TRACKING THE BROWN BEAR: ÇAĞAN ŞEKERCİOĞLU, WHO IS THE FIRST TURKISH EXPLORER OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND WHO SHOT THE “SARIKAMIS” DOCUMENTARY, IS CONDUCTING DIFFERENT RESEARCHES AROUND THE WORLD.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çağan Şekercioğlu, who fell in love with nature when he was just 4 years old, is at the same time the first Turkish biologist, ecologist and ornithologist . One of the most important achievements of Şekercioğlu, who is a Lecturer at the University of Utah and the Founding President of the Kars KuzeyDoğa Association, is the first and only Turkish explorer of National Geographic. Şekercioğlu, who has an active role in both introducing brown bears to the world and announcing the first ‘Wildlife Corridor’ of Türkiye to the World with the documentary “Tracking the Brown Bear: Sarikamis”, which is the first wildlife documentary of National Geographic Channel in Türkiye, is, this time, preparing to shoot a documentary about wolves in 2014.
Although he is 38 years old, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Çağan Şekercioğlu, the Founding President of the Kars KuzeyDoğa Association, has won numerous awards for the researches he did in Türkiye and around the world and is a well known figure in the world. Şekercioğlu, who has developed projects for the protection of nature and wildlife in over 70 countries and 7 continents, including Antarctica, is among the researchers who have seen 6300 bird species of the ten thousand species in the world.
Şekercioğlu, who was selected “THE RISING EXPLORER OF THE YEAR” by National Geographic in 2011, became one of the 22 explorers “who take risks” in the world in 2013. And KuzeyDoğa Association was selected as the world’s number one with the project entitled “Community-Based Protection of Kuyucuk Lake Ramsar Area” in the field of nature protection and qualified to get CLP 2013 Leadership Award.
The First Turkish National Geographic explorer
Şekercioğlu, who says that his biggest dream since his childhood years was to be an explorer , gives the following information about how his path crossed with National Geographic : “ National Geographic has been following my studies for nearly 10 years. They gave me two research scholarships for my research projects on bird ecology in Costa Rica in the years 2004 and 2008. When these studies ended in scientific publications, National Geographic made news of this topic on its website and they wanted me to shoot a documentary film about my study in Costa Rica. I shot my project’s documentary film with a professional camera that National Geographic provided to me. And this documentary was televised in National Geographic’s ‘Wild Chronicles’ series. Then, I was invited to Washington, DC and I gave two speeches at National Geographic. In the meantime, they learned that I had searched for birds in over 70 countries around the world and seen more than half of the world’s bird species and were very impressed. I ranked among the most cited scientists in the world during the last 10 years in 2010. Shortly after the news about this topic, I learned that I had been chosen the ‘National Geographic Explorer’”.
He Opened the First Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Türkiye
Şekercioğlu, who played a leading role, together with the Ministry of Forestry and Water Works, in establishing the first wildlife rehabilitation center and the creation of the first wildlife corridor of Türkiye, did his best for the introduction, protection and investigation of Türkiye’s natural wealth in Eastern Anatolia. Şekercioğlu, who has taken an active role in the first project for the creation of the Wildlife Corridor in Türkiye since 2010, states that with the documentary entitled “Tracking the Brown Bear :Sarikamis” they both got information about brown bears and took an important step towards shaping the ‘wildlife corridor’.
The Documentary has reached 140 countries
Şekercioğlu remarks that the documentary “Tracking the Brown Bear :Sarikamis” is a result of three years of work and adds: Tracking the Brown Bear :Sarikamis is the first National Geographic Channel documentary in Türkiye concerning wildlife. The project, which was shot in the forests of Kars Sarıkamış, conveys the wildlife in Sarikamis from the eyes of brown bears by reaching approximately 140 million people in 140 countries around the world as well as Türkiye, thanks to National Geographic. The documentary was first broadcast on National Geographic Channel on Sunday, November 22. The first ‘Wildlife Corridor’ Project of Türkiye received as sponsorship from The Ministry of Forestry and Water Works. Works were started by the Ministry to create a new conservation forest which is 162 miles in length and 28 thousand 542 hectares in size between Sarikamis and Caucasus(Kafkas) forests .Since approximately two-thirds of the area is already forested currently, only one in three will be reforested. A forest corridor will be created that runs along from Kars to the Georgian border and the wildlife in the region will be enabled to access to the large forests of the Lower Caucasus (Kafkas), the Black Sea and the Kaçkars.
Crittercam was used
National Geographic Crittercam was used for the first time in this documentary. These Crittercams were attached to 5 brown bears. Throughout the study, 16 brown bears were followed via GPS / GSM data. 10 different researchers from Türkiye, Croatia, USA and Switzerland took part in the team.
Now It is Time for a Wolf Documentary
Çağan Şekercioğlu talks about his 2014 objectives; I will develop projects for the recovery and protection of the Aras River Bird Sanctuary. With the scientific publications and documentaries, I am intending to introduce the nature and the wildlife of Eastern Anatolia to the world. We want to perform the crittercam project on wolves in May, 2014
From Costa Rica to Ethiopia
Çağan Şekercioğlu, who is carrying out bird ringing projects in Utah, Costa Rica and Ethiopia along with Türkiye, aims to educate qualified people specialized in ornithology by starting bird ringing programs. In Ethiopia,he is working on a long-term project investigating the impact of climate change on forest birds. Şekercioğlu says they have followed the migration and other movements of endangered vultures with satellite transmitters in Turkey and Ethiopia. He is also exploring mammals with photo traps and examining bird species with nets and bird ringing in Red Butte Canyon and Rio Mesa Research Station, which are among the protected areas reserved for research by Utah University.