Endangered jerboa spotted in Turkey’s Şırnak

Endangered jerboa spotted in Turkey’s Şırnak

Endangered jerboa spotted in Turkey’s Şırnak

A jerboa, an endangered species red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), has been spotted in the southeastern province of Şırnak’s Uludere district.

Stating that this species might have entered the IUCN red list due to its low reproduction potential, Professor Yüksel Coşkun, the head of Dicle University’s Biology Department, said: “It is a kind of a hidden species. It is seen at night, and not much in the daytime.”

Abdullah Babat, a shepherd in the Hilal town of Uludere district, was lucky enough to take a photo of the animal near his house before it frightened and ran away.

Stating that he had never seen such an animal in the area before, Babat said: “While I was driving towards my house, I saw a strange animal approaching that I have never seen before. It stopped when I turned on my flashlight. The animal had rabbit-like ears, kangaroo-like feet, a squirrel-like hairy tail, and a mouse-like body. I took a photo, and the animal quickly ran away from there.”

Providing information about the species, Coşkun said: “These animals have three species in Turkey – ‘williamsi’ found in Western Anatolia, ‘euphratica’ found in Central Anatolia and ‘elater’ found in Iğdır. The species found in Şırnak is very likely to be ‘euphratica.’”

Highlighting that it is kind of a hidden species as it come out during the night, he said: “We often find these animals’ carcasses on roads, resulting from traffic accidents. As they get exposed to the sharp light of cars, it makes them unable to escape because of which they accidentally get hit and die.”

Noting that their reproductive potential is not very high and other species are seen more towards southern countries, Coşkun said, “Currently, it is not possible to have clear information about their population density in Turkey.”