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turkey fauna and flora


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Central and eastern Anatolia are isolated from all maritime influence by mountains. Rainfall is low, the summers hot and dry and the winters harsh. In certain areas, the vegetation is steppe-like but also with forests of pine, oak and beech. The region around the Salt lake is almost entirely barren. The climate in eastern Turkey is even harsher, although the rainfall in the South-East allows birches, walnuts and oaks to thrive.

turkey fauna and flora

Turkey has a great variety of wild animals, with over 114 species of mammals. The forests belt in the north is home to gray bears and in the south to wild goats. Sea turtles and seals play in the waters of the Mediterranean and the Aegean. Just as in other parts of the world, some species have become extinction such as the wild Asian donkeys, lions and tigers. Some 400 species of indigenous or migratory birds live in Turkey, some of which are extinct in Europe such as the black vulture.

The most important species for environmentalists is the bald ibis, a peculiar bird with a bald pink head and drooping feathers. A number of these birds are now under protection in a colony of the shore of the Firat river in eastern Turkey. Turkey is an important stop over for birds migrating of between Africa, Asia and Europe, with the Istanbul Straits and Artvin being the preferred sites. Each spring and autumn, hundreds of thousands of birds, including storks and some predatory birds stop in these places before continuing on their journey. According to the International Office of Aquatic Birds and Areas, there are some 800 aquatic species in Turkey spanning in sixty different areas. The shores Lake Manyas near Balikesir are home to over 200 species of indigenous or migratory aquatic birds. This lake is considered to be one of Europe's richest aquatic bird centres. Over 250 indigenous or migratory birds live in the Sultan marshes near Kayseri; 20 of these are considered endangered species, although they come here to mate and breed. The Sultan marshes are thought to be the only places where flamingoes, cranes, herons and pelicans breed together. The protected salt marshes near Izmir are like a natural museum, with some 190 species of birds living in its marshes, lakes and hills. The hills also shelter rabbits, foxes and even boars. The Iztuzu sand beaches near Dalyan are the main breeding area for sea turtles.

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