IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3, B1i, B1iii, B1iv, B2 (2004)
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Area: 1,728,316 ha
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent)
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The region, which is the largest protection area in Turkey, consists of a mountain series mostly in the form of alkaline volcanic rocks, about 250 kilometers in length and includes the Eastern Black Sea coast line. The western border of the region is drawn by the Harşit Stream, the southeastern by the Çoruh River, the eastern by the Karçal Mountains and the Georgian border.
The area contains many different types of habitats. These habitats, to the south from the north, can be summarized as: A Coastal ecosystem consisting of rocky cliffs and sand dunes, watercourses lined by humid flora, agricultural fields, broad-leaved woodland in lower altitudes (beech, hombeam, chestnut, Calabrian red pine), coniferous trees as the altitude increases (eastern spruce, eastern black sea fir, scotch pine), mixed high altitude mountain forests, Rhododendron spp. within the forest zone and above the forest border, bushes, peatland, high mountain steppes, some alpine lakes and steep rocky cliffs at the highest peaks. Although the forests have been transformed into tea and hazelnut fields at lower altitudes, the naturally old forests continue to exist at higher altitudes and on steeper slopes.
The site includes a major bottleneck of migratory birds of prey (the Çoruh Valley and many other valleys that raptors use to cross the mountain range), as well as three major mountain ranges (Soğanlı, Kaçkar, and Karçal) noted for their extensive forests and extensive alpine habitats (representing a fine example of Eurasian high montane habitat).
Unplanned settlement, highway construction, increasing plateau tourism, dam construction, creation of agricultural fields.
Other hand, major mining operation projected to take place at the Cerattepe hills, the upper catchment of the City of Artvin. The proposed mining area is a key recreational area of Artvin and it is surrounded by native Black Sea Forests. The area is also located at the junction of Çoruh Valley and Eastern Black Sea Mountains Important Bird Areas (IBAs), the primary bottleneck for soaring birds migrating between Eurasia and Eastern Africa. The site is listed as one for IBAs in Danger in Turkey in 2016.
Raptors MOU - IBA listed under Table 3 of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia