Doğa Derneği (BirdLife Turkey) is honored to be a part in Champions of the Flyway 2017 as beneficiary of conservation fund will be raised in this year’s event.
We are already doing significant activities on the ground both through education and enforcement. With the help of the 2017 Champions of the Flyway campaign they intend to “step up” the actions especially in the Anatolia. The region has very important three bottleneck for migrating raptors and other soaring birds and sadly large numbers of these are killed illegally as they migrate to and from the breeding grounds.
We are working in Urfa, Birecik, the Hatay Amanos mountains and “lakes region” to ensure safe passage for migrants. We already identified many illegal killing zones in Hatay which people culturally hunts almost any birds and consume. The next actions will be mainly educational, helping the people of the region to understand the importance of keeping the flyway safe. The projects will include youth activities to train the young generation to become birdwatchers instead of hunters. Our society already has significant success with similar programs in the Urfa region involving local conservation groups and volunteer game wardens. We also started the identification regional leaders who will be our allies to help to reduce illegal hunts and make stakeholder visits in Samandağ, Yayladağ, Harbiye and Kırkhan.
Another interesting goal we aim to achieve is to deal with the changing approach to nature with the arrival of huge numbers of Syrian refugees. The welcome refugees have no awareness and knowledge about Anatolia’s nature and conservation laws. For especially this issue, we are working with Mahmoud Shaiesh Abdullah. Mahmood is ex-worker of BirdLife Syria and organizing our educational events in Syrian refugee camp schools.
We believe that the 2017 Champions of the Flyway campaign is one of the most exciting and important projects to date. Birds indeed know no boundaries, and it is up to us to speak up and protect them because they deserve to fly in peace!