Gendarmerie units keep watch on endangered birds

Gendarmerie units keep watch on endangered birds

Gendarmerie units keep watch on endangered birds

Within the scope of the efforts to protect wildlife in the eastern province of Van’s lake basins, gendarmerie units are keeping a close watch on endangered white-headed ducks by patrolling the region 24/7.

Lake Erçek, located near Lake Van, hosts thousands of birds every year. One of the rarest birds of the region, white-headed ducks, also live around this area.

Provincial gendarmerie teams patrol the lake 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to protect these birds, which are in danger of extinction and have increased in number compared to previous years. Thanks to these protection efforts, these rare birds continue to live safely in the reeds where they live.

Dr. Özdemir Adızel, professor and faculty member of Van Yüzüncü Yıl University’s (YYÜ) Department of Biology, said that the number of white-headed ducks, which was only 30 to 40 in the basin before, has reached some 100 as of last year thanks to the strict protection measures.

Meanwhile, every year, millions of birds travel many kilometers for reasons such as food and climatic conditions after the breeding season. As Türkiye is located on the Mediterranean-Black Sea route, it serves as a land bridge for migratory bird species.

The General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks provided local media with striking information about studies on these migratory birds and their results.

Officials stated that in Türkiye, where bird ringing has an important place in ornithology research, there are four stations where ringing studies are carried out during spring and fall migration periods. The ringing method mainly investigates the migration of birds (migration strategies, accommodation, breeding areas, migration calendars, physiology) and their population dynamics.

The results of the studies show that 27,780 birds were ringed in 2022, and feedback data from 35 birds from 15 different species were obtained.

It was reported to local media that the oldest feedback belongs to a black-backed gull ringed in Finland 10 years ago. This gull was seen alive 10 years later in Türkiye, 2,809 kilometers away from the point where it was first ringed.