The Kaçkar Mountains
Olgunlar, ARTVİN ● Turkey
Description: The Kaçkar Mountains (Turkish: Kaçkar Dağları, Kaçkarlar) are a mountain range that rises above the Black Sea coast in eastern Turkey, up to the Georgian and Armenian borders. They are the easternmost and highest part of the Pontic Alps (in Turkish: Kuzey Anadolu Dağları, meaning North Anatolian Mountains), which stretch about 1000km west to east.
Many peaks in the eastern part are over 3000 m; the western part reaches up to 2000m altitude. The highest peak is the Mount Kaçkar (Kaçkar Dağı) at an elevation of 3,937 metres.
About the shot: The small mountain village of Olgunlar or Altıparmak is situated at 2147 m altitude on the southern slope of the Kaçkar Mountains. The photo was taken above the village at c. 2300 m altitude.
Biology: The Kaçkars are glaciated mountains that are alpine in character, with steep rocky peaks and numerous mountain lakes.
The main line of 3000m-plus peaks stretches about 50km southwest to northeast, with craggy, snow-covered heights rising above mountain glacial lakes, glaciers and high-level yaylalar (mountain pastures) and dense evergreen forests clothing the valleys of rushing rivers down below.
The Kaçkar is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. It has extremely rich alpine meadows and outstanding unique flora. There are estimated to be around 100 plant species endemic to the area or found in very few other places.
It is also home of over 200 butterfly species, including a few endemics and species with eastern distribution.
The region is passaway for migratory birds. Only in the Çoruh Valley, 188 species of birds have been recorded.
Protection: A large part of the Kaçkars, which covers of 52.970 hectares, has been declared a national park in 1994.
Wikipedia, Kaçkar Mountains
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