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Butterflies of the Kaçkars in Turkey

Butterflies of the Kaçkars in Turkey


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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 regularly record 120-140 species on the this tour.

During our tour we will sample all the different habitats of the Çoruh valley to look for the regions butterflies. A wealth of Lycaenids that include Little Tiger Blue, Odd-spot Blue, Bavius Blue, Bosnian Blue, Large Blue, Aedon Blue, Meleager’s Blue, Silver-studded blue, False Chalk-hill Blue, Checkered Blue as well as Lesser Fiery Copper, Turkish Fiery Copper, Balkan Copper, Ilex Hairstreak, White-Letter Hairstreak, and Gerhard’s Black Hairstreak. Other local or beautiful species include Orange Hermit, White-bordered Grayling, Geyer’s Tawny Rockbrown, Russian Heath, Lederer’s Heath, Small Bath White, Balkan Marbled White, Scarce Swallowtail, Caucasian Spotted Fritillary, Silver-Washed Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, False Heath Fritillary, Queen of Spain, Apollo, Ionian Emperor 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, CentaureaDianthusSilene, Digitalis exotic Acantholimon, beautiful Papaver and many others.

The many habitats of the Kackar support a good range of birds. The lower valleys host Blue Rock Thrush and Bee-eaters while 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, Short-toed Treecreeper and several species of Woodpecker. Birds of prey such as Buzzards, Honey-Buzzards, Long-legged Buzzard, and Golden Eagles may be seen soaring over the valleys. There are also many lovely day-flying moths such as Nine-spotted Moth as well as spectacular crickets and grasshoppers in the upper 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!




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