Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute
The Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute;
The Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute (CWRI) was established in 2018, in Kyrenia, Cyprus as part of the Taskent Nature Park, in order to serve as a coordinating authority for our rehabilitation facilities. It consists of the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, the Cyprus Marinelife Center, and the Wildlife Hospital and Research Laboratory.
Taskent Nature Park (TNP) was established as a privately funded, non-profit, social responsibility organization, in 2016, in Kyrenia, Cyprus. Initially, it had focused on awareness raising activities for the conservation of nature and wildlife. However, being the only active center for wildlife conservation, one day we were called in for an injured barn owl, a magnificent animal which is a key species within an ecological niche of the island of Cyprus. It was a dramatic event to find the barn owl with a broken wing, and helpless. We immediately sought help from a vet to have an emergency operation for the owl. After a few anxious hours, the barn owl was alive and well. Following the success with the barn owl, there was an increased influx of other injured or orphaned wild animals being brought to the park, from filamingoes to foxes, shrews to shags. We realized that there was a need for a professional wildlife rehabilitation center in Cyprus. Therefore, the Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Center (WRRC) was established in July 2016.
The Cyprus Marinelife Center
In February 2017, WRRC received a request to rehabilitate a Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) from Near East University Animal Hospital. The turtle was successfully operated on but needed a suitable place for its long and slow recovery period. We established the the Cyprus Marinelife Center (CMC) in 2017, so that we could provide such an environment, complete with turtle tanks and a water treatment facility.
The Wildlife Hospital and Research Laboratory
The expanding team of professionals in WRRC and CMC felt the growing need for a hospital and laboratory specializing in wildlife care. This resulted in the decision to establish a purpose-specific Wildlife Hospital & Research Laboratory (WHRL) which was completed in the first quarter of 2019. THe hospital is fully furnished with offices, a laboratory and rooms for treatment, examination and surgery.
The CWRI is aware of the importance of human resources to undertake systematic, multi-disciplinary, long-term surveys of wildlife and habitats. For this reason, CWRI invites both national and international volunteers from any background to train on subject-specific skills and knowledge thus, to participate in the observation and conservation of wildlife in Cyprus. Project funding for CWRI is sought at all levels to maintain and expand its capacity as a state-of-the-art rescue, rehabilitation, release, and research (4R’s) facility. Since its foundation, the CWRI has conducted several workshops, published numerous research articles, implemented conservation projects and built the capacity of governmental organizations and supported the development of relevant legislation. Saving wildlife is a team effort, and our staff would like you to join usas we work to save species. You can donate, volunteer or sponsor some of the expenses of our efforts. See our “how you can help” page for more information.
Well, what happened to the barn owl which sparked off all of this? The barn owl is still alive and well, and enjoys the company of other owls at our sanctuary, helping the other injured owls to feel safe and calm during their recovery period.
Çağın Ateş graduated from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies of the European University of Lefke, North Cyprus with a degree in agricultural engineering, in 2007. After graduation, he worked as the director of his family business for 6 years. In 2014, he became the landscape manager of a large estate including a vineyard, fruit orchard and ornamental gardens. He started to work in CWRI in 2015, and his main duties here include hardscape applications, plant nursery work, supervision of field crop production, seed selection operations, and all minor construction works within the nature park.
I studied Zoology at the University of Manchester, followed by a master’s degree on Conservation Biology at the University of Derby, where I studied small mammals of Cyprus. I have been working at Taskent Nature Park since I graduated in 2017. Based at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, I am mainly involved in rehabilitation of wild animals, collection of biometric data and post-release tracking of animals via ringing schemes and tracking devices where needed. I am also involved in field studies and monitoring of unreleasable wild animals and exotic species housed at the centre.
I was born in Nicosia in 1974 and graduated from Istanbul University Faculty of Aquaculture Engineering in 1997. I specialized in closed marine and freshwater systems. I worked in Istanbul for more then 10 years on ornamental freshwater fish breeding. After I came back to T.R.N.C. I started my own business working with ornamental freshwater and marine fish keeping and breeding in closed aquarium systems. I have PADI and CMAS diving certificates. I have been working at Taşkent Nature Park, at the Marine Life Center for nearly 3 years. I designed the turtle tanks and filter systems and their installation. I am still working there for the control and maintenance of the turtle tanks and their filter systems, as well as being responsible for the large pond near the activity center.
Dilber Necatoğlu Karamustafa
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cyprus. Qualified with ‘Animal Management and Veterinary Nursing’ BTEC Level 3 Diploma from Canterbury College then studied Veterinary Medicine at Ankara University and graduated from Near East University in 2018 as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). I did my graduation thesis on ‘Wound Management of Horses’ in the surgery department. Also certified in Animal Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. Working with animals of all sizes and species, my lifetime goal is to keep improving myself and doing my best in order to help them live their life the best way.
Itri Levent Erkol
Itri Levent Erkol, MSc. has been actively working on various nature conservation projects including conservation of globally threatened bird and freshwater fish species and also delineation and conservation planning of Key Biodiversity Areas for more than a decade. He is experienced in the preparation and implementation of both species action plans and site management plans in a participatory manner. He is currently partaking in different conservation projects along the Mediterranean Basin and Lesser Caucasus as Senior Conservation Policy Consultant and joined the CWRI team in 2020. His primary focus areas within the team are; development of conservation strategy of CWRI, development of tailor-built GIS solution, capacity building of the team and international representation of CWRI at conservation networks.
Kadir Boğaç Kunt
Kadir Boğaç Kunt has studied spider taxonomy since 2003. His initial research, expertise and interests focussed on the spider species native to Turkey and Cyprus. His current investigations covers the spider families of Dysderidae, Nemesiidae and Theraphosidae. Other than spider taxonomy, he conducts active field research on biospeleology and the scorpions of Turkey and Cyprus. He has published several peer-reviewed manuscripts in national and international journals. So far he has described over 30 spider and 2 scorpion species. Three arachnid species have been named in his honour.
Kemal Basat graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Computer Science. In 2003, he established his own ISP company in Cyprus. He is the founder of Taskent Nature Park (2016). He was inspired by a young, orphaned donkey, which was in dire need of help. In a short time, Kemal witnessed the rewarding experience of helping an animal in need and decided to start the first and only wildlife rehabilitation center in Cyprus, which has expanded into Taskent Nature Park. TNP encompasses the Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute, the Cyprus Environmental Education Center, the Nature Park Farm, Taşkent Picnic Area and the Selvi Restaurant.
Martin Marancos, General Coordinator, responsible for Fundraising and Outreach to the Foreign Community in Cyprus. Martin is also involved in EU and other donor projects where his extensive experience proves useful. 2019 saw a collaboration between Taskent Nature Park and the Laona Foundation called “Cyprus in the Classroom” funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands through their Orange Tulip initiative.
Taxidermy is a skilled, ethical and artistic craft that exists between the worlds of Art and Education. An ethical taxidermist loves natural history which leads him to respect animals and concentrate on the beauty of nature giving people the opportunity to explore nature and wildlife up close. Mehmet Paralik is an “ethical” taxidermist and has been so since 1981. He only works with animals that have died from natural causes, poisoning, road kill and specimens from the CWRI. Mr Paralik works under the ethical guidelines of CITES regulations, European Wildlife Legislation and the laws and regulations of the TRNC, which state that all wildlife species are protected by law and it is illegal to profit from them.
Murat is from Turkmenistan. He has been working in the CWRI since 2018. Murat is a true friend of animals. His affection for the animals and previous experience in animal husbandry and construction, makes him an essential part of the team. His main duties in the CWRI include daily feeding, basic monitoring and care of animals, maintenance of enclosures and assisting the staff.
Nazım was born in 1980 in Cyprus. He went to primary school in Australia, secondary school in Cyprus, university in Ankara, Turkey and got a masters degree in London. He studied Information Systems and Finance in Bilkent University, and the European Union History and Perspectives at the Westminster University. He has worked in the area of budgeting, sales operations, system establishment and organization. He worked in England in distribution, logistics, sales, sales operations, budgeting and financing, procurement for about 10 years. He has participated actively in many different charity organizations including homeless shelters. He is currently the head of the plant nursery team at the Nature Park, responsible for the production and sales of the plants, which finances our conservation efforts at the park. He is passionate about nature and animals, and proud to share the same vision in nature conservation and awareness raising.
Özge Özden Fuller
Prof. Dr. Özge Özden Fuller studied “Agriculture Engineering” at Uludağ University, Turkey. She started working as a research assistant at the EUL at the Faculty of Agriculture in 2000. She completed her MSc in February 2002 at Çukurova University, Turkey, in Entomology. Later on she carried out research on “Biodiversity of Cyprus” for her PhD thesis together with Dr. Dave Hodgson and Prof. Dr. Brendan Godley at University of Exeter. She completed her PhD in 2009 and became a “Doctor” of Biological Sciences – Ecology. Since 2012, she is working as a Professor on Ecology, at the Department of Landscape Architecture at Near East University, where she is also the Deputy Director of the Cyprus Herbarium and the Natural History Museum. She has been working as a volunteer at Taşkent Nature Park, particularly on biodiversity research and new green roof establishments since 2018. She has many internationally published papers on the subject of biodiversity of Cyprus and Mediterranean region.
Pera is a veterinarian from Slovenia, graduated from Veterinary Faculty in Ljubljana. Already since her early childhood, she has had a close bond with nature, always trying to help and save animals around her. Since her student years, Pera has dedicated a lot of time to volunteering at wildlife rescue centres, exotic animal hospitals and ZOOs in Croatia, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates, to gain knowledge about wild and exotic animal medicine and develop the necessary skills for handling these sort of patients. Among those, was also a marine animal rehabilitation centre in Barcelona, where she fell in love with sea turtles. After all, turtles and tortoises have fascinated her the most and are her favourite animals.
Prof. Dr. Salih Gücel studied Biology at Ege University. After graduating in 1997, he started his thesis study on Gürle Village at the Department of Biology, Celal Bayar University. In 2000, he continued his PhD thesis studies on the conservation of rare and endemic species. titled “Conservation biology of Asperuladaphneola and Minuartianifensis” in the Department of Biology, Institute of Science, Ege University. After completing his doctorate, he started to work as the Director of the Center for Environmental Research at the Near East University in 2005. He is currently working as a Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at this university and at the same time, he is Director of the Cyprus Herbarium and the Natural History Museum. He has been working as a volunteer at Taşkent Nature Park, particularly on biodiversity research and caving training infrastructure establishments at Taşkent Nature Park since 2018. He has many internationally published papers on the biodiversity of Cyprus and Mediterranean region.
Born on 21 October 1981. I graduated from the Veterinary Faculty of Kırıkkale University and completed my specialization in the department of internal illnesses at the Veterinary Faculty of Ankara University, graduating in 2008 with the degree of Veterinary Doctor. Between the years 2006 to 2008, I established the first database in the TRNC for canine leishmania, which is a very serious zoonosis. I practiced as a veterinary doctor at Petzone Vet Clinic in 2009. Between the years 2012 – 2014, I served as the head of Cyprus Turkish Veterinary Doctors Union as the first independently working doctor. In 2016, I established the first private animal hospital and has been serving as the head doctor. In addition, I have been working as the head veterinary doctor at the Cyprus Wildlife Research Institute since 2017
Studied biology (BSc) at the University of Kansas as a Fulbright Scholar, pursued a masters degree in plant science at the University of California, Riverside, and an MBA at the European University of Lefka, Cyprus. I followed my passion in nature through conservation projects, such as the identification of Natura 2000 habitats in Kyrenia Mountains, survey of feral donkeys of Karpas, mapping of native oaks, surveying Cyprus wetlands, conservation of endemic plants, establishing hiking trails and management of protected areas. Overseas trainings include organic farming in Hawaii, protected area managment in Malta, habitat restoration in New Zealand. As a biologist, my duties at the CWRI include project management and providing managerial support.
I have been working at CWRI for 4 years as a wildlife rehabilitator, passionately sharing the mission and vision of the center to spread awareness and knowledge about nature and environment on the island and beyond
I was born in the south coast town of Hastings, United Kingdom. In 1997, I began my university education as a mature student following a career in the civil service. After graduating with a BSc in Zoology I worked at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford and as part of the UK government‘s operation to deal with the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak in Devon. My doctoral research took place in Northern Cyprus and at Exeter Universities, Centre for Ecology and Conservation. From 2008, I took up the position of lecturer at the European University of Lefke, and later received the title of Assistant Professor. I began working at Near East Universities, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in September 2013 and in 2016, was award the title of Associate Professor. I have been working with Taşkent Nature Park on a voluntary basis since 2017, focusing on sea turtle rehabilitation issues and avian research activities. I have published numerous academic papers both SCI ranked and as proceedings at International Symposia.
Yasemin Basat is a member of the board of directors at the TNP. Yasemin graduated with a degree in LLB (law), from Near East University, in the year 2008. Following her studies in law, she has completed the pedagogical program for a master’s degree. She specializes in education programming. Her responsibilities at TNP include providing consultation on matters of environmental legislation, management of the Selvi Restaurant at TNP, public relations and administration. She has a keen interest in designing a training programme for government officers and their duties in the enforcement of environmental laws and regulations.