Join us for an exploration of the Kaçkar Mountains! Vastly experienced and knowledgeable local guide & expert on the regions flora Yasemin Konuralp will accompany us to assist in discovering some of the areas best butterfly and wildlife treasures!
The Kaçkar mountains rise steeply from Turkey’s Black Sea coast and are an extension of the Caucasus mountains which are considered by the World Wild Fund for Nature and by Conservation International as a biodiversity hotspot. The Çoruh valley lies at the very heart of the Kaçkar. Steep-sided valleys, alpine meadows, river-side vegetation, Mediterranean habitats, all contribute to a diversity of habitats that account for the formidable list of more than 140 butterflies that reside in the area – we recorded 134 on our first tour in 2017!
During our nine day long holiday we will sample all the different habitats of the Çoruh valley to look for the areas butterflies. A wealth of Lycaenids, from Little Tiger blue Tarucus balkanicus, Grass Jewel, Brown Argus, Lesser Fiery Copper to Turkish Fiery Copper, Ilex Hairstreak, White-Letter Hairstreak, Odd-spot Blue, Sliver-studded blue, Large Anatolian Blue, Gerhard’s Blue Polyommatus carmon, False Chalk-hill Blue, Hopffer’s Blue, Checkered Blue, Orange Hermit, Syrian Grayling, White-bordered Grayling, Iranian Argus, Pearly Heath, Scotch Argus, Krueper’s Small White, Small Bath White, Southern Swallowtail, Spotted Fritillary, Silver-Washed Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Queen of Spain Fritillary and a wealth of exotic skippers!
Turkish flora is incredibly rich, with 11466 species, 3650 of which are endemic. This diversity stems principally from country`s geographical position, sandwiched between the steps of Central Asia, the deserts of Syria, the cold afforested mountains of Central Europe, and the Mediterranean to the west. The unspoilt area we’ll visit is very rich botanically, with many species of Campanula, Gentians, Centaurea, Dianthus, Silene, Digitalis exotic Acantholimon, beautiful Papaver and many others.
The many habitats of the Kackar support a rich diversity of birds.The lower valleys host Blue Rock Thrush, Rollers and Bee-eaters. Streams support Grey and White Wagtails, Dippers and Common Sandpipers.Forests and Mountain hillsides are home to Tree Pipits, Rosefinches, Redstarts, Chukar, Red-Backed Shrikes, Red-Fronted Serins, Ring Ouzels, Ortolan Buntings, Rock Thrushes, Kruper’s Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper and no less than 7 species of Woodpeckers. Birds of prey such as Buzzards, Honey-Buzzards, Long-legged Buzzard,Griffon and Black Vultures, Golden Eagles and Lammergeier may be seen soaring over the valleys.
Accompanying us will be Yasemin Konuralp, who has over 20 years experience in guiding tours in Turkey. During that time she has built up considerable knowledge about the endemic wildflowers of the country, which has culminated into a Wildflowers of Turkey field guide, published in 2013.
We hope to welcome you on what will be a truly memorable tour!