Karst Research Society, based in Plymouth, UK.
and the "Proteus Project's" Hungarian Cave Diving & Technical Support Team, "Caudata Hungarian Cave Research" who are based in Budapest, Hungary.
2000, these organizations have been working together developing a successful
operational strategy to prevent the extinction of many rare, endemic, cave
species by thoroughly researching
and identifying the hypogean habitat problems across Eastern Hercegovina and embarking upon pilot or trial habitat-restoration and conservation sub-Projects.
The field work also involves the compilation of qualitative and quantitative audits and inventories of the various hypogean species and is also responsible for initiating new and ingenious methods for
studying and recording the hypogean species in their natural habitats, together with the characterization of the hypogean habitats.
The list of rare, endangered endemic hypogean species is headed by the unique cave salamander Proteus anguinus anguinus (Laur. 1768),
followed by :- Congeria kuščeri (Bole); Troglocaris (Speleocaris) pretneri (Matjašič 1956); Marifugia cavatica (Absolon & Hrabě 1930); Troglocaris hercegovinensis (Babić 1922);
Troglocaris anophthalmus anophthalmus (Kollar 1884); Monolistra hercegoviniensis (Absolon 1916); Niphargus hercegovinensis (S. Karaman 1950) ..... and many others ...
the threats to the survival of these already rare and endangered species
are caused by threats to their natural cave habitats or to the surrounding
As usual, these problems all originate from human activities.
the conservation work supported or proposed to be undertaken by many other
Organizations or Institutions, the Partnership described above comprises
Voluntary-sector NGO's whose
Members are the Project Workers or Research Assistants and who are not paid wages or salaries to undertake the necessary work. All administrative costs are absorbed by the internal funds of
the Project's UK Co-ordinator Group. Such costs include, for example, the production of all sub-Project Level Reports, but not travel and accommodation expenses.
The Research Assistants on this Project are the extraordinary speleologists and karstologists who provide a range of expertise, skills and resourcefulness to enable a range of technical investigations to proceed
which are relevant to the objectives of specific sub-Projects. Such technical investigations often involve karst hydrological work (incl. hydro-physico-chemical and biological sampling & analysis and underground
water tracing); karst hydrogeological interpretation; the application of physical speleology in the exploration of previously unrecorded or unknown cave systems (incl. deployment of speleological techniques such
as cave surveying, cave-diving, above- and under-water photography & macro-photography & videography), speleo-biological investigations;
We are expanding the diversity of our investigative operations through an ever-increasing level of co-operation with Institutions of research and educational excellence external to the Project.
of the "Proteus Project"
can be found on the Society's Website using the following Link :-
scientific and technical equipment we already possess to undertake this
multi-disciplinary programme, does not last forever and periodically requires
replacing or upgrading.
Thus we require equipment of specific manufactured types and models, suitable for operation within the rigours of the karst environment, both above and below ground !!
Our Appeal for help and assistance can be met by donations of either money or preferably by donations of the required equipment.
therefore appeal for contributions or donations from ....
interested individuals, whether speleologists, general karstologists, biologists, ecologists, environmentalists, zoologists, (who may also wish to become actively associated with this Project, either indirectly or directly)
- and -
in return for free advertising & promotion of their commercial services / products, we appeal for contributions or donations from relevant commercial organizations such as equipment manufacturers or suppliers,
so why not exhibit your Company's products and services into a developing and growing economy?
- and -
we appeal for contributions or donations from educational and scientific institutions and others, who would like to become associated with this prestigious Project,
in return for a unique opportunity offering direct or indirect, long-term or short-term involvement in a very successful multi-disciplinary karst environmental conservation and protection project.
of all unconditional or conditional offers of either materials assistance
or funding assistance should be sent either by post or by
e-mail to :-
Contact Postal address :-
The Devon Karst Research Society, (PP-Appeal), Office & Library, 46, Morley Court, Western Approach, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 1SJ., England, U.K.
Contact e-mail address :-
offers will be met by an e-mail and postal response from the Society.
Materials / Equipment Donations are preferable to Money Donations, insofar as the Donor may be eligible for tax relief on the value of the Equipment Donation
and the Society would not have to pay VAT on the equivalent retail purchase.
If money is to be sent, Cheques, UK Postal Orders; International Money Orders etc. should also be sent to the above address and made payable to "The Devon Karst Research Society"
All such donations must be in GB £Sterling; Euros or US$. (NB. cash should not be sent in the post)
cash donations / contributions can be safely and accountably sent using
the Western Union Cash Transfer Service.
In this case, we would need to be sent immediate details in an e-mail message of the necessary MTCN No...given on the "To Send Money" form.
annonymity is specifically requested, details of contributors and / or
their contributions will be posted in an associated Web-page.
Again, unless annonymity is specifically requested, details of contributors and / or their contributions will also be made public via the international Press, Television and Radio
during the annual Public Presentation of the Project in Europe, in the popular.."Stevo Čučković Memorial Lecture" series, held in Trebinje and also in related events in the UK.
We are prepared to discuss details of requests for appropriate direct involvement in the Project, if required.
So, we invite
to help us make a change for the better in this world to protect planetary
bio-diversity and support or become part of an
actual and accountable.environmental research and conservation project in the Classical Dinaric Karst of Bosnia & Hercegovina !!
Why should you help?
No-one else but those in this International Partnership is doing anything at all to protect these highly endangered species and their habitats in Bosnia & Hercegovina.
We have 10 years experience of successfully working with this situation and with suitable re-equipping and financing, are in a well-placed position to achieve the objectives.