KURE MOUNTAINS

Diversity of genetics, species, habitat; presence of rare and endangered species;     ecosystem’s elderliness and maturity; susceptibility to external factors reveal the area’s importance in terms of protecting the nature. The areas that suffer from rapid habitat loss and level of endemism are high in the world are called as Hot Spot by nature protectionist. Nine of the 100 hot spots of Europe's forests that needs to be protected urgent take place in Turkey. National Geographic Turkey, Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks and World Wide Fund for Nature, readership starting from February 2005, present nine hot spots that are unique areas in nature conservation studies with Turkey’s cooperation.
 
THE STORY OF A HOT SPOT “KURE”
High plains, dense forests located in steep dip slope, wide meadows located in the forest, extraordinary long and steep canyons, dolines, rocky walls, rivers-consisting of limestones- that flow into the sea scarping the bed rock, rural settlement areas-consisting of fields and gardens- that become integrated with rural texture. Kure Mountains are accepted one of the richest places in terms of cave and canyons of Turkey. Kure Mountains extend approximately 300km until Kızılırmak along starting with Bartın River in the west. Mountains’ north boundaries draw the line the Black Sea, mountains’ south boundaries draw the line Gökırmak. These chains of mountains also known as “İsfendiyar Mountains” offer important landscape diversity with moving topographic structure. The region that is a part of coastal mountain system passing Anatolia’s north from top to bottom has various main ecosystem such as forest, river, coast and traditional agricultural ecosystems and also has rich habitat diversity. The highest point of the Kure Mountains, mountain chain in a medium hight, is Ya-ralıgöz Mountain (2019 m.) peak located between Devrekani and Abana. At the same time, this is the only height having sub-alpine zone of the system. Other important heights are Ballıdağ Mountain (1746 m.), Kara-kuz Mountain (1282 m.), Göynük Mountain (1804 m.) and DikmenDağı (1657 m.). Because of running parallel to coastline of mountains, Kure Mountains’ coasts that are front on the Black Sea are not zigzag. Small bays formed the place where they are reaching to the sea and cliffs formed by uphill coast suddenly create typical image of coastline. Amasra, Kurucaşile, Cide, İnebolu, Abana, Çatalzeyin, Türkeli and Ayancık coast roads follow the mountains’ north foot. Daday, Kastamonu, Taşköprü and Boyabat located in south.
 
WHY THE HOT POINT?
Kure Mountains have the best examples of endangered ecosystems “The Black Sea humid karstic forest” and there are many reasons that reveal its importance in terms of nature protecting: the importance of nature protector of the area that located in auxin parts of European-Siberian floristic region in terms of vegetation zone; existing together of various main ecosystems types such as forest ecosystems, river ecosystems, coastal ecosystems and traditional agriculture ecosystems are originated from habitat diversity. This habitat diversity contains many components such as The Black Sea fir, fagus mixed forests, pure fir, pure fagus forests, mixed     leafed forests, pseudo-maquis, sea and coast habitats, meadows within forests, rocky place. Some of natural habitat that has Kure Mountains, located in Turkey’s 122 “Important Plant Areas” determined by World Wide Fund for Nature- Turkey with 40 national experts are on the list of “Endangered Habitats” in Bern Contract (The Contrast of Protecting of Europe Wildlife and Natural Habitat).
 
Flora
Pseudo-maquis formations with Fagus and fir forests have a widespread area in Turkey. Moist mixed forests on karstic area of Kure Mountains are important in terms of plant species and their composition. In this diversity of ecosystems, According to the existing knowledges, it is known that 675 plant taxons live. However, experts estimate that the real number is much more than that. There are about 100 endemic plants and about 50 rare taxons in Kure Mountains. According to assessments based on Red Data Book of Turkish Plants, there are about 20 endangered plant taxons and one of them is critical endangered (Astralaguskastamonuensis). At the global level, there are 2 acer cappadocicum (stenocarpum- a kind of maple tree and Trifoliumeuxinum-a kind of trefoil) and at the Europe level, there are 33 endangered plant taxons. These reasons reveal the importance of international level of the region.
 
Fauna
Kure Mountains is an important area with numerous animal species habitat in terms of biological. It is encountered about 30 mammal species of 132 living in Turkey in the region such as Lynx, felissilvestris, otter, grizzly bear, cervuselaphus. According to National Park Draft Development Plan, 129 bird species live and 46 of them are under threat. Especially high rocky place above dales form appropriate areas taking shelter for vulture, hawk, eagle and strigiform. There is no detailed information about the existence of other fauna species both maritime breeding and spending the winter water birds and temperate zone forest bio-genes and amphibians.
 
Hope of Kure Mountains
The Council of Ministers’ decision dated 7 July 2000 was the most important step in the transformation of the Kure Mountains to the National Park. However, for protecting of the important area in the real sense and effectively in terms of protecting nature had to be taken new concrete important steps. Above all, it must be essential to be established of the National Park’s administrative and physical infrastructure. In the formation process of the National Park, the development of alternative livelihood was important in terms of maintaining their support and in order that the expectations of local people did not failed. In our country, Ministry of Environment and Forests which are responsible for the protection of national parks and their management and World Wide Fund for Nature- Turkey- which adopted Kure Mountains as one of the main areas of activity share common thought. This common opinion is biodiversity owned by the National Parks to be ensured effective protection and effective, integrative and based on participation a cooperation model which is ensured sustainable usage of natural resources immediate environment put into practice. All studies arranging since National Park’s announcement and intended to be performed in the next process aims to contribute actualizing this common thought.
 
Protecting of Wildlife
When it is considered in the buffer zone, Kure Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas. Knowing what big mammals are in thepark and around; revealing their current situation are an important step in determining the national park’s protecting. Since 2000mainly, in the process with the cooperation of Directorate of National Park, it was studied about big mammal species in the region using by photo-traps and later it was studied relative populationmagnitudeWorld Wide Fund for Nature- Turkey- at the first stage of the studies performing in the region by ÖzgünEmre Can, specialist of wildlife. In the study, it is researched brown bear habitats and how large a population by working together wildlife (WCS) biologist Dr. John Beecham in the region in Kure Mountains and around. In the second part of the study, with broad participation wildlife workshop in Pınarbası and relationship between local people and wildlife are examined. This research especially revealing relationship brown bear and human, with the cooperation of Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks and local authorities, it was started a work intended for establishing a center that done research in training, research and rehabilitation works about big flesh-eating such as brown bear and wolf in Kastamonu.
 
The Role of World Wide Fund for Nature-Turkey
World Wide Fund for Nature-Turkey that isone of the supporters ofKure Mountains National Park processes take an active role in the period following to gain this area’s ( on their priority list) official protected status. In addition, while developing an integrativejoint project included main studies that are essential to be done with Ministry of Environment and Forestryin the central level, it puts into practice a series of activities within closedialogue with Directorate of National Parks and other relevant authorities in the area level. World Wide Fund for Nature-Turkey, in the period since the announcement of the National Park,gives priority to"ecotourism as an alternative source of income", "developing of local capacity ", "training and awarenessraising" and "publicity" from     priority issues inDraft Development Plan do plot studies in buffer zonein cooperation with especially National Park Administration and local authorities.