Short history of the meeting

We could locate the beginning of regular meetings on Proteus anguinus ecology, monitoring, and conservation in January 2015, when the  the Tular Cave Laboratory organized the press conference at the Kranj Town Library to present the outcomes of the research project “A survey of the distribution of Proteus anguinus by environmental DNA sampling”. It was the enthusiasm and perhaps the classy environment of the beautiful Kranj library, and undoubtedly the quality of the work done by a fantastic team, that later led to the organisation of the “SOS Proteus” meetings.

The previous meeting in 2018 was held in Škocjan Cave Park in Slovenia, where the river Reka sinks into the depths of the karst abysses, in an extraordinary landscape and UNESCO heritage. In symbolic terms, Trieste is a beautiful continuation of this event, if we also take into account the karst groundwater flow from the Skocjanske jame. The city has always been known for its scientific vocation and is considered "one of the cradles of karst research". Today, seven years after the first edition of “SOS Proteus” and two years after the cancellation of the event due to pandemics, we are pleased to finally invite you to the 4th "SOS Proteus" international meeting!

the  meeting in Kranj when the SOS Proteus idea  started.


Supported by

"SOS Proteus” International meeting in 2022The ancestors of the Olm (Proteus anguinus) have witnessed climate changes before, once avoided its extinction when adapting to cave life. In the Anthropocene, human pressure accelerates the impact on natural balance towards climate changes never seen before. Given the fragility of karst landscape and its ecosystems we need to implement sustainable actions as soon as possible.  The 4th “SOS Proteus” international meeting is dedicated to conservation of proteus and its habitat facing climate change challenges and to the 260th anniversary of the first scientific description of Proteus anguinus by Joannes Antonius Scopoli.
Experts on Proteus, speleobiology, karstology, water quality, herpetology, conservation and public outreach are invited to give a short lecture or poster to present their experiences, methods and solutions, and/or to participate in the discussion within topics of the two days meeting:

• Conservation status of Proteus and subterranean fauna, groundwater and karst

• New methods and conservation actions, best practice and public outreach

• Climate change challenges in groundwater ecosystems

• Negative anthropogenic pressures in karst landscape, emergency responses, action plans

• Veterinary challenges in conservation of Proteus

The meeting is opening on May 20th, 2022 and continue for two more days (May 21-22) and is organized in partnership with the Speleovivarium Trieste, Speleological Society Adriatic, Natural History Museum Trieste, Municipality of Trieste, and Tular Cave Laboratory, under the patronage of the Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition, European Commission, Italian Speleological Society, Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Regional Speleological Federation F.V.G., and Supported by CRTrieste Fundation.

with collaboration of

Under Patronage of