Hunts cave fauna, including the Cave Moth Triphosa haesitata and
Harvestman Leiobunum exilipes.
Use by vandals and partiers is the greatest single threat to Meta dolloff.
Bonfires, smoke poisoning, pollution, vandalism of cave structures, and
graffiti have wreaked havoc on the caves fauna. The cave has been
gated before, but almost immediately the gates were broken into. The ladder
later installed by the University into the cave has made access to the
caves easier for the people most threatening to this endangered species.
UCSC dumps storm runoff directly into its cave system,
a practice which is illegal in most states.
UCSC has no storm drains all runoff from the ever-increasing cleared
and developed land on campus runs either down or through the landscape
on which it is built. This dramatically-increased water flow may affect
the fauna of the cave floors and available food supplies of Meta dolloff.
This runoff water is also heavily polluted with aromatic hydrocarbons
which further poison the cave food web.
dolloff and captured Harvestman Leiobunum exilipes