Parched Lake Manyas sends birds to land

Parched Lake Manyas sends birds to land

BANDIRMA - Doğan News Agency
Parched Lake Manyas sends birds to land

Because 200 meters of the lake has dried out, pelicans have been nesting in willow trees while other migratory birds have been incubating on land. DHA Photo

Lake Manyas in the northwestern province of Balıkesir’s Bandırma, known as the Manyas Bird Sanctuary, has been affected by drought, leading that pelicans have been nesting in willow trees and other migratory birds to incubate on land.

The Manyas Bird Sanctuary, which holds an “A-class” diploma as one one of the best places for nature, is facing the danger of drought this year once following similary problems in 2007. In some places, not even a single centimeter of water can be found in the lake, although charts show the water level at between 10 centimeters at its the highest and 1.9 centimeter at the lowest. In all, the shoreline of the lake has reportedly receded 200 meters.

Fight has begun

With incubation season nearing, Dalmatian pelicans have begun fighting to seize a place in artificial nests, which remain on land. During incubation season, Lake Manyas is home to some 3 million migratory birds of 260 species, such as flamingos, grey herons, white pelicans and cormorants. If the rain shortage continues, migratory birds that will arrive from Africa, Australia and Southern Europe for incubation in February, will leave the lake for other wetland areas, ending Manyas’ status as a bird sanctuary.

As well as bird nests, some fishing boats have also remained on land as the water shrinks between 200-300 meters. These days, visitors walk in areas where they previously toured with boats. The 200-meter part of the fishing port in Bereketli village also remains on land.

Ali Çatalbaş, who resides in the area, said migratory birds and the lake would be affected by the drought, adding that the natural balance would be destroyed.

“Migratory birds will come to the region in February and March, but they will leave the area if the drought continues,” he said.