The word guano originated from the Quichua language of the Inca civilization of south America and means “the droppings of Sea Birds“. It is a misnomer to refer to bat dung as guano even though we do it all the time. As the word is used today, guano describes both bat and sea bird manure. The most famous guano was that used by the Inca. The guano would collect on the rainless islands and coast of Peru. Atmospheric conditions insured a minimal loss of nutrients. There is very little leaching of valuable material, nor is there a considerable loss of nitrogen. For this the Inca would guard and regulate the treasured soil enricher. Access to the Indonesian Guano deposits were restricted to chosen caretakers. Disrupting the rookeries could result in punishment by death. Fortunately we do things a little differently today.
Here’s a post with nothing to do with law, and only very little to do with agriculture especially Indonesian Guano. These are photos taken today while I tore down part of the ceiling over our veranda after the supply of bat manure guano reached critical mass. The first photo in the series is of one of the fragments of newspaper I found in the ceiling – with a news story dated April 1, 1881. Hopefully it will be another 130 years before I need to clean the ceiling out again!
The Bat Cave guano mine (36°2′55.8″N 113°48′9″W / 36.048833°N 113.8025°W / 36.048833; -113.8025Coordinates: 36°2′55.8″N 113°48′9″W / 36.048833°N 113.8025°W / 36.048833; -113.8025), located in the western Grand Canyon of Arizona at river mile 266, 800 feet (240 m) above Lake Mead, was an unusual, expensive and noteworthy mining operation. The cave was apparently discovered in the 1930s by a passing boater.
The caves of Jamaica Guano, like other caves around the world, face threats to their physical structure, their biodiversity, and the paleoclimatic and fossil records that they preserve. The damage being done to these ancient, underground systems has one source and that is us. The Guano ways that humans cause damage to caves may be broadly grouped into two categories: external and internal.