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Language: Croatian with English preface
The caves called loci typici or type localities are extremely important, as they constitute caves in which a new animal taxon was originally found and described according to the samples found. Therefore, in 2000 the Croatian Biospeleological Society, in cooperation with the then Ministry of Environmental Protection and Physical Planning, initiated a two-year project entitled “Production of a biospeleology survey, education and popularisation leading to protection of the biosphere of the underground of Croatia”. One of the projects most important goals was the formation of a biospelological Cadastre. In 2003 the project was followed up by a three-year programme with the support of the same Ministry and was subsequently financed by the State Institute for Nature Protection.
One of its important results was the publication of the Catalogue of Cave Type Localities of Croatian Fauna (BEDEK et al., 2006) as a special issue (supplement) of the scientific journal Natura Croatica in 2006. The Catalogue features a first integrated list of all cave type localities in the territory of Croatia, including all taxa respectively described from them. The list of 206 type localities with 338 taxa singles Croatia out as a significant centre of subterranean fauna biodiversity at the world level. These type taxa predominantly include Dinaric endemics (330), the majority of which also represent Croatian endemics (298).
The Atlas is a constituent of the Cadastre given its additional data on type localities published in the Catalogue and also given its additional outline of all taxa described from speleological objects and karstic springs and wells (considered as speleological objects due to their morphology, but excluded from the Catalogue) in the territory of Croatia. During the course of the project new animal taxa were found and described, including some of those that were found and described after the publication of the Catalogue. Consequently, the type fauna list was amended and provides an integrated outline of taxa described from the Croatian caves to date. The total number of type localities was thus considerably extended and currently features 254 type localities (with a total of 399 described taxa), including 102 objects (with a total of 133 type taxa), which were selected and thoroughly profiled in Volume 1 of the Atlas.
This richly illustrated book shows entrances to speleological objects, subterranean habitats, maps and sketches of caves and pits, and terrestrial and aquatic cave animals in order to share the values and distinctive qualities of the Croatian underground with the public at large. The subsequent volumes will analyse the remaining type localities, and the list will be regularly updated as a result of discoveries of new animal taxa in the Croatian underground.