Work meeting between Green Balkans and experts from the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks in Turkey

Feb. 22, 2023
In the middle of February 2023, part of the team of project "Life for lesser kestrel" LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017 implemented by Green Balkans with the support of the LIFE Programme of the European Union, held a work meeting with representatives of the administration of the National Parks in Istanbul, Turkey.

On the eve of the breeding season of the lesser kestrels, the Green Balkans team presented to the hosts and guests of the event potential conservation activities for the protection of lesser kestrels, imperial eagles, saker falcons, as well as the role of the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre in conservation and restoration programmes. The Bulgarian team presented the possibilities of the LIFE Programme for the protection of rare and protected species and habitats, not only in the territory of the EU, but also outside of it.

The event was attended by representatives of the Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks in Istanbul, and its branches from Edirne, Tekirdag, the CITES office of the Directorate, the Directorate in Sinop, and the independent expert Senay Cekic. The meeting was also attended by members of the Georgian nature conservation NGO - SABUKO, who are active in the protection of rare and protected species of birds.

In the region of Thrace in the European part of Turkey, which falls within the scope of the Directorate, there are more than 20 colonies of lesser kestrels and more than 60 nesting sites of imperial eagles. There are several national parks in the territory. This defines this region as extremely important for the conservation of these two species and it represents a bridge between the subpopulations in Europe and Asia. The connectivity of the individual subpopulations, the communication between them and the possibility of exchanging genetic material are of key importance for the existence of viable and stable populations of the above-mentioned species.

In this regard, the participants of the event got united around the idea of developing joint nature conservation projects and targeted activities for their protection, both in situ and ex situ.

We use this opportunity to thank our hosts from Turkey, who despite the extremely difficult situation in the country after the earthquakes, found the strength and time to hold the previously planned meeting! We wish them courage and success in dealing with the consequences.