Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lessons learned in Turkey

Posted by Richard B Primack

From June 15 to 25, I visited Turkey to meet with Ali Donmez, a Turkish botanist and leader of the team that translated the Essentials of Conservation Biology into Turkish. We traveled across northern and eastern Turkey, visiting national parks and other areas of interest with a goal to locating examples from Turkey to be included in a future edition of the textbook.

My colleague Ali Donmez and I have a lunch of small fish while traveling along the Black Sea coast
A highlight of the trip was to observe the rich display of wildflowers associated with this sunny, dry climate, including huge mounds of crown vetch flowers in fields, reddish pink clumps of Saponaria flowers growing on roadside embankments, and alpine flowers amidst rock outcrops on mountain peaks at Ilgaz National Park.  Another highlight was the great abundance of water birds at the Bird Paradise National Park and the surrounding colorful but stark landscape near Baypassir. Many national parks were surprising for their emphasis on picnicking, with a notable absence of hiking trails, biological research and inventorying, and conservation education.

There were many beautiful wildflowers as we traveled through the mountains north of Ankara

Enjoying a picnic is the main activity at the national parks that we visited
The conclusion of the trip was a conference of biology professors in the beautiful northern city of Eskesehir, which included a visit to an ancient Phrygian temple and ruins.

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