New Horizons - Southeast Anatolia Leopard project was initiated in August 2013 in collaboration with the Foundation of Conserving the Natural Resources and Biodiversity and the Foundation of Nature, Culture and Life.
With the support of the GEF Small Grant Programme and General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, the project aims to find the reasons behind why leopards are being killed in the region, to develop precautions for that and to educate the public for the importance of leopards both at local and national level.
The usage of camera traps at this project brings the biodiversity of Siirt to light.
During the studies undertaken with the project, the living traces of bobcat and sea otter in the region are found.
Ahmet Aydın, the Governor of Siirt visited the leopard project
Ahmet Aydın, the Governor of Siirt, visited the Southeast Leopard Project in May.
He visited the project together with a crowded delegation including leading local authorities and the people of Yelkesen Village.
The Governor checked one of the camera traps that were located on the outskirts of Gabar Mountain and got detailed information about the project.
He emphasized that this project was started months before the leopard killing in Diyarbakir in November 2013. Later on, he stated that this region, which was remembered with news about death, should now be featured with its rich natural life and this project is very important in order Siirt to be an exemplary city in this respect.
‘Botan Valley should be taken under protection’
Afterwards, Governor Aydin had a meeting with Batur Avgan, Project Coordinator and Nevzat Amcalar, Chief of Siirt Department of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs.
At the meeting, responsibilities of authorities to protect leopards in the region and to ensure the sustainability of the activities in this field were discussed. Besides, it is discussed what should be done to declare the parts of Gabar Mountain that are in the borders of Siirt as the wildlife improvement area and declaration of Botan Valley as a national park.
In order to create wild life corridor between the Herekol Mountain and Gabar Mountain where it is thought the leopards are living, Botan Valley should have protected area status.
The Governor Ahmet Aydın stated that he will go to Ankara in July in order to have meetings on declaring these areas as protected.