Turkey’s Bird Species under Danger in Europe
Small Cormorant (Phalacrocorax Pygmeus)
They prefer areas having watery surroundings. They live in mild climate and in sweet, salty and bitter waters.
They generally spend the winter at shores of Lagoons, deltas and rivers in forests. Mating takes place at the locations where the winter is spent. Usually they brood in colonies in a mixed manner with other species. Nests are made in dense woods and scrubs at 1 – 15m height from the water surface.
Sometimes this height becomes 2 – 2.5 m in forests. They use old nets by repairing them.
The brood population in Turkey is estimated to be 1500 pairs. (DHKD) The brooding areas in Turkey are Ulubat Lake (max 300 pairs), Ereğli Rushes (max 600 pairs), Sultan Rushes (Kayseri) (max 200 pairs), Kuş Lake (150 pairs), and in addition other reproduction areas are Akşehir and Eber Lakes, Hotamış Rushes (Konya) and Çaldıran Rushes (Van).
Winter areas are Meriç Delta (Edirne) (max 1450), Ulubat Lake (max 1078), Gediz Delta (max 1000), B. Mendres Delta (max 1350), and other winter areas are Marmara Lake, Işıklı Lake, Eğridir Lake, Göksu Delta.
Crested Pelican (pelicanus crispus)
They live in large inner waters, lakes, large marshes and lagoons. Although it lives in sweet waters, it can be seen in salty and bitter waters rarely. They generally prefer watery areas having an intense fish population. Their reproduction colonies are in lakes, deltas and river mouths. The ones coming for reproduction are seen at the reproduction locations in February. The eggs are laid 10 days later. They lay 4 eggs. The incubation period is 31 – 32 days.The young feathers out in 11 – 12 weeks.
They leave the reproduction areas in autumn. The basic location where they spent winter is the shore areas and deltas of Mediterranean Sea and Hazar Sea. The region for spending the winter is very narrow.
Their condition in Turkey:
Reproduction areas: Menderes Delta (max 42 pairs), Kuş lake (max 35 pairs), Gediz Delta (max 35 pairs), Aktaş Lake (Ardahan) (max 50 pairs), Kızılırmak Delta (max 6 pairs); Areas for spending the winter: Menderes Delta (Max 434 pairs), Gediz Delta (Max 341 pairs), Meriç Delta (Max 290 pairs), Uluabat Lake (Max 136 pairs), Kuş Lake (Max 117 pairs), Göksu Delta (max 56 pairs).
Small Sakarca Goose (Anser erythropus)
It broods in the tundra at the north of Scandinavia and Russia. It is herbivorous and feeds in the reeds at the shores of lakes and rivers – they rather prefer salty marshes. In winter, they generally live in semi – dry regions. When they cannot find steppe areas, they use other habitats.
Condition in Turkey: In years with heavy winters, they are rarely seen in Western Anatolia, Trakya and Eastern Anatolia.
Although Siberia Goose (Branta ruficollis) uses Steppe areas during migration, the feeding habitats at Black Sea shores are meadows and agricultural areas. This species can fly to safe watery areas for meeting their water needs and staying for the night. Their reproduction area is mostly tundra. They are nested in the form of colonies consisting of 5-6 pairs. The number of eggs varies in between 3 – 10. Incubation period is 25 days.
Condition in Turkey: Turkey is one of the 5 countries in which this species can be seen during the migration period. In winter, it is seen in the watery areas in Kayseri. In eastern Anatolia, this species produced two pairs, after that no information could be obtained to verify their reproduction.
Summer Duck (Marmorentta angustrious)
They generally prefer sweet, shallow lakes having a dense flora. But, information is available showing that they live in salty / bitter watery areas, although in small amounts. They prefer continuously watery areas for reproduction and makes its nest on reed and plant islands on water. It lays 4 – 14 eggs from April until June. Incubation period is 25 – 27 days. Although they are swimmer ducks, they dive well and feed in this way. They mostly feed with invertebrates and plant mixtures.
Condition in Turkey: Turkey is one of the most important countries where Summer Duck shows distribution.
The reproduction population in Turkey is between 150 – 250 pairs. 50 pairs in Göksu Delta, 35 pairs in Seyhan, Ceyhan Delta, 20 pairs in Hatamış Reedbed (Konya). Other brooding areas are Sultan Reedbed, Kulu Lake, Ereğli Reedbeds, Bendima Delta and Çelebibağ (Van) reedbed.
(Dikkuyruk Ördek) (Oxyura Leucocephala):
They prefer semi – permanently or continuously salty, bitter and sweet lakes having closed basin hydrology.
They generally prefer areas having large, deep and small flora or areas surrounded with larger watery areas as winter areas. They make their nests on small, swimming islands between water plants. They are polygamic. Reproduction area varies between April and the first half of July. They have very big eggs and the number of eggs varies in between 4 – 9. Incubation period is between 22 – 24 days. The larva feed with invertebrates and water plants.
Condition in Turkey:
Turkey is one of the most important countries for Oxyura Leucocephala. It has the biggest winter population among the countries where it shows distribution.
The most important winter area of Oxyura Leucocephala in the world is Burdur Lake. In some years, more than 50% of the total population spends winter in Burdur Lake. The biggest number in the lake was 10297 (DHKD), but this number has decreased too much now. Except Burdur Lake, it spends the winter in Kuş Lake (max 34), Marmara Lake (max 20), Karataş Lake (max 128), Yarışlı Lake (Max 82), İrfanlı Dam (max 122). Before reproduction period, it is seen in Ereğli Shallow areas (max 508), Hotamış Reedbed (Max 354), Kulu Lake (max 319), after reproduction period, it is seen in Arin (soda lake) (max 750). During migration, it is seen in Kızılırmak Delta (max 1246).
Brooding Areas: Ereğli Reedbeds (max 50 pairs), Hotamış Reedbed (max 50 pairs), Kulu Lake (max 30 pairs), Arin (Soda Lake) (Max 30 pairs), Sultan Reedbed (max 20 pairs), Uyuz Lake (max 10 pairs), Kazanlı Lake (max 10 pairs), Kars Çalı Kuyucak Lakes (Max 12 pairs), Van Sarısu and Nurşun Lakes (max 6 pairs).
Black Vulture (Aegypius Monachus):
They live on mountains, at the sides of steppes in high locations. They need slightly sloped forests and open valleys and sub – alpin areas having various pine types (up to 2000 meters). They feed in steppe regions. They reproduce in sparse colonies or alone. They make large nests on trees where they can leave their eggs. The first reproduction age is 5 – 6. Eggs are generally laid in the period that begins at the beginning of February and ends at the end of April. The incubation period is 50 – 54 days. The young generally remains in the nest for 100 – 105 days.
Condition in Turkey:
Türkmen Baba Mountain between Eskişehir and Kütahya (10 pairs), Kızılcahamam Soğuksu National Park (6 pairs), Bolu Kavalı Mountain (5 pairs), Eskişehir Hamam Mountain (5 pairs), Denizli Akdağ (3 pairs), Murat Mountain (2 pairs), Eastern Black Sea Mountains (10 pairs).
(Şah Kartal) (Aquila heliaca):
Although aquila heiaca lives basically in areas having a small height, it is forced to live at bigger heights. Their reproduction habitat in Mid and Eastern Europe consists of forested mountains, hills and river lengths, areas having heights up to 1000 meters, furthermore, steppes, open lands and agricultural areas. They prefer watery areas for spending winter. They use many types of habitats during migration. Aquila heliaca generally makes its nest at the top of old and high trees. Incubation period is completed at the end of March or beginning of April. They lay 2 – 3 eggs. Incubation period is 6 weeks. Their basic food is small mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, weasel and rats, in addition to these, they feed with water snakes, water salamanders, frogs and lizards.
Condition in Turkey:
2 pairs in Ankara Beynam Forests, 1 pair in Meriç Delta (Edirne), it is thought to reproduce in Ilgaz Mountains, Yozgat Pine Area, Eskişehir Türkmen Baba Mountain.
Among the reasons of the decrease in their numbers, destruction of the living environments of the mammals which are their food, forestry activities, habitat destruction, especially cutting down the large and old trees, hunting and illegal trade can be said.
Small Kestrel (Falco naumanni):
Small kestrels, which live in the form of a herd during the whole year, live in the roofs and walls of old houses, tree cavities and rocks. They generally prefer mild and hot regions having an open and short flora.
They generally make their nests in the human residence places. Although they nest in large colonies, as the species became rare, colonies including less than 10 pairs started to be seen. Although it broods in pure colonies, they form reproduction colonies with small crows and other kestrel species.
Their main food consists of invertebrates such as grasshoppers, scrub hoppers, land hoppers. Its population in Turkey is estimated as 3 – 5 thousands. It is known to reproduce in the villages around Salt Lake, Balıkdamı (Eskişehir), Ereğli reedbed.
Quail Guide (Crex Crex):
It prefers sparse grassed parts of unfertilized soil, regularly cut meadows and sown areas. In addition, shores of watery areas and reedbeds and dry, green areas are important for the species.
They generally reproduce in open or semi – open land. They hide themselves with meadows covered with long grasses. Its distribution and density during reproduction is concentrated on dead roots and leaves in the suitable flora in spring. Most of their food in reproduction season consists of invertebrates on the plants and soil. In autumn and winter, they generally feed with seeds. It is seen in our country as summer immigrant and passing bird. It lays 7 – 9 and sometimes 12 eggs. Incubation period is 3 weeks. It is seen as summer immigrant at the south of Marmara, Inner Aegean and mid Anatolia and in the passage period in other regions. It needs a comprehensive research in the reproduction regions in Turkey. 10 pairs have been seen in Turkey (Bird in Europe, page 228)
Bustard (otis tarda)
It is spread over an area from the middle and south parts of Europe to mid – Asia and Manchuria. It prefers agricultural areas, meadows and steppes that are large, open and generally flat. They make their nests in the crop fields or between high grasses. The nest areas are chosen by the female.
Bustard generally lays 2 eggs and has an incubation period of 28 – 30 days. It is very sensitive during reproduction period. It leaves the nest when it is disturbed. The young are fed with insects in the first month; the adults eat insects and plants. Most of the population is native. They change place towards long distance locations under heavy winter conditions.
Condition in Turkey:
Important amounts are examined as 51 in Altınbaş Plain in Kütahya in 1996, 20 pairs in Eskişehir Aliken plateau, 20 pairs at Northwest of Van Lake, 200 pairs in Muş Bulamak Plain (DHKD)
Thin Beaked Kervan Woodcock (Numenius tenuirostris)
In the examinations carried out in Western Siberia South Talge region and Forest Steppes, it is seen that their living areas are small forested areas, shallow waters, small meadows and small unplanted areas. During migration and winter and in the areas where they spend winter, they use habitats showing a wide spread such as salty marshes, steppes, bitter lagoons and fish pools.
During migration, they pass over Turkey and spend the winter in Northern Africa and Western Mediterranean. 29 records have been determined in our country in between 1946 – 1990. The potential areas in Turkey are estimated as Salt Lake, Göksu Delta, Seyfe Lake, Burdur Lake and Çamaltı Salt Area and finally Kızılırmak Delta.
Island Gull (Larus ovdoinii)
They can be seen in colonies at rocky gaps and islands far away from the shore. They use various habitats from rocky areas up to 1000 m height from locations close to the sea level to areas, 85% of which are covered with scrubs and from completely flat areas to slopes of 90 degrees.
They reproduce in colonies varying from a few pairs to thousands of pairs, they prefer medium level flora in reproduction areas. This protects the young from high temperatures and predatory animals.
Eggs are laid in the period starting in the second half of April until the beginning of May. The young get out of the egg in the first two weeks of July. Generally they lay 2 – 3 eggs. Incubation period is 4 weeks.
They feed with fish, small mammals, arthropods, birds and plants. It is estimated that 15 thousand pairs live in entire Mediterranean and that 30 – 50 pairs live at Mediterranean shores of Turkey. 30 pairs are recorded between Mersin and Silifke.
(Sari Kamişçin) (Acrocephalus paludicola)
It is found in the large reedbeds in the shallow areas having a water level of 1cm – 10 cm during the reproduction season. They are known to prefer the marsh meadows in the river valleys for reproduction. During migration, Acrocephalus paludicola needs short grasses in the marshes and reeds in open waters.
Their reproduction systems are poligamic and they combine mixed reproduction systems. The young is brought forth in 15 – 16 days. Reproduction success is very high, it is 83%. The reason of the reproduction losses is small mammals. It is rarely seen in Marmara Region, Western Mediterranean and Northeastern Anatolia in Turkey as summer immigrant.
Among the wild animals in our country whose generation is becoming extinct, the first is bald ibis (Geronticus eremita). It lives in the form of a colony only in Birecik district of Urfa in Turkey. For this reason, the efforts for the protection and reproduction of bald ibis, which has a special place in the fauna of our country and closely followed by the public, have gained importance.
The biggest strike is hit to the bald ibis population in between 1958 – 60. DDT is used in pesticide application by plane in South-eastern Anatolia against the desert grasshoppers getting close from Syria and Iraq. Once upon a time, a big community was formed, it is said that persons saying that “the bald ibis colony was so crowded that when they flied together, they could cover the sun” still live. Some foreign bird observers have recorded that there existed more than one thousand bald ibis nests in that region at the beginning of the 20th century. In this case, it is said that the bald ibis population at that time exceeded five thousands. As the result of DDT pesticide used, more than 700 pairs of bald ibis have died. Their number decreased year by year. Upon this, bald ibises have been taken under protection for the entire year since 1967 with the decree of Central Hunting Commission basing on the authorization given by the Law on Land Hunting numbered 3167. But their being taking under protection could not prevent the decrease in their number. As the buildings having 3-4 floors increased in front of the rocks where they made their nests, the individuals in the colony are affected.
A bald ibis reproduction station is established at a location that is 1 km away from the city by General Directorate of National Parks and Hunting – Wild Life in 1978 in order to support the population in nature by reproducing the bald ibis in artificial locations. The bald ibises reproduced in the reproduction station were marked and released to the nature; although some of the released bald ibises mated with the ones returning from migration and had young, most important problem has been their staying in Birecik instead of migrating. This resulted in the birds’ losing their natural behaviour and the death of the individuals staying in Birecik.
Birecik Public thought the bald ibises as holy animals that show the coming spring and arranged festivals because of the coming bald ibises, but the efforts shown could not prevent the decrease in their number and the reality that every year, a smaller number than that of the migrated bald ibises returned back to Birecik and unfortunately, in 1991 not one bald ibis came to our country.
These birds that make their nests in rock terraces in the form of colonies generally lay 2 – 4 eggs and incubation period is 27 – 28 days. Bald ibises feed with grasshoppers, coleopteran insects, snakes, lizards, mole crickets, etc.
Reed Cock (Parphyro porphyro):
Reed cock that is named as Sultan Tavuğu and Gök Saz Horozu at some locations, was found only in Göksu Delta in our country, but recently it is seen in Kızılırmak Delta.
This bird is native in our country. It does not migrate. Although it is said that it came to Kızılırmak Delta from the south of Hazar Sea, in our opinion it is generated in Kızılırmak Delta and began to be seen when its number increased. The generation of this bird in our country is in danger. In Göksu Delta 300 pairs, in Kızılırmak Delta 20 pairs are recorded.
Reed Cock lives and makes its nest in lakes covered with reed and cattails, marshes, large canals covered with reeds and lakes. The female makes the nest with the male. The female lays 3 – 5 eggs, they set by turns. Incubation period is 28 days. The parents grow up the offspring getting out of the egg. The offspring flies in 35 – 40 days.
They feed with the fresh parts of various water plants, seeds, water insects, larva, frogs, etc.
Anatolian Wild Sheep(Ovis orientalis anatolica valenciennes 1856):
There are two types of wild sheep in our country. One of them lives in Eastern Anatolia Region in Hakkari, Van, Iğdır and the other lives only in Konya – Bozdağ both in the world and in our country. This latter type is the Anatolian wild sheep. The most significant difference between these two types of sheep is that the female of the species living in Eastern Anatolia has horns while the female of the species living in Konya – Bozdağ does not have any horns.
It is indicated that Anatolian wild sheep was found in the rocky area lying to Emirdağları between Afyon – Konya and to Konya in east – south direction until 1945. Until the end of 1950s, they were seen in Karadağ which is at the north of Bozdağ.
Until 1957, they lived around Ankara – Nallıhan, in Saruyar Dam valley, between Mihalıççık – Sivrihisar towards south, in Araidbaba Mountain which is in the southeast of Sivrihisar. They are said to live in Bolkar Mountains until 1963. As the result of their being hunted unconsciously and exceedingly in 1960s, their number decreased down to 35 and they lived only in Konya Bozdağ, but they are taken under protection by the Ministry of Forestry and their number increased by time.
The females of the Anatolian wild sheep which have a life of 15 – 18 years have a weight of 50 kg, while the weight of the males is 75 kg for old ones.
They have reddish brown color in summer and have short hair, in winter their color gets darker and black manes occur in the chest and neck parts of the males after 2 – 3 years.
While the wild sheep that continuously move during the day are resting, one male sheep continuously stands guard and hits its feet to ground and makes a sound similar to whistle in case of a danger to warn other sheep. All the herd runs towards the direction where the guardian sheep goes. Under normal conditions, predatory animals such as wolfs, dogs, jackals can not catch those sheep. Their sight and smell senses are very strong and they are resistant against thirst. In autumn and winter, they take out the roots and nodules of the plants with their nails and eat them. They mate in December and bring forth young between the beginning of May and beginning of June. The young female brings forth a single offspring, while the females aged more than two bring double offspring. Their front feet are shorter than their back feet.
The number per herd of the Anatolian wild sheep which live in the form of herds sometimes reach 100. In 1967, it has been seen that this value was about to disappear and this species has been taken under protection and now it lives in an area of 42.000 ha at the right and left of the main road between Konya – Aksaray at a distance of 50 km to Konya. This area includes Bozdağ, Sasa Mountain, Balık Mountain and Hodulbaba Mountain and is surrounded by Divanlar Göcü, Gene, Ağsaklı, Yağlıbayat, Bademli Gimir, Kocaş, Karakaya villages. As indicated, the sheep that had a big number previously, has become rare as the result of excess hunting stress, the sheep dogs’ killing the falcon offspring’s and the wolf’s directing the sheep towards snow gaps and causing their death under winter conditions. Furthermore, the faces of sheep dogs with parasites contaminated the grass and tapeworms passed to the wild sheep eating that grass. Another reason for that decrease in the number of that sheep is the feeding competition that occurred as the result of feeding ten thousands of sheep in the same area.
These bad conditions have been improved in favour of the sheep as the result of the works carried out by our Ministry. To summarize them, big numbers of guards, personnel and vehicles have been charged in the region, struggles have been made with the wolfs and unconfined dogs, entrance of tamed sheep is forbidden to some regions, spread of tamed sheep in those regions with dogs has been prevented during the birth and offspring periods of the wild sheep, water has been provided to the animals in hot summer months by constructing grass and fodder storage and water containers and in this way, healthy offspring’s have been obtained. In extreme winters, grass support has been provided to the area and the growing up and continuity of life of the wild sheep have been provided.
In order to prevent the death of the sheep because of probable infectious diseases in the area, an area of 5 thousand ha has been surrounded with both net wire and electroshock wire to divide the sheep population into two; a big part of the sheep has been taken into this fence and diseases and parasites in these sheep have been minimized and feeding competition and wolf damages have been completely prevented. In this area, the sheep will be placed in compliance with their old living environment in a program that will provide their easily being caught. As the conditions got better, it has been determined that there are 1041 sheep in that area as the result of the counting made in the area surrounded with net and electroshock wire, by General Directorate of National Parks and Hunting – Wild Life in February 1998 with the cooperation of our Ministry and Selçuk University.
Naturally, as the result of the increase in the number of the sheep in the area, the works such as the provision of fodder, water, grass, maintenance, protection, study, inventory, etc and administrative expenses will increase and there will be great need for vehicles, helicopters and trained personnel. Big amounts of money will be needed for such works and in case legal arrangement is made in accordance with the contemporary conditions, it may be possible to permit hunting in order to provide contribution to economy.
As an example to show that the sheep are valuable and that their hunting value is high, two of the sheep has been hunted as the result of laboratory examination and a price of 18.500$ for one of them and 12.500 $ for the other has been taken.
In case the public and the local administrations pay the necessary attention to the issue, we have to use any of our possibilities for the protection, development and proliferation of this species that has a great importance in terms of hunting tourism.