The Kentucky cave shrimp (Palaemonias ganteri) is an eyeless, troglodyte shrimp found in three counties in Kentucky. Its skin has no pigment; the species is nearly transparent and closely resembles its nearest relative, the Alabama cave shrimp.
The habitat of the Kentucky cave shrimp is exclusively in underground streams of caves. It is endemic to the Mammoth Cave National Park region of central Kentucky.
The shrimp feeds mainly on sediments that are washed into the cave by the movement of groundwater.
The Kentucky cave shrimp has been registered as an endangered species since 1983, mainly due to contaminated groundwater running into their habitat. Several nearby communities either have inadequate sewage treatment facilities or lack such facilities altogether. An additional potential threat is the entry of contaminants from traffic accidents and roadside businesses. One incident in 1979 caused the death of aquatic cave organisms in a part of the Mammoth Cave system, and in a 1980 incident, a truck carrying toxic cyanide salts overturned on Interstate Highway 65, just south of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Slone & Wethington. Kentucky's Threatened and Endangered Species.