Speleological research in the caves of Lastoursville - Gabon


Third mission in the caves of Lastoursville (Gabon) for NOT Engineers, on a contract with the Gabon National Parks Agency, from july 4th to 25th

Prospection, cartography, underground survey and exloration were the keywords.

Summary

The Lastoursville 2016 pluridisciplinary mission took place from July 4th to 25th under the coordination of Richard Oslisly, geoarchaeologist at the National Agency of National Parks of Gabon.

The speleologists of the mission were Olivier Testa (NOT Engineers), Josiane and Bernard Lips (French Federation of Speleology) and Julie Ikouanga (Masuku University).

The mission led to the discovery of two major caves, the Missié cave and the Mounguéké cave. The Missie Cave is an active sinkhole with a fossil upper network hosting several bat colonies in extreme abundance. The Mounguéké cave is a maze that occupied us for 3 days at the end of which 1590 m of galleries were surveyed by Bernard Lips, Olivier Testa and Julie Ikouanga. We have not completed the exploration and several galleries remain to be continued.
Other small cavities and rock shelters were also explored.

Five days were devoted to the Boukama cave to make a diagnosis for its development and to delineate the surface area of the site to be protected and twelve days to the speleological prospections.

A systematic sampling of cave micro-fauna was carried out by Josiane Lips, biospeleologist, mainly by hand collecting. We will thus have a first general diagnosis of the diversity of the cavernous fauna of the caves of the region. This work has never been done, as studies have focused so far on blood-sucking Diptera.

Mission report

Caves of Lastoursville Expedition Report 2016, Olivier Testa
Report on the 2016 caving expedition in Lastoursville, with the discovery of 2 major caves: Mounguéké and Missié. First study of the underground biodiversity of the area.