Dambovicioara Cave rearrangement
The main reasons for the rearrangement of the cave are the following:

1.Cave environment protection
Dambovicioara Cave is one of the most known caves in Romania, being intensively polluted since the middle of the XIX century, due to the illumination methods, (candles and torches) and even open fires. The most negative impacts were the followings:
  • 70% of the invertebrates cavernicol fauna had been destroyed
  • Chiroptera fauna (bats) diminished in number of individuals and species
  • The cave ceiling and walls had been affected by smoking

During’80, the cave was closed and electrified, the pollution being reduced, but other polluting sources appeared:
  • The increase of the visitors number, associated with the management of the visitors (at this moment there is no dedicated trail for the visitors’ circulation)/li>
  • The inappropriate illumination system caused the apparition of unusual plant species for the cave environment in the vicinity of the bulbs

2. Aspect regarding the visit and tourism
There is no organised visiting programme at this moment, the visitors being guided by several pupils from Dambovicioara village, who have not enough knowledge about the cave environment and other related aspect.

Dambovicioara Cave is one of the most visited cave from Romania (20.000 visitors per year), the visitors having more expectations from the visit, than they actually get. Comparative to other Romanian caves, its interior is less attractive, the proposed rearrangement, coming to take place of this aspect.
ProiectePestera Dambovicioara

3. Short rearrangement description
The rearrangement will assure the protection of the habitat and also a civilised visiting way.

The main action will be the following:

  • Construction of a wooden trail inside the visited area of the Dambovicioara Cave

The results of the study revealed that the construction of a wooden trail is not suitable because it may leads to the apparition of some insects, which do not belong to the actual cave ecosystem. In this line, a stainless painted metal trail was proposed with a small channel underneath, which will be used for the evacuation of the gravel and soil introduced in the cave by the tourists’ shoes. For the visitors protection the trail has a banister. In the important areas the trails becomes larger to accommodate a number of 15-20 visitors. This trail limits the tourists’ movement possibilities inside the cave that were contributing to its degradation.
From financial reasons only half of the trail (78,8 m) has been realised (see attached map). For the entire completion of the trail (80,9 m) there are still necessary around 20.000 Euros. This amount of money was approved by the Arges County County Council and will be disbursed to the Dambovicioara Commune Hall in order to have finalised until December 2007 the entire trail (please find attached the translation of the official letter from the Arges County Council). The initial budget was exceeded anyway and even after the increase of the budget of the action with 18,671.50 Euros it wasn’t possible to realise the entire trail as the cost for the metal structure are very high comparing with the initial wooden structure. In this respect we considered that this action has not enough reasons to become the most costly of the entire the project and we looked for other financing sources.

 

 

 

  • The renewal of the electrical system

The project for realising the electrical lightening system was delivered in December 2005. There were proposed light sources environmental friendly, with low thermal emission in order to avoid the apparition of cave unspecific vegetation nearby (now there are algae, mosses and even vascular plants). It will contain also a system of small speakers, which will provide information to the tourists. The entire visit will be controlled trough computer software (placed outside the cave), which will provide information in several international languages (of course in Romanian also) and will command automatically the turn off/on of the lights according to the areas and objectives visited. The trail for the visitors is illuminated from the sides at the foot level and as soon as the visitors leave the area the light would turn off. There will be also some light sources, which will illuminate the most important geological formations. At the entrance an automatic counting system for visitors will be installed (e.g.: similar with the entrances at the subway).
The actual visiting system is totally inappropriate for cave habitat conservation, the tourist are even touching the bats, there is a lot of disturbing associated with the visit, there is possible that sometimes around 60 persons to be in the same moment inside the cave. The new arrangement will permit a maximum number of 20 visitors/group, and there will be no permanent illumination of the cave (as it is now).
There is also projected and installation for monitoring the main air parameters (heat, CO2 concentration, etc) which will indicate subtle changes in the cave environment.
The entire installation was acquired in September 2006 trough a small grant financed by the Global Environmental Facility within the Biodiversity Conservation Management Project (please find attached in the annexes a translation of the grant contract). At this stage, as only half of the metallic visitor trails is in place, the installation was installed only on this part of the trail, the rest being stored an will be installed as soon as the entire trail will be realised.

 

 

 

 

  • Close of some corridors not open to the public

The action was realised in July 2006 along with the construction of the metal visitor trail. The former visiting trail was shortened in this way with about 50m, this contributing to a better conservation of the bats individuals which are located at the end of the cave in a very inaccessible area for the usual tourists. In the project proposal there were mentioned several corridors to be closed, but the results of the study revealed that the bat population in the Dambovicioara cave is located only on the main corridor.

 

 

 

 

  • Putting in place of information panels at the Dambovicioara Cave

An information panel was installed at the entrance showing the park and cave map. Inside the cave in specific areas will be installed panels focused on specific topics: general presentation of the park and LIFE project, genesis and evolution of the Dambovicioara cave, paleontology aspects, speleothemes genesis etc. In this way the tourist will leave with an important amount of information regarding the project, the park and importance of preserving the cave habitat, aspects which are now far away of being met at this moment. The panels were not installed at this moment as there are required some more wok for the electrical installation.