KuzeyDoga Society


KuzeyDoğa Derneği

KuzeyDoga Society


KuzeyDoga Society was established on January 28, 2008 in the province of Kars in northeastern Turkey. We are mainly interested in birds and their habitats, doing scientific research, organizing environmental education programs for kids and youth, raising awareness among local people about nature, providing training and capacity development opportunities for youth, promoting nature friendly tourism activities and cooperating with local, national and international organizations for the nature protection of Kars, Igdir, Ardahan, Artvin and Agri provinces in north-eastern Turkey.


Dr. Çağan Hakkı Şekercioğlu

Dr. Çağan Hakkı Şekercioğlu

Born in 1975 in Istanbul, Turkey. He studied biology and antropology at Harvard University and is currently a senior scientist at Stanford University Center for Conservation Biology, specializing in community-based conservation, ecology, ornithology, and tropical biology. His doctoral research focused on the causes and consequences of bird extinctions around the world. He has conducted ornithological fieldwork in Alaska, Angola, Colorado, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Turkey and Uganda to investigate the ecological factors behind the extinction-proneness of certain groups, such as tropical understory insectivores. He has an extensive ongoing bird ringing and radio tracking study in Costa Rica to understand the factors behind the disappearance and survival of tropical forest bird species in human-dominated landscapes. He has compiled and continues to analyze a database of all the world's bird species to understand the distributions and determinants of avian life history traits and extinction correlates, and to assess the implications of avian extinctions on bird-mediated ecosystem processes and services, such as pollination, seed dispersal, and control of insect outbreaks. İn addition to his empirical research, he is currently conducting community-based conservation projects in Ethiopia and Turkey. His objectives are to integrate conservation education, research, capacity building and income generation, to increase the contribution of ecotourism, especially birdwatching, to community-based conservation in the developing world, and to improve the role of the private sector in the conservation of biodiversity. His ultimate goal is to prevent extinctions and consequent collapses of critical ecosystem processes while making sure that human communities benefit from conservation as much as the wildlife they help conserve.

Önder CırıkÖnder Cırık
Projects Coordinator

Born in 1979 in Mersin, Turkey. He studied business & economics at Ege University in İzmir. He started birdwatching at the university. Because of his great passion for nature and birds, he did not choose a career in business or economics. After he graduated from the university, he was accepted for an international internship programme on the conservation of raptors in USA. After he came back to Turkey, Doga Dernegi (BirdLife Turkey) hired him for the Conservation of Caucasian Black Grouse project in northeastern Turkey. After finishing this project, he joined the Turkish army for six months in order to complete his military obligation. After he completed his duty, he started to work for the Kars-Iğdır Biodiversity project on September, 2007. He has been coordinating the projects of the KuzeyDoğa Society. He is responsible for general coordination, financial reporting, promoting, managing web sites, fund raising, and environmental education. He has been living in Kars since 2007.

Emrah ÇobanEmrah Çoban
Science Coordinator and Biologist

Born in 1984 in Eskisehir, Turkey. He studied biology at Kafkas University. He is currently a graduate student in the Kafkas University Biology Department in Kars. He started to volunteer for the Kars-Iğdır Biodiversity project in April 2006 and after finishing his military service, was hired by KuzeyDoğa Society in November 2008. He is responsible for field work, promotion, public relations, lobbying, large carnivore, ethnobotany surveys and organizing plant illustration courses. He is studying the birds of Lake Kuyucuk for his master thesis. He has been living in Kars since 2001.



Sedat İnakSedat İnak
Chief Field Officer and Biologist

Born in 1981 in Bingol, Turkey. He studied biology at Inonu University in Malatya. He is now a graduate student in the Kafkas University Biology Department in Kars. He worked voluntarily for KuzeyDoğa Society for a year and has been working professionally since June 2008. Besides working at Aras since March 2007, he received further training at the Cernek Station of Ondokuz University in Kizilirmak Delta of Samsun province this fall and qualified to be Turkey eighth licensed ringer. He is responsible for conducting ringing studies at Aras and Kuyucuk Bird Research & Education Centers, entering and analyzing the data collected and writing scientific articles. For his thesis, he is studying the migration patterns of passerines using the Aras valley. He has been living in Kars since 2007.


Soner Oruç

Soner Oruç
Field Conservationist

Soner Oruç was born  on November 25, 1985 in İskenderun, Turkey. He studied biology in Middle East Technical University (METU). Thanks to METU Birdwatching Society, he became a birdwatcher in his first year (2005) which changed his life totally after then. Since 2005, as a keen birdwatcher,  he has organized several field trips and meetings to promote birdwatching in Turkey  and  he has participated several ornithological studies (bird ringing, raptor counts, breeding bird surveys, etc.) and nature conservation projects as a volunteer or as a consultant with different clubs and NGOs (METU Birdwatching Society, METU Underwater Society, Nature Conservation Center, Turkish Bird Research Society, Nature Society, 19 Mayis University Ornithological Research Center, KuzeyDoga Society, Hellenic Ornithological Society and Batumi Raptor Count Team). His first aim is to raise people' awareness about nature, in particular about birds. He believes that birdwatching is a perfect tool to reach this aim. He wants to improve his present understanding of birds under the academic umbrella with strong linkage with local NGOs and wants to empower his community with knowledge of how to conserve birds, so the nature.


Yakup ŞaşmazYakup Şaşmaz
Field Biologist

 Born in 1984 in Ankara. He studied biology at Kafkas University. He worked voluntarily for KuzeyDoğa Society since 2005 at Kars and Aras Bird Stations every ringing season. He coordinated the Aras station in 2008 fall. He was responsible for ringing activities, logistics of the camp, collecting data and processing data and leading the ringing team. He joined the Turkish Navy in order to complete his military obligation in December 2008 and expects to be back with KuzeyDoğa after a year.