About us

The Cave Invertebrate Specialist Group (CISG) is a global network of experts in invertebrate zoology, interested in karst and subterranean biodiversity and in the conservation of subterranean species.

CISG is one of the youngest groups of the IUCN SSC, established in 2014 by Tony Whitten and Louis Deharveng, who were its first Co-Chairs (2014-2017).

The Group suffered a great loss in 2017, as Tony Whitten left us prematurely. His passion for underrepresented and neglected species and habitats was what drove him to establish the CISG, and the further development of the Group is our way of honoring his legacy.  

The current Chair is Louis Deharveng. Sonia Khela is the focal point of the Red List Authority. The website is managed by Ana Komerički.


The CISG mission is to contribute to increasing the knowledge of subterranean biodiversity, extremely rich in narrow endemics, and to promote conservation actions where and when necessary, through IUCN Red List, focusing on areas and species under threat from anthropogenic impacts (e.g. limestone quarrying, water pollution).

Main goals

• To conserve subterranean habitats

* To fill in one of the largest gaps in conservation biology – subterranean invertebrates,

• To carry out assessments of extinction risk in the IUCN Red List in order to protect the most threatened species and habitats,

• To encourage comprehensive baseline biodiversity surveys, in particular to determine the proportion of unknown biodiversity yet to be discovered.

Global Wildlife Conservation proudly supports the Cave Invertebrate Specialist Group through the financial support of this website. The website was made through the support of the IUCN SSC Internal grant fund.