Cranes migrating ‘feel safe’ amid Anatolian reed
Anatolian folk songs have always been about longing, despair and love, likening cranes on migration to people harboring these sentiments. Cranes in the past few years have sought safety in the reeds and skies of Anatolia, with many of them not migrating this year, but preferring to stay in the Ekşisu Reed in the eastern province of Erzincan.
Turkey is one of the countries where endangered cranes incubate and use to accommodate during migration.
The General Directorate of Nature Conversation and National Parks (DKMP) five years ago prepared the “National Crane Action Plan” for the protection of these birds and their habitat.
Within the scope of the plan, DKMP bird ringing teams carried out works in various Turkish cities, particularly in eastern Anatolia, to monitor the cranes with transmitters.
Being a source of inspiration for many Anatolian songs about longing and migration as they accommodate in the summer and migrate to warm countries in the winter, the cranes were monitored in the Ekşisu Reed Wetland Protection Field in Erzincan.
As a result of the monitoring, officials saw that the number of cranes, which was 10 in 2014, recently increased to 30 thanks to effective protection works.
Surveys conducted by officials revealed that cranes, a migratory bird species, spent their summer in eastern Anatolia and did not migrate in winter, too.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Agriculture and Forestry Ministry DKMP 13th Regional Director Mehmet Fehmi Yüksel said the Ekşisu Reed Wetland Protection Field was registered in 2017.
He said that the field, which is home to many plants, water birds, reptiles and mammals, also offer a safe accommodation for endangered cranes.
“One of the most important features of this wetland is that water birds spend their shelter, nutrition and breeding period here. This place is also a very important area for cranes. They have a settled life here. As a result of the recent observations we made in Ekşisu Reed, we determined the presence of 25-30 cranes. They spend their life here and do not migrate in winter,” Yüksel said.
‘Cranes feel safe here’
Yüksel said that the directorate continued monitoring the cranes in the Ekşisu Reed.
“A crane action plan was prepared by the ministry. Within the scope of this plan, six cranes, which were ringed in the Ekşisu Reed, and two cranes, which were attached with transmitters, are being monitored every moment. Erzincan DKMP Branch Directorate officials observe the hills in the region with binoculars and telescopes thanks to the bird observation tower here,” he said.
“With the bird watching tower and the hills overlooking the region, the personnel of the Erzincan Directorate of DKMP are constantly observing the binoculars and telescopes. One of the biggest reasons why cranes choose this area is the reeds and swamps. They feel safe here because the reeds are closed especially against threats by hunters and predators.”
He said that the field, which spans an 8,759-hectare land, was under protection and that the reed was home to 52 reptiles and mammals as well as 150 bird species.