Turkey home to 436 bird species .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANTALYA - Known bird resting areas in Turkey number 184, of which only 36 are totally safe. The western Mediterranean is located on an important migration route for birds that fly over the sea on their migratory routes.

Some 334 out of 436 species of birds in Turkey live in the western Mediterranean area, in the Antalya, Isparta and Burdur regions. The country has become a haven for birds and the Lakes district and the Mediterranean coast are now home to many species of birds that are extinct in Europe.

"The western Mediterranean is located under an important migration route for birds who fly over the sea. However, tourism facilities based on the coasts have caused a decrease in the living areas for these birds. The winter months especially are of great importance for the passage of birds. These birds opt for the Mediterranean coasts as other regions can have heavy snow and frost," said Professor Ali Erdoğan, chairman of ecology discipline at the faculty of biology of Akdeniz University.

Important bird areas
Stating that the known bird resting areas in Turkey amount to 184, of which only 36 are totally safe, Erdoğan said, "Eighty percent of the remaining areas are facing some kind of danger, including the current regulations concerning water policy, dams, urbanization and expansion in agricultural lands."

Erdoğan said there were 203 species of birds in Köprülü Canyon, 217 in Boğazkent, 159 in Yamansaz, 208 in Demre-Santa Claus bird haven, 91 in Patara, 196 in Titreyen Lake, 187 in Karpuz Brook, 245 in Beyşehir Lake, 171 in Eğirdir Lake and 185 in Burdur and the surrounding area.

"They started a joint project with Germany in 2002 in Titreyen Lake. Some 55,411 birds of 121 species were under the ’Turkey Badge,’" he said.

Vulture facing extinction in Antalya
Birds migrating from the western Mediterranean travel to Israel, Cyprus, Malta, Lithuania, Ukraine, Finland and Belgium at the farthest, and some other European countries as well.

"Many species of birds have become extinct in Europe. Antalya’s Köprülü Canyon has four types of vultures that have already become extinct in Europe. Having great importance for the environment, these birds are very popular, there are many people who come to Turkey just to see these birds," Erdoğan added.

"People of all ages, but especially children, will have the chance to learn about these bird species and how to protect them."

Antalya will host an Environment Education and Bird Research Center in March in coordination with the Special Environment Foundation, Boğazkent Municipality and Akdeniz University.