Belda Cave – Cuevas de San Marcos
The Belda Cave is located at the Sierra del Camorro, in the Andalusian municipality of Cuevas de San Marcos.
In the fault scarp, in the middle of the limestone wall, we find Belda Cave. Besides this cave, throughout Camorro mountains there are different caves of different dimensions, such as Cueva Nueva (New Cave) or the Sima de Simón ( Simon´s pothole).
From the geological point of view, Belda Cave is a sample of the dissolution processes caused by water in calcareous materials. The speleothems decorating the interior are very interesting, as big columns, product of the joining of stalactites and stalagmites. Likewise, if we go deeper into this cave we find three subterranean lakes that, besides their intrinsic beauty, they talk to us about the water stored in the carbonated aquifer of the mountains.
Regarding the fauna, in the interior we find one of the biggest colonies of bat breeding in Andalusia. According to data from 1999, during the summer period we can find up to 600 Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus Euryale), 700 Common Bent wing Bat (Miniopterus schreibersii), 200 mouse red bats (Myotis myotis) and minor quantities of other species. The presence of this important colony of bats favored it to be declared as a SIC (Site of Community Importance).
In this area we can also find rupicolous birds, such as: Rock Sparrow ( Petronia petronia), Blue rock thrush (Monticola solitaries), Rock Bunting (Emberiza cia), Tufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis), Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrines), Black redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros) and Common Krestel (Falco tinnunculus).