442 pages, 8 plates with colour photos and b/w line drawings
This collates all the current knowledge from the Bulgarian and foreign literature about the fauna of the caves in this country. The brief introduction of the book reviews the history of studies on karst and caves in Bulgaria. The caves are classiﬁed in four geographically distinct karst regions: Danube Plain, Karstic Region of Stara Planina Mountains, Rhodopean Region and Caves in Non-carbonic Rocks. The main chapter of the book is entitled "Animal Species Found in Bulgarian Caves" and contains a list presenting systematic data for all animals currently known from Bulgaria, the caves where they have been recorded and the names of the authors that have published these data. The list of the identiﬁed species and subspecies contains 886 taxa, from unicellular organisms to insects. It also includes unidentiﬁed animals (c. 200); very likely containing taxa new to science.
An original contribution is the inclusion in the list of 153 new species and subspecies of Bulgarian cave animals, which were not previously reported. A signiﬁcant contribution is the inclusion of 189 new caves (where troglobiotic animals are recorded) in the list of biospeleological studies. The new data for the presence of 202 species of aquatic and terrestrial troglobionts from Bulgarian caves demonstrate strongly why Bulgaria, regarding biospeleology, is among the most fully studied Balkan and European countries. The book includes 21 maps, demonstrating the geographic distribution of the better studied troglobionts and stygobionts in the country, as well as interesting graphical and photographical illustrations of the studied caves and their inhabitants.
A separate chapter is devoted to the origin of Bulgarian cave fauna. It includes a detailed zoogeographical analysis and comparisons with the neighbouring countries. The chapter "The Caves and their Fauna" presents short characteristics of the studied Bulgarian caves and their fauna. Finally, a comprehensive list of scientiﬁc works and publications by Bulgarian and foreign authors on Bulgarian caves and their fauna rounds out this work. It consists of 584 titles, some of them being bibliographic rarities.
"[...] The new book by Dr. P. Beron is not only a valuable summary of studies on the unique and rich cave fauna of Bulgaria. It is a solid basis for future studies on life in our caves. Additionally, it may serve as a basis for more efﬁcient future conservation of these habitats and their unique biodiversity."
– Vassil Golemansky, Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 68(1)
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Petar Beron Sc.D worked at the Institute of Zoology and the National Museum of Natural History at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences as a biologist from 1963 to 2010. Specialising in acarology and biospeleology, he began exploring caves and cave fauna in 1955. He went on expeditions in New Guinea, Indonesia, Mexico, Cuba, China, Vietnam, on the Balkan Peninsula, in Corsica and South America. In his journeys, he discovered many new species of caves and animals. He is author and co-author of many books and articles on speleology, zoogeography and acarology.