Thousands of wild animals back to life
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry last year treated 12,178 wounded wild animals.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency due to the March 3 World Wildlife Day, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli mentioned the importance of protecting the endangered species and wild animals in terms of Turkey’s biodiversity.
In this context, Pakdemirli stated that 81 wildlife protection areas have been established throughout the country in order to protect and develop wildlife with their living spaces.
He stated that they carried out inventory and monitoring studies on wild animals, and continued:
“We identified 5,379 caretta caretta and 3,622 Chelonia mydas [green sea turtle] nests in our 143.7-kilometer-coastline last year. In order to track bird mobility and collect data for bird research, we have completed the bird banding works of 20,145 birds of 163 species through four bird ringing stations in our country.”
In order to monitor the populations of waterfowl in Turkey, Pakdemirli said that they carried out a census of 1,718,675 birds of 103 species in 153 wetlands.
He also stated that they started to work on conservation action plans related to endangered species such as Anatolian mountain sheep, gazelle and bald ibis.
Pakdemirli said that they will complete the action plan for 100 species by the end of the year, adding, “We are producing red deer, gazelle, Anatolian mountain sheep, Hatay mountain sheep and bald ibis in the 13 wild animal production stations that we established.”
The minister said that the wounded wild animals were treated in the rehabilitation centers and released to nature again. “We made the treatments of 12,178 wild animals last year. Among them, 5,733 were released to nature while 6,445 animals continue living in rehabilitation centers and zoos,” he added.
He also noted that they left 308 tons of feed in nature in 2017-2018 winter season in order to support wild animals in heavy winter conditions.
“We have opened the wild animal rescue and rehabilitation centers in Bursa, Şanlıurfa, Çankırı, Mersin, Kars, Van, Sinop, Rize and Hatay since 2001. We expect our people to be sensitive about the protection of wildlife, too,” he added.