Seyfe Bird Paradise dries up

Seyfe Bird Paradise dries up

KIRŞEHİR – Doğan News Agency
Seyfe Bird Paradise dries up

DHA photo

The Seyfe Lake Bird Paradise, which is included in the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, and under protection as a National Park, has dried up and turned into arid land. 

The lake in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir, where some 50 different bird species incubate, 182 bird species take shelter and 25 bird species stop by on their migration route, dried up because of unimplemented plans and untaken decisions, even though warning bells were ringing. 

The lake also dried up in December 2006 and survived after rescue efforts but plans to prevent a future occurrence had not been implemented and now the lake has completely dried up again over a period of four months, according to Aqua Saravenas Kırşehir Environmental Ecology Education and Research Association President Mustafa Bağ. “Officials watched as it was dying,” he added. 

He said that even though seven years had passed since the Seyfe Lake Management Plan was made, afforestation works had not started, even though they were included in the plan. 

“This year the Kırşehir Governor’s Office should make a plan for the lake and afforestation should start urgently. Seyfe Lake had partially dried up in previous years, except 2005. But in the summer of 2016, it completely dried up. The only resource for the lake is the Malya plain but this resource completely dried up in July this year. A few bird species have left the region. Radical decisions were not taken to prevent it and the previous decisions were not put into practice. This is a world heritage location and it is very sad that we are watching its death,” Bağ said. 

He said the association had delivered a five-page report to the Kırşehir Governor’s Office on Aug. 15, adding, “I think it is still being examined. On Aug. 27, we made an observation with nature program producer Eyüp Hacıoğlu and saw only one steppe hawk and only one black redstart. We did not see any other species in the region because there was no water in the lake. To make a long story short, we watched it dying. Setting hopes on rainfall is nonsense. As global warming and seasonal changes negatively affect rainfall, why are measures not taken?” 

Bağ said the association had visited the lake 39 times in the past eight months, and continued: 

“There is water in canals, which shows that global warming is not the only reason for its death. Wrong water management and delays in taking urgent decisions are the reasons. Nothing in the plan was done in seven years. People make agricultural movements in the region that cause the death of endemic plants. The region is not under control and is plundered. We proved this fact in our report with photos. These fields are incubation and food fields for bird species. The Kırşehir Local Wetland Commission should urgently gather and visit the region. I call for department managers to work and publicly announce that they have committed an offense.”