The IBA covers three major mountain ranges (Soðanlý, Kaçkar and Karçal). Pinus and Abies dominate the upper slopes, with Quercus scrub and open forest at lower altitudes. Above the treeline, extensive alpine grasslands and slopes covered with Rhododendron and Juniperus scrub prevail; summit areas are characterized by cliffs, screes and lakes. The thin coastal strip is densely populated, and the IBA as a whole is an increasingly popular tourist destination. This area includes two sites that were treated as separate IBAs in the previous international IBA inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989): `Kaçkar Daðlarý' (former IBA TR013) and `North-east Turkey' (former IBA TR016).
Important for breeding raptors and species of upland habitats (the only Turkish IBA to qualify as a Eurasian high montane (alpine) biome site); contains the entire Turkish range of Tetrao mlokosiewiczi. Includes a major migratory bottleneck, where large numbers of raptors regularly pass in autumn. A count of 380,220 birds was made in 1976, including 138,000 Pernis apivorus, 5,775 Milvus migrans and 205,000 Buteo buteo. Actual numbers may be higher as important new passage points have been discovered in recent years. Spring passage involves smaller numbers (max. 205,131 during an eight-week count in 1994), including 25,183 Pernis apivorus, 9,069 Milvus migrans and 136,327 Buteo buteo.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
A large dam is to be constructed on the çoruh river near Artvin. Large areas of forest have been degraded by commercial deforestation; DHKD has recommended changes in management techniques that should lead to the preservation of remaining old-growth forest. Mining pollution is a major problem, and raptors following the eastern Black Sea migration route are subject to heavy persecution by local people. DHKD has carried out educational activities in the main trapping area, and ran a WWF-funded conservation project in the IBA from 1993 to 1997.
National Partial International None17,104 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Hatila Vadisi, 17,104 ha). 51,550 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Kaçkar Daðlarý, 51,550 ha). 1,625 ha of IBA covered by Nature Park (Uzungöl, 1,625 ha). 180 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (çamburnu, 180 ha). 8,700 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (çoruh Vadisi, 8,700 ha). 50,458 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (Verçenik, 50,458 ha). 3,492 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (ªavþat Balýklý, 3,492 ha). 4,143 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (Kaçkar, 4,143 ha).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Eastern Black Sea Mountains [incl Karcal Mountains]. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 21/03/2023.