Dr. Tansu Gurpinar
Tansu Gurpinar, a botanist, zoologist and geologist, joined the National Parks and Wildlife Department of Forestry in 1966 until 1969. He carried out several projects on the conservation of large endangered mammals in Turkey, including the anatolian wild sheep, the ibex goat and the fallow and roe deers who today enjoy a healthy population. He helped plan several National Parks, while undertaking inventories and censuses of wetlands and birds. In 1970, after observing the alarming decline of birds of prey in the country, he made a plea for their conservation and succeeded in ensuring their full legal protection. From 1969 to 1973, he was Director of the country's first bird sanctuary where he enforced protection laws and improved their habitat to attract new species of birds. Thanks to him, a considerable increase in the existing population has been recorded. Since 1976, the Park has been awarded four times a First Class Europeans Diploma. From 1973 to 1977, he fought and succeeded in saving one of the most important wetlands in Turkey from a large drainage project. Today, it is a nature protection area and a Ramsar site with more than 500,000 birds. In 1978, he was appointed Head of Education, Legislation and Finance Department where he implemented better conservation policies. He is currently Deputy Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. Gurpinar, a leading nature photographer who has won numerous awards, is the author of three nature books and is a founder/member of the Society for the Protection of Nature.