Chance of a lifetime: Volunteer ringers for Eastern Turkey! ~

3 de febrero de 2009

Chance of a lifetime: Volunteer ringers for Eastern Turkey!

On behalf of Cagan: The announcement for ringers:Aras & Kuyucuk Bird Ringing (Banding) Stations in northeastern Turkey are looking for volunteers in Spring 2009 (
Like every year since 2005, the environmental NGO KuzeyDoga Society ( will conduct bird ringing at the Aras & Kuyucuk Bird Ringing (Banding) stations in northeastern Turkey's Kars & Igdir provinces in spring 2009. This is a part of the Kars-Igdir Biodiversity Project led by ornithologist, ecologist and conservationist Dr. Cagan Sekercioglu (, senior scientist at Stanford University Biology Department and president of the KuzeyDoga Society.
Ringing will start on March 15, 2009 and will end on May 30, 2009 at the Aras station (950 m) whereas at the Kuyucuk station (1627 m) it will start in April 2009 and will end on May 30, 2009. We are looking for volunteers who will help ring birds at our stations between these dates. Minimum participation must be at least 15 days, ideally one month or more. While we cover local expenses like food, accommodation and local transportation, unfortunately we can not cover travel expenses to/from Kars .
Accommodation at the Aras station will be provided in the former teacher's house with a capacity of 5 beds. Flushing sit-down toilet, hot shower, kitchen, and stove are available in the house. Volunteers are responsible for preparing the meals and supplies will be provided regularly.At the Kuyucuk station, accommodation will be provided in the former teacher's house with a capacity of 6 beds in the village and in a cabin by the lake with a capacity of 4 beds . Flushing sit-down toilet, hot shower and kitchen are available in the house. Volunteers are responsible for preparing meals. Since Lake Kuyucuk is mile-high in elevation, we highly recommend our volunteers to bring their own sleeping bags and thick, winter clothes, particularly in April. Both stations can experience rain showers during the spring, and temperatures can sometimes drop down to 5 C at night. During the day, it will be 10-25 C, warming up as spring processes.
Aras Station ( 40º 07' N, 043º 35' E) is in a wetland by the Aras river and is surrounded by reeds and willows. Kuyucuk Lake (40º 45' N, 043º 27' E) is a bird-rich steppe lake surrounded by wheat fields and alpine meadows. We have recorded over 300 bird species in the Kars region, including most of eastern Turkey specialties. Kuyucuk and Aras both have bird lists around 200 species, collectively exceeding 270 species, 60% of the entire avifauna of Turkey. Photos can be seen here:
Each station will be led by a licensed master ringer(s) and volunteers will be responsible for checking nets once an hour, collecting birds from nets, bringing to the ringing center, recording the data on data sheets, making orientation experiments, releasing the ringed birds and preparing the meals. We usually have English speaking ringers at the stations.In our stations you can also take a nap (by alternating), read books, go birdwatching, pick up mushrooms, go fishing at Aras river as long as it is catch & release, go hiking, watch spring migration, horse ride, hang around with villagers, watch famous TV shows at nights and warm up with Azeri vodka. You can see the BBC World Reports of our projects here:
Anybody who is interested and can volunteer at least 15 days between the dates mentioned above, please get in touch with and let me know your name, last name and the dates you are available to come.
KuzeyDoga Society reserves the right of replacement of volunteers between the stations depending on available capacity in both stations.For further information about our ringing stations, please visit
Onder CIRIKKuzeyDoga SocietyProjects Coodinator

Cagan H. Sekercioglu, Ph.D.
Senior research scientist
Stanford University
Center for Conservation Biology
Department of Biology
371 Serra Mall
Stanford CA 94305-5020 USA

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