Located on the Küre Mountains, on the west of Black Sea Region, the National Park bears all the characteristics of a plateau. The area of the Küre Mountains National Park is 37.753 ha, whereas the surrounding buffer zone accounts for 134.366 ha. Daily life activities around the National Park do not spread into the boundaries of the National Park; consequently there are not any settlements within the boundaries. In other words, the National Park, located on an east-west axis, is a physical and social barrier for its surrounding.
Küre Mountains start from Bartın River on the west and runs 300 kilometers on to Kızılırmak River toward the east. Also known as İsfendiyar Mountains, the mountain range is adjacent to Black Sea on the north and Gökırmak on the south. Thanks to its varied topographical structure, the area hosts a diverse landscape. It owes its rich habitat, which include all the main ecosystem types such as forest, maquis, cliffs, caves, river, coastal and traditional agricultural areas, to being a part of the coastal mountain system that covers the north of Anatolia from one end to the other.
Küre is classified as a medium height mountain range. Its highest peak, Yaralıgöz Mountain (2019 m) is situated between Devrekani and Abana. The only sub-alpine region in the system is on that peak. Ballıdağ (1746 m), Karakuz (1282 m), Göynük (1804 m) and Dikmen Mountains (1657 m) are other peaks along Küre. The mountains lay parallel to the Black Sea shore which does not have many dents. As they reach to the sea, the riverbeds turn into little coves, while the hillsides turn into cliffs. The panorama is basically shaped by these coves and cliffs. Along the highway on the north of the mountains lay Amasra, Kurucaşile, Cide, İnebolu, Abana, Çatalzeytin, Türkeli and Ayancık, whereas on the south, there are Ulus, Pınarbaşı, Azdavay, Kastamonu, Taşköprü and Boyabat.
The National and International Importance of the Küre Mountains National Park
In Geographika, Strabon, one of the founding fathers of the science of geography, says that the best boxwood is raised in Amastris [Amasra], and hence, points to the climate and forests of Küre Mountains National Park and its surrounding, 2000 years ago. Evliya Çelebi, in his Book of Travels, defines the Amasra region, namely the area where Küre Mountains National Park is, as a sea of trees.
Küre Mountains National Park, which hosts the best intact examples of Black Sea Moist Karst Forest ecosystems, is among the European 100 Forest Hotspots that need to be protected. Hotspots is a nature protection term that is used to define highly endemic and rapidly declining habitat areas.
Genetics, species, diversity of habitat and ecological processes, existence of rare and endangered species, vulnerability of the ecosystem to outside factors, and age and maturity are among the several deciding factors for the importance of an area in terms of nature protection.
According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Northern Anatolian and Caucasian Temperate Zone Forests are among 200 globally prioritized ecological areas. Küre Mountains National Park, with 157 endemic plants and 59 endangered plant taxons, is a part of this precious region.
Due to all these properties, it was declared national park and put under protection in 2000. In addition, the concept of buffer zone, with the aim of securing the biological diversity, became a part of the discussion within the context of Küre Mountains National Park for the first time in Turkey.