The Alabama Cave Shrimp is a tiny creature that is nearly transparent and less than an inch long. It lives in ﬂooded underground caverns and pools in caves, where it eats small bits of organic matter. The cave shrimp is found in just two cave systems in Madison County, Alabama, one of which is within the boundaries of the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal. It was Federally-listed as an endangered species in 1988. The main threats to its survival are a low reproduction rate and groundwater contamination.
The Redstone Arsenal’s environmental ofﬁce has worked closely with other Federal, state and local authorities, scientists, local educators, homeowners, and the surrounding community to protect Alabama cave shrimp populations on the Army installation and on private lands, as well as potential habitat for populations that might yet be discovered.
Relatively little is known about the shrimp’s biology and habitat needs, making it difﬁcult to prepare a survival and recovery plan. To ﬁll the information gap, the U.S. Department of Defense, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the State of Alabama, local governments, academia, and the scientiﬁc/professional community have surveyed several hundred potential cave habitats and are monitoring cave shrimp populations and water quality on Redstone.