Increased Traffic at Tasmania’s Mole Creek Caves Causes Concern

June 4, 2012 / Australia, Oceania
Tasmania's Marakoopa Cave

Photo by Poco a poco/Wikipedia

Tasmania’s Mole Creek cave system is under threat from an increase in visitors.

Located in northern Tasmania at the foothills of the Great Western Tiers, Mole Creek karst area is home to over 400 caves, some considered to be the most spectacular in Australia.

Due to publicity on the internet, more people than ever are exploring the area. This influx of amateur cavers, folks without any experience or equipment, is a concern for veteran cavers who worry for their safety and the negative impact they are having on the cave.

The extra traffic is already contributing to increased erosion and the dirtying of fragile calcite formations.

With the recent increase I’m noticing that every trip I take in here, I’m always getting my water bottle and soft brush out, Debbie Hunter, Caver

In order to try any minimize the damage in the future, the Parks and Wildlife Service is considering putting up information booths at some of the popular locations in order to educate at least the larger groups of vistors.

It’s about educating those people who aren’t experienced on what they can do, not only from a safety point of view but also for an environmental point of view, to improve their experience but also to minimise their impacts. Chris Emms, Parks and Wildlife Service Spokesman

Damage fears for popular caves [ABC News]

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