Ankara museum home to 60,000 insects
Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
The museum, established by the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry’s Directorate of Protection Central Research Institute in 1960, also accommodates 56 insect species which it has registered for the first time in the world. The museum even displays insect species left from the 1930s, with mostly butterfly species attracting the most attention among all species.
“This is not a museum you can arbitrarily get a ticket to and visit. This museum can be visited by students and scientists. It is the only insect museum bound to the [Turkish] state that serves the science world, in which insect samples are preserved in special conditions,” Sait Ertürk, the Protection Central Research Institute’s manager, told daily Hürriyet.
“There are around 1.1 million insects inhabiting in the world’s ecological zones. Of these, 26,000 species are known to be in Turkey, yet we estimate that we have around twofold of this figure,” he added.
Ertürk also stressed that every year new inspect species are being discovered to exist in Turkey. “Last year, we have discovered six new species whose names were never heard of before in the world. We have sent these to the Natural History Museum based in London. They are still in there,” he said.
Not only is the Protection Central Research Institute responsible for running the museum, but also carries out scientific studies to fight with pests which constitute a big problem for farmers.
“Our aim is definitely not to eliminate all inspects… In the fight against insects which cause damage to agricultural lands, we prefer biological control rather than a chemical fight,” Ertürk stated.