Europe and Central Asia
2 Jun 2016

Turkey Bird Conference to combine past and present for better conservation future

The 17th edition of the event will take place at the end of June this year. © Doğa Derneği
By Burak Ozkirli

The 17th edition of the Turkey Bird Conference will take place from 24-26 June this year. These conferences have been organised by Doğa Derneği (Birdife in Turkey) for the last decade in different parts of Anatolia.

The idea for the event was born from ornithological research from the early ’90s, when the process to identify wetlands and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) lead to many untouched areas being discovered in Anatolia. The conference is meant to share the knowledge discovered through this research, and promote bird watching and young conservationists. Doğa has been hosting these events with the support of local birdwatchers, mainly in Key Biodiversity Areas.

This year, invited speakers of 17th Turkey Bird Conference will represent different generations of the nature conservation movement in Turkey since the 1950s. Thus, the conference, which will be held in Beypazarı, Ankara in cooperation with the governor of the district this year, will bridge generations of nature conservationists working in Turkey. Several European researchers will also attend the conference to share their experiences in Turkey and neighboring countries.

Why Beypazarı? The region covers four different IBAs where all four European vulture species breed. The conference will cover various presentations on bird watching, research and conservation to facilitate knowledge and experience exchange between people interested in Turkey’s birds and nature.

There’s much to look forward to at the conference. The special session on the Northern Bald Ibis conservation will bring together conservationists of three generations from Turkey and Syria. Tansu Gürpınar and Udo Hirsch, who launched the first ever conservation program for the Northern Bald Ibis in Turkey in the 1970s, will sit on the same panel with Mahmood Shaiesh and Turan Çetin, Doğa's current Northern Bald Ibis conservationists.

Another panel on IBAs and Key Biodiversity Areas will for the first time bring together authors of the directories of these areas in Turkey, including Murat Yarar, Gernant Magnin, Dicle Tuba Kılıç and Güven Eken. BSPB will share their research experiences with the Egyptian Vulture and Eastern Imperial Eagle, and several young bird conservation scientists will also share the recent results of their work.

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