Taurus Mountains’ fish owl latest potential victim of hydroelectric plants
Yücel Sönmez ANTALYA / Hürriyet
Taurus Mountains’ fish owls distinguish themselves with a exclusive marine diet mainly consisting of fish, freshwater crabs and frogs.Owls that call the Taurus Mountains home are such mysterious and discreet animals that evidence of their existence was only discovered in 1990, only for the birds to make the most fleeting appearance since then. Now, however, the owls, known as “fish owls,” may once again disappear, this time for good.
The scores of hydroelectric plants (HES) planned and built on the range of the Taurus Mountains along the Mediterranean coast are threatening the owls’ habitat and survival.
The Nature Association organized a special expedition to spot and photographs the owls in 2009, drawing attention to the plans that were being planned in their habitat.
Although they figure among the 56 birds of prey living in Turkey, the owls distinguish themselves with a exclusive marine diet mainly consisting of fish, freshwater crabs and frogs. Environment activists point out that destroying the valleys and particularly altering the freshwater streams' ecosystems by installing hydroelectric plant will mean the owls are no longer able to feed themselves.
Whether sea otters in the north or fish owls in the south, experts have been raising the alarm that HES projects will cause the disappearance of many endangered species across Turkey as well as endemic plants.
But the government has frenzily multiplied the number of projects despite a recent parliamentary report indicating that the assessment of the environmental impact of the plants was not properly conducted and warning of the potential damage to nature.