Gazelle population growing in Turkey’s south after protection efforts
The number of goitered gazelles, facing the threat of extinction, has been increased in Turkey’s southeastern province of Şanlıurfa following the efforts of local authorities.
The goitered gazelle population successfully increased to 668 up from 23 since the Directorate of Agricultural Management (TİGEM) in Ceylanpınar district put them under protection in 1977.
It is predicted that the goitered gazelles in the directorate’s facilities will reach a thousand once the births are completed this year.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Gökhan Tükenmez, TİGEM Ceylanpınar ovine livestock branch chief, said that gazelles, which lived in the area stretching from the provinces of Gaziantep to Mardin in the 1950s, but whose numbers decreased due to poaching, were taken under protection in the operating facilities.
Explaining that the gazelles are cared for with great care, Tükenmez noted that nearly 300 gazelle cubs are expected to be born this year.
“We follow the gazelles in three shifts in the birth season. The cubs make us all excited and joyful,” Tükenmez said.
Goitered gazelles only live in specific areas in Turkey, most commonly in Şanlıurfa, which only had 10 male and 13 female gazelles in the city back in 1982, before local authorities initiated the necessary protection process.
Inhabiting on gravel plains, the goitered gazelles run at high speed, without the leaping and bounding gait seen in other gazelle species.