In 2011, Turkey's KuzeyDoga Society
will celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity by organizing a student field trip on May 22nd to the Sarikamis Forest-Allahuekber Mountains National Park of Kars, eastern Turkey, led by KuzeyDoga president and conservation biologist Dr. Cagan Sekercioglu. After the field trip, there will be a press conference and the screening of a documentary on Sarikamis forest and its biodiversity. We will conclude with the distribution of KuzeyDoga's "Mammals of Eastern Turkey" calendar. Link to calendar PDF
Sarikamis Forest-Allahuekber Mountains National Park is a 230 Km2 protected area in the Kars province of eastern Turkey. This is one of the most important forests in Turkey for mammals, including carnivores such as brown bears (Ursus arctos
), wolves (Canis lupus
), lynx (Lynx lynx
) and wild cats (Felis sylvestris
). Sarikamis is one of Turkey's most important skiing areas and also one of the most important historic sites in Turkey because 90,000 Turkish soldiers were martyred here during the First World War. The team of KuzeyDoga Society
, the leading environmental organization in eastern Turkey, has been studying the biodiversity of Sarikamis Forest since 2003, identifying plants, conducting bird counts, using camera traps to monitor and document mammal populations. With the support of the UNDP Small Grants Programme, Born Free and Whitley foundations and in collaboration with Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Forestry (Cevre ve Orman Bakanligi), KuzeyDoga is undertaking a community-based conservation and village-based wildlife tourism project in Sarikamis forests, aiming to reduce the human-large carnivore conflict in the region. KuzeyDoga is also lobbying for the connection of Sarikamis forests to the extensive forests in northeastern Turkey and Caucasus with the creation of Turkey's first wildlife corridor.