Ambassador for Stork Protection

Insider tip for stork and nature lovers: the "European Stork Village 2011": Eskikaraagac in Turkey.

© Franziska Arici

EuroNatur: "European Stork Village 2011" located in Turkey


Press Release from 23. May 2011

Radolfzell.  On May 29 2011, EuroNatur awarded the title of 11th European stork village to the scenic Turkish village of Eskikaraagac, honouring the villagers' outstanding efforts to protect the white stork and the cultural landscape at Lake Uluabat, well known for its rich biodiversity. "The villagers' actions do not only help local nesting pairs, but also storks breeding in Germany", says Gabriel Schwaderer, director of EuroNatur, "which like most European storks, migrate eastwards over the Balkans and the Bosporus to spend winter in Africa." The wetlands at Lake Uluabat offer these elegant birds a safe resting place and sufficient food to gain new energy for the strenuous flight.

The wetlands at Lake Uluabat are internationally recognized and protected by the Ramsar Convention. As a member of the local commission for the Ramsar area, Eskikaraagac has been active in the protection of the white stork since many years, for example by encouraging an extensive pasturing of the speciose meadows and grazing land around Lake Uluabat, in order to conserve and to improve these valuable feeding grounds of the storks. But also their precautions to prevent the large birds from being electrocuted are exemplary. The power authorities finally gave in to the villagers' pressing demand and exchanged the dangerous part of an overhead line by earth cable, covered dangerous power pole tops with hoods and mounted flags on overhead lines located in the birds' flight corridors. Furthermore, artificial aeries were set up, in order to make nest building easier. These protection measures have successfully contributed to keeping the stork population stable. 

The certification will be awarded on occasion of the 8th Annual Convention of the European Stork Villages being held in Eskikaraagac on May 28 and 29; 40 members from eight countries have agreed to participate. Along with the conference, Eskikaraagac has organized a big festival with a varied cultural program and many activities, where villagers and visitors can celebrate "their" storks.

"Because of its variety of landscapes and the large number of bird species, the area around Lake Uluabat is a real insider tip for both nature and bird lovers. Especially nature tourism would offer great opportunities to such an area", states EuroNatur project leader Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby. "That's why Eskikaraagac does not only promote wildlife conservation by protecting this unique natural and cultural landscape, but at the same time provides the local people with new economic perspectives." 

Background Information:

  • about the European Stork Villages

For further information, photos and interviews please contact:

Konstanzer Straße 22
78315 Radolfzell
Phone: 07732 - 92 72 10 
Fax: 07732 - 92 72 22
Contact: Dr. Martin Schneider-Jacoby
Press contact: Katharina Grund

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