knows that we are researching and assessing the number of White
Stork and active nests in the village of Akçapınar since 1986.
During these first years due to the village being quiet, without
excessive building, wrong development and not under the
influence of some people’s ill fated inclinations the number of
Storks has been around 70 individuals, decreasing to a mere 15
over the last years.
will ask- What happened to cause this decline?
installation of the new drinking water pipes some nest bearing
trees fell, later on the inexplicable cutting of the trees that
carried a whole colony of nests led to a great loss of Stork
nests. Some of the old trees in gardens disappeared, too. Since
no nesting alternatives are offered the remaining Storks nest on
electric poles, their chicks losing their lives tangled in the
cables during their first flight.
will ask-So, what have you done?
during our censuses, first as individuals later on as
association, we talk to the people of Akçapınar, discussed what
needed to be done. Later on, implementing the Bio-Gökova
Project, we held meetings, tried to get along with the village
mayor and other local administrators, printed brochures and
wanted to integrate the protection of the Storks in Akçapınar to
its own local tourism approach. Of course some things had to be
done for protection, like offering new nesting alternatives,
taking the electric cables underground and as priority not
cutting down the old trees…all of that has not been done for a
variety of reasons.
on despite all our efforts some people started to destruct their
own natural and cultural heritage and the other watched them
sadly…after the same people have behaved very nasty towards us
and really tried to harm us, we kept our activities in the
village to a minimum.
would have done the same, I am sure.
we stayed in touch with some friends from Akçapınar and we do
not refrain from our yearly censuses. One of the last weeks we
read a newspaper article about the Storks of Akçapınar (available
here, but only in Turkish) and the
protection efforts of the village, our interest rose together
with our expectations. Did something change?
the 23rd March we came for our 2008 census with 9
people, we did not see any change and have to share the results
Stork) nests overall: 7
Individuals overall (in nest or flight): 13
Empty nests overall (all in trees): 7
Number of nests disappeared from last year: 7
one Stork uses a nest in a tree, all active nests are on
electric poles. The village of Akçapınar is losing its Storks.
The natural heritage is disappearing. The harbinger of spring,
the bringer of luck and fertility, will we not be able to show
the black and white pilgrim to our children?
This years first
recorded Stork in Turkey was an
Akçapınar Stork (25th February). I hope I will not
have to record the last Stork one day!