From Local Ecological Knowledge to Drone-Based Monitoring Surveys: Addressing the Importance of Marine Top Predators

18 Jun 2021 Gökçeada Island, Turkey, Asia Biodiversity | Education | Marine

Nur Bikem Kesici

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14 May 2019

Conservation of Top Predators through Monitoring and Capacity Building in the Gökçeada Island (North Aegean Sea)

Top predators play a key role as ecosystem regulators and their presence is a great indicator of a healthy ecosystem. The Gökçeada Island, located in the North Aegean Sea, harbors a wide range of biodiverse ecosystems and offers a variety of habitats for many marine top predators such as cetaceans, chondrichthyans, large teleosts and the Mediterranean monk seal. Consistent and long-term surveys are considered necessary to fill the gap in knowledge regarding these species, since they are long living, late maturing animals.

© Nur Bikem Kesici

© Nur Bikem Kesici

There is a growing interest in the potential use of aerial surveys, as they allow research on the movement, ecology, behaviour, health and habitat use of marine top predators. The very first data base on these species around the Gökçeada Island is established with the 1st RSG. At this stage, we aim to conduct visual and aerial surveys, supported with Local Ecological Knowledge (LEK) to gain a clearer understanding of these inhabitants, as this will help to determine species regional status and thus, guide for the conservation efforts. The project also aims to reinforce environmentally conscious communities in the target area for a long-lasting perception of conservation.

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