Stork Village Akcapinar?
Illusion and Reality...


Everybody 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.   

 You will ask- What happened to cause this decline?

 With the 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.   

 You will ask-So, what have you done?

 For years 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.

 Soooo? Later?

 Later 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.

 Yes, you would have done the same, I am sure.

 Nevertheless 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?   

 On Sunday, the 23rd March we came for our 2008 census with 9 people, we did not see any change and have to share the results with regret.


Active (with 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

 Not 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!