Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park

Kentucky Cave Shrimp

The entire known population of the Kentucky cave shrimp lives in or near Mammoth Cave National Park. Blind and semitransparent, these tiny crustaceans feed on bacteria, protozoa and other minute organisms that live on organic matter that wash into cave streams. The Kentucky cave shrimp, like other aquatic cave life, is vulnerable to degradation of water quality in its habitat. Contamination of groundwater by siltation and chemicals from agricultural land, inadequate sewage treatment, oil and gas development, and toxic spills could extinguish the species.

The endangered shrimp's population occurs in underground streams of Mammoth Cave National Park. To protect this species and other cave life, the National Park Service and local communities are cooperating on construction of a regional sewage system. Steps are also being taken to address the issue of agricultural runoff and other such widespread threats to Mammoth Cave's life.


i use to go spreelunking or whatever its called and ive seen this species in a cave not in bowling green. just dont know who i should tell

Hi nativekentuckyman,

It's always best to tell a park ranger about your wildlife sightings. If you can't find a ranger, you can always call the office of the public land you were visiting and they'll be able to put you in touch with the correct folks. Happy trails!