Vjetrenica cave ( which means “wind cave” or “blowhole”) is the largest and most important cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one of the most important caves in the Dinaric Alps mountain range, which is famous worldwide for its karstic and speleological riches. It is located in the Popovo field in Ravno, West Herzegovina.
The cave has been explored and described to a total of about 6.7 km in length; of this the main channel is about 2.47 km long. It runs from the edge of Popovo Polje to the south, and on the basis of analysis of the terrain, geologists have predicted that Vjetrenica could stretch right to the Adriatic Sea in the Republic of Croatia, 15–20 km away from its entrance. Along with the hydrological arguments, this assumption is also supported by the “unnatural” end of Vjetrenica in the form of a huge heap of stone blocks that have caved in.
Vjetrenica is the richest cave in the world in terms of subterranean biodiversity: among more than two hundred different species are registered in it, almost hundred are troglophiles, a great number of them are narrow endemic, 15 are stenoendemic, and about 37 were discovered and described in Vjetrenica for the first time.
Vjetrenica cave is considered to have richest cave fauna, with highest rate of endemism. Vjetrenica cave also acquired fame throughout the world geological and biological scientific communities, as well as environmental communities around the country and the world for its imperiled and uncertain future, caused by unprofessional management lacking any expertise, and uncertain status at state and especially local level.