The uniqueness of Küre Wilderness

Küre Wilderness is a one-of-a-kind, stunning Wilderness, located in the Küre Mountains National Park, Turkey. The National Park is one of the 9 forest hotspots in Turkey, having global importance for nature protection. It hosts intact highly biodiverse landscape and is home to Black Sea moist karst forest ecosystems. It is on WWF’s list of 200 Global Ecoregions: “Northern Anatolian and Caucasian Temperate Zone Forests”.

Please also read: Küre Wilderness

National importance

Küre Wilderness is one of the key biodiversity areas in Turkey, an Important Bird Area and Important Plant Area. The area hosts 157 endemic plant species, several caves, gorges and canyons and unique waterfalls. In and around the national park, there are 930 plant taxa, 129 bird and 48 species of mammals. The national park is one of the best habitats for brown bear, the European lynx, wildcat, otter and red deer, and home of the Egyptian vulture, which is a globally endangered species. Moreover, the national park is home of 113 invertebrate, 10 amphibian and 23 reptile species.

Platinum Wilderness Quality

The Küre Wilderness is a 26 162 ha Wilderness that due to its outstanding natural treasures met the Platinum Wilderness Quality Standard, when audited in 2012. The national park already developed a waste and pollution management action plan, a human-bear conflict management strategy and a carbon-dioxide emission study to understand and address the currect pressures the area faces.

The National Park is one of Turkey’s famous eco-tourism locations offering adventurous Wilderness experiences. Effective visitor management is therefore an important aspect. Within the new sustainable tourism development strategy and a Visitor Management Plan, new trails, signs and information boards were prepared.

Current management constrains

Nese Erköz from the Küre Mountains National Park participated in the recent Wilderness Academy Days 2019. In her presentation, she explained the main constrains the national park faces at the moment. These are the lack of qualified personnel and lack of financial resources. As several other European countries, they are also struggling with fighting against illegal logging and hunting. They are also under strong pressure to open the door to hydroelectric power plants and put an emphasis on mining, transportation and tourism in the national park.

The European Wilderness Society is keen on protecting Europe’s last Wilderness driven by open-ended undisturbed natural processes, such as in Küre Wilderness. In 2020, the European Wilderness Society will visit Küre Wilderness and conduct the European Wilderness Quality Standard Renewal-Audit.

Check out the natural wonders on Küre Wilderness in the gallery below, with special thanks to the photographers and WILDArt participants Henk Kuipers and Liset van Dommelen:

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