Bird sanctuary in Turkey’s north enters World Heritage Provisional List

Bird sanctuary in Turkey’s north enters World Heritage Provisional List

SAMSUN - Doğan News Agency
Bird sanctuary in Turkey’s north enters World Heritage Provisional List

DHA photo

The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary, one of Turkey’s most important wetlands, was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Provisional List on June 9, a municipal official in the Black Sea province of Samsun has announced. 

Samsun Assistant Secretary General Zennube Albayrak said they have made progress in their application for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List and were accepted to the provisional list after completing the first step of the process.

“Usually applicants are first taken to the provisional list. The knowledge of [the application’s] acceptance [to the provisional list] has come to us. There was first a process of file preparing for the application. We sent our files to the Environment and Urban Planning Ministry. After the preparation process, it was forwarded through the Foreign Affairs Ministry. About a month ago, we received the information that it was included in the provisional list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, it needs to be published. It takes a while for updates. Now the process has begun to take a place in the World Heritage List. In the following stages, the Kızılırmak Delta will be on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” Albayrak said.

Albayrak added that UNESCO was a worldwide constitution and the Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary was now on the agenda of worldwide maintainability and publicity. 

“Processes regarding the protection of this site will be developed in time. There are poaching activities and illegal buildings within this site. Bird species are negatively affected by poaching activities. People can even cause fires while hunting. Now, we are creating a management plan. We have a committee and from now on entry and exit [to the sanctuary] will be under a scheme. Everyone will not be able go in and out with their vehicles freely. Only vehicles used by local people will have a transition right in a certain order. We have been preparing the plan as necessary, but together with UNESCO we will gain strength on this issue. UNESCO will support us and help our efforts on maintainability,” Albayrak said.

Under protection of the Ramsar Convention

The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary has 21,700 hectares of wetland, 5,174 hectares of which is under protection as a Wildlife Development Area under the International Ramsar Convention. The delta is home to 20 lakes with large swampy and marshy areas. The Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary meets three of four criteria for the Inventory of Important Bird Areas, while 478 registered bird species have been recorded in the sanctuary, 350 of which are seen in the site and 140 of which have been found to reproduce there. Out of 24 endangered bird species in the world, 15 of them are seen and recorded in the Kızılırmak delta. 

One of the most important features of the Kızılırmak Delta Bird Sanctuary is its different bird species which can be seen each month of the year.