The concept of Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) is an approach of prioritisation used to determine vulnerable and irreplaceable natural areas. In order to achieve that, a series of ecological indicators are used, starting with endangered species or species with limited geographical distribution. KBAs are selected on the basis of tangible criteria related to standards based on the distribution and population of species and habitats that require conservation of the areas, and thresholds applicable on a global scale. On the other hand, there are a series of quantitative threshold values used to determine KBAs.
An international team that included experts from Doğa presented the first design for KBA criteria in 2004, based on the “Important Bird Area” studies by BirdLife International. Later, in 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) developed the method of KBA further and recognised it as an international standard to determine the areas of top priority.
According to the new standards determined by IUCN in 2016, there are five major KBA citeria and a series of sub-citeria:
|A. Threatened Biodiversity
|A1. Threatened species
|A2. Threatened ecosystem types
|B. Geographically restricted biodiversity
|B1. Individual geographically restricted species
|B2. Co-occurring geographically restricted species
|B3. Geographically restricted assemblages
|B4. Geographically restricted ecosystem types
|C. Ecological integrity
|D. Biological processes
|D1. Demographic aggregations
|D2. Ecological refugia
|D3. Recruitment sources
|E. Irreplaceability through quantitative analysis
As one of the World’s first KBA inventories on a national scale, “Key Biodiversity Areas of Turkey” book was completed in 2006 with Doğa’s coordination and the contributions of many organizations and scientists. In this work concerning eight different groups of living creatures, the data regarding plants, dragonflies, butterflies, inland water fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals were synthesised to identify 305 KBAs. Important Bird Areas, Important Plant Areas, the sea turtle and the Mediterranean monk seal areas, identified previously by other experts and organizations, provided important bases for this work of Doğa.
The KBA Updating Programme, started in 2018 by Doğa, was prepared with the purpose of researching the vulnerable and irreplaceable natural areas in Turkey thoroughly while acting in unison with all partners across the world. Aims of 2018 KBA Updating Programme:
- Creating a network with all partners to update, monitor and conserve KBAs.
- Review and update the KBA inventory and borders of Turkey according to the 2016 criteria of IUCN.
- Including the current biodiversity data obtained since 2006 in the KBA inventory.