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KuzeyDoga Society's Fundraiser:

Conserving the bears & wolves of Sarikamis National Park

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BENEFITING: Defenders of Wildlife

KuzeyDoga Society

THE STORY:

Kars region is one of the most important locations in Turkey in terms of biodiversity because Kars is a high plateau located between two important worldwide biodiversity hotspots, Caucasian and Iran-Anatolian hotspots. Kars region is also very rich in wetlands, large meadows and pine forests. Besides the high diversity of birds and plants, Kars is rich in large carnivorous mammals such as bears, wolves, and lynx. Large carnivores need large areas because of their ecology and size. However, Turkey is a rapidly developing country with weak enforcement of environmental laws, so that the area of intact, pristine habitats needed by carnivores is in constant decline throughout Turkey. The importance of these animals’ ecological functions and services is not known by local people and administrators and large carnivores are not protected effectively, their numbers are declining due to illegal poaching, car and train accidents, collecting young animals in the spring, and collecting adult wolves for dog fights.

Surveys in the past seven years, we have discovered that the Sarıkamış city dump nearby Sarıkamış Forest-Allahuekber Mountains National Park is an important place where large carnivores come to find food. However, the Kars-Erzurum highway and railway both bisect the city dump site, so that large carnivores are regularly hit by cars, trucks or trains. In addition to the traffic hazards posed for people, this means that the Sarıkamış dump site can be an “ecological trap” and the number of bears living in this isolated and small forest can be declining. The causes and consequences of this problem need to be understood as soon as possible, especially in regards to the population size and change of the bear population. The surveys need to be done by using camera traps and other tracking methods.

Our projects aims to understand the status of large carnivores in the region, evaluate and publicize the threats they face, find and promote solutions, conduct environmental education, outreach the public and the media, raise awareness, promote the acceptance and understanding of these animals by local people, encourage local administrators to enforce the current laws for the protection of these animals, and. Another aim of our project is initiating the development of wildlife tourism based on large carnivores which cannot easily be seen in other parts of Turkey.

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    $10

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Donor Comments

El Capitan

El Capitan

DONATION: $10

In Memory of the hairs that once stood on Captain's head. 2 years ago