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Bird Species of Erzurum Marshes in Northeastern Anatolia, Turkey

PJZ_50_2_629-637

 

 

Bird Species of Erzurum Marshes in Northeastern Anatolia, Turkey

Alptuğ Sari*, Ahmet Arpacık and Şağdan Başkaya

Depertmant of Wildlife Ecology and Management, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey

ABSTRACT

Bird species of Erzurum Marshes, which were known to be the “Bird Paradise” in the region until recently experiencing a rapid decline. Risks threatening bird species in the region were examined. Erzurum Marshes, located in the northeastern part of the country, host almost half of the bird species of Turkey of which many bird species are under threat both at national and international level. In all 239 bird species were identified. Among these species, 10 species were found to be under threat of extinction at national and international (IUCN) scale. Deterioration of habitats of birds as well as other forms of life has been considered to be the most important factor. Even though the importance of wetland ecosystems is well known, no remarkable effort for saving the Erzurum Marshes, was observed.


Article Information

Received 21 August 2017

Revised 02 October 2017

Accepted 01 November 2017

Available online 13 March 2018

Authors’ Contribution

AS,AA and SB participated in field

surveys. AS wrote the manuscript. AS, AA and SB identified the species.

Key words

Wetland, Marsh, Bird Species, Erzurum, Turkey.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17582/journal.pjz/2018.50.2.629.637

* Corresponding author: alptugsari@ktu.edu.tr

0030-9923/2018/0002-0629 $ 9.00/0

Copyright 2018 Zoological Society of Pakistan



Introduction

 

Interest in the conduct of studies on birds in Turkey has considerably increased in recent years, however not to the desired levels. So far 504 bird species have been reported from Turkey (Kiziroğlu, 2009). The number of basins in eastern Turkey, considered to be important for birds, is gradually increasing day by day, however this research is limited and insufficient. Erzurum Marshes, are located near Erzurum (Coordinates = Latitude: 39.9902° N, Longitude: 41.3399° E) in eastern Turkey (Sari, 2010). The marshy place in Erzurum plain has a minimum of 1500 years of documented background history. Besides the marshy parts of the land, meadows also exist in the region. Until recently, the local people benefited from birds and their eggs (Tozlu, 2002). Erzurum Marshes were declared to be Important Bird Area in 1997 (Yarar and Magnin, 1997) and Important Natural Area in 2006 (Eken et al., 2006). No scientific study of the desired quality is however available.

In Turkey, a significant increase has been observed in the number of studies carried out on birds since 1990s. Some of those carried out near the Erzurum Marshes (in eastern Black Sea, Eastern Anatolia, and Southeastern Anatolia regions) are: Curzon (1854) was the first to study birds in Erzurum Marshes when he identified 172 bird species in the region. Recent studies include: Ayvaz (1990) studied the “birds of Pınarbaşı Lake-Malatya”, Ayvaz (1991) “bird species of Çıldır Lake-Ardahan”, and Ayvaz (1993) “Ornithological Observations around Elazığ Province”. Adızel (1993) and Kiziroğlu (1994), reported population intensity of 112 bird species and their population intensity. Başkaya (1994) carried out a study on migratory bird species of Eastern Black Sea region. Adızel (1998) studied bird fauna of Van Lake basin, and reported on the biology and population intensities of 147 bird species. Durmuş (2002) studied the biology and population intensities of 83 bird species of Balık Lake (Doğubeyazıt–Ağrı) and its surroundings. Sari (2010) studied the bird species of Erzurum Marshes.

The study area is on the migration route (Black Sea and Mediterranean flyway) that is used, on their annual spring and autumn migration, by about one million large falconiforms including vultures, eagles, hawks, falcons, sparrow hawks, and kestrel species of western Palearctic (Başkaya, 1994).

 

Materials and Methods

Study area

Erzurum Marshes are located within the borders of Erzurum-Kars part of Eastern Anatolian region. Kargapazarı Mounts on eastern side of the marsh, Dumlu Mounts, the extension of Allahuekber Mounts, in the north, Erzurum province and Palandöken Mounts in the south, and Ilıca district in the west (Sari, 2010).

On majority of lands of Erzurum province, the dominant climate is continental. Winters are long and harsh, and summers short and hot. Annual mean temperature is 5.1˚C. Considering the course of temperature in the year, the coolest month is January (-10.6˚C), while the hottest month is August (19.6˚C). Annual mean precipitation in Erzurum is 32.9 mm.

Central parts of Erzurum Plain are very flat. This section, due to the high level of groundwater, is dominated by marshes and marshy lands (Eroğlu, 1998).

Erzurum Marshes embrace Soğucak, Çayırtepe, Kösemehmet, Güzelova, Yolgeçti, Mülkköy, Çayırca and Beypınarı villages and Erzurum Airport. Erzurum marshes were selected because of being located on the bird migration route, an appropriate habitat in existence since 1500 years that is threatened with extinction; and non-availability of authentic scientific data.

Methodology

Birds were observed whole the year round from April 2008 to December 2016 during all the seasons i.e. spring (March-April-May), summer (June-July-August), autumn (September-October-November), and winter (December-January-February). In total 240 observations were made. Observations during spring and autumn more frequent because of bird migration. Swarovski 10x42 LC binocular and ATS/STS 80 (HD) (20-60x) telescope were used to observe birds. Various digital cameras (3x optical zoom-5.0 Mega Pixels and 12x optical zoom-6.0 Mega Pixels) and video recorder (24x optical zoom) were used to take photographs of bird species, their habitats and to record observations. Global Positioning System (Magellan Explorist 500L GPS) was employed to record the altitude and coordinates in the field. While observing the birds, location, date, and hour of observation, the species identified, nesting status of species, and the actual climatic conditions were recorded. Depending on the season, observations started with the sunrise (05:00-06:30) and continued until the sunset (17:00-20:30). To identify bird species Heinzel et al. (1995), Jonnson (2006) and Kiziroğlu (2009) were used. For bird species that could not be identified in the field, ancillary information such as photographs, time of occurrence in the field etc. was recorded in detail, and the species were subsequently identified.

We also conducted interviews with Provincial Directorate for Nature Conservation and National Parks, Directorate for Surveying and Projects in State Hydraulic Works, teachers, villagers, and shepherds: field situation in the past, poaching, and whether the species of special interest to the local people was discussed.

 

Results and discussion

 

In total 239 bird species belonging to 54 families and 19 orders were observed on and nearby the Erzurum marshes (Table I).

Ten species are considered to be threatened viz., Endangered (EN): Falco cherrug and Neophron percnopterus, Near Threatened (NT): Aegypius monachus, Aythya nyroca, Falco vespertinus, Limosa limosa and Numenius arquata, and Vulnerable (VU): Aquila clanga, Aquila heliaca and Otis tarda; and the balance 229 species as Least Concern (LC) (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2017-2).

Alcedo atthis, Calidris ferruginea, Charadrius asiaticu, Charadrius morinellus, Cygnus olor, Gallinago media, Jynx torquilla, Larus audouinii, Milvus milvus, Otus brucei, Pelacanus onocrotalus, Phalacrocorax carbo, Podiceps auritus, Tetrax tetrax, Tringa nebularia and Vanellus leucura reported by Curzon (1854) could not be observed during the present study.

Sixty three new species (not reported by Curzon (1854)) were observed during the present study including: Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Acrocephalus melanopogon, Acrocephalus palustris, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Anser fabalis, Anthus spinoletta, Aquila clanga, Aquila pomarina, Aythya fuligula, Bubo bubo, Burhinus oedicnemus, Buteo lagopus, Calidris minuta, Carpodacus erythrinus, Cercotichas galactotes, Cettia cetti, Charadrius alexandrinus, Charadrius leschenaultii, Chlidonias niger, Coccothraustes coccothraustes, Columba palumbus, Corvus corone pallescens, Dendrocopos medius, Falco biarmicus, Falco naumanni, Ficedula semitorquata, Haematopus ostralegus, Haliaeetus albicilla, Hieraaetus fasciatus, Ixobrychus minutus, Larus armenicus, Larus cachinnans, Locustella lusciniodies, Luscinia svecica, Lymnocryptes minimus, Melanocorypha bimaculata, Melanocorypha calandra, Monticola saxatilis, Monticola solitarius, Motacilla citreola, Muscicapa striata, Netta rufina, Numenius arquata, Parus lugubris, Pernis apivorus, Phylloscopus collybita, Porzana parva, Porzana porzana, Porzana pusilla, Philomachus pugnax, Prunella collaris, Prunella modularis, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, Recurvirostra avosetta, Sterna albifrons, Streptopelia senegalensis, Serinus pusillus, Sylvia atricapilla, Sylvia hortensis, Tachybaptus ruficollis, Tichodroma muraria, Trochiloides nitidus, Tyto alba, and Vanellus spinosus.

The bird species, identified for the first time in the study area by Curzon (1854), have also been reported by Kumerloeve (1969), (1984), Ayvaz (1990), (1991), (1993), Adızel (1993), (1998), Başkaya (1994), Akyıldız (2002) and Durmuş (2002): Acrocephalus melanopogon, Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Anser fabalis, Aquila clanga, Cercotichas galactotes, Charadrius leschenaultii, Corvus corone pallescens, Dendrocopos medius, Falco biarmicus, Ficedula semitorquata, Hieraaetus fasciatus, Larus armenicus, Larus cachinnans, Monticola solitarius, Porzana parva, Porzana pusilla, Prunella collaris, Prunella modularis, Serinus pusillus, Streptopelia senegalensis, Sylvia hortensis, Tichodroma muraria, Trochiloides nitidus and Vanellus spinosus.

Falco vespertinus, Pernis apivorus, Pyrrhula pyrrhula observed during the present study have also been reported by Başkaya (1994), Sterna albifrons only by Ayvaz (1991), Aythya nyroca by Adızel (1998) and Ayvaz (1993), and Numenius arquata by Ayvaz (1993).

 

Table I.- Bird species observed and migratory status (MS) on and around Erzurum Marshes from April 2008 to December 2016 (Status: W, wintering; S, summer visitor; PM, passage migrant; R, resident ).

Order Family

Euro code

Scientific name English name Status
Podicipediformes Podicipedidae

70

Tachybaptus ruficollis Little grebe W
   

90

Podiceps cristatus Great crested grebe W
   

100

Podiceps grisegana Red-necked grebe W
   

120

Podiceps nigricollis Black-necked grebe W
Pelecaniformes Ardeidae

950

Botaurus stellaris Bittern W
   

970

Ixobrychus minutus Little bittern W
   

1010

Nycticorax nycticorax Night heron W
   

1080

Ardeola ralloides Squacco heron W
   

1110

Bubulcus ibis Cattle egret W
   

1190

Egretta garzetta Little egret W, R
   

1210

Egretta alba Great white egret W, R
   

1220

Ardea cinerea Grey heron W, R
   

1240

Ardea purpurea Purple heron W, R
Ciconiiformes Ciconiidae

1310

Ciconia nigra Black stork W
   

1340

Ciconia ciconia White stork W, R
Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae

1360

Plegadis falcinellus Glossy ibis W, R
   

1440

Platella leucorodia Spoonbill S
Anseriformes Anatidae

1570

Anser fabalis Bean goose W
   

1590

Anser albifrons White-fronted goose W
   

1610

Anser anser Graylag goose W
   

1710

Tadorna ferruginea Ruddy shelduck S
   

1730

Tadorna tadorna Shelduck S
   

1790

Anas penelope Wigeon S
   

1820

Anas strepera Gadwall S
   

1840

Anas crecca Teal W, R
   

1860

Anas platyrhynchos Mallard W, R
   

1890

Anas acuta Pintail W
   

1910

Anas querquedula Garganey W, R
   

1940

Anas clypeata Shoveler W, R
   

1960

Netta rufina Red-crested pochard W, R
   

1980

Aythya ferina Pochard W, R
   

2020

Aythya nyroca Ferruginous duck W, R
   

2030

Aythya fuligula Tufted duck W, R
Accipitriformes Accipitridae

2310

Pernis apivorus Honey buzzard PM
   

2380

Milvus migrans Black kite R
   

2430

Haliaeetus albicilla White-tailed eagle R
   

2460

Gypaetus barbatus Lammergeier R
   

2470

Neophron percnopterus Egyptian vulture R
   

2510

Gyps fulvus Griffon vulture S
   

2550

Aegypius monachus Black vulture S

Order Family

Euro code

Scientific name English name Status
Accipitriformes Accipitridae

2560

Circaetus gallicus Short-toed eagle PM
   

2600

Circus aeruginosus Marsh harrier R, PM
   

2610

Circus cyaneus Northern harrier R, PM
   

2630

Circus pygargus Montagu’s harrier R
   

2670

Accipiter gentilis Northern goshawk R, PM
   

2690

Accipiter nisus Sparrowhawk R
   

2870

Buteo buteo Buzzard R
   

2880

Buteo rufinus Long-legged buzzard R
   

2900

Buteo lagopus Rough-legged buzzard R
   

2920

Aquila pomarina Lesser spotted eagle R, PM
   

2930

Aquila clanga Spotted eagle PM
   

2945

Aquila nipalensis Steppe eagle PM
   

2950

Aquila heliaca Imperial eagle PM
   

2960

Aquila chrysaetos Golden eagle PM
   

2980

Hieraaetus pennatus Booted eagle PM
   

2990

Hieraaetus fasciatus Bonelli’s eagle PM
  Pandionidae

3010

Pandion haliaetus Osprey PM
Falconiformes Falconidae

3030

Falco naumanni Lesser kestrel R
   

3040

Falco tinnunculus Kestrel R
   

3070

Falco vespertinus Red-footed falcon PM
   

3090

Falco columbarius Merlin W, PM
   

3100

Falco subbuteo Hobby PM
   

3140

Falco biarmicus Lanner S, PM
   

3160

Falco cherrug Saker S, PM
   

3200

Falco peregrinus

Peregrine

S, PM
Galliformes Phasianidae

3550

Alectoris chukar Chukar R
   

3670

Perdix perdix Grey partridge R
   

3700

Coturnix coturnix Quail W
Gruiformes Rallidae

4070

Rallus aquaticus Water rail W
   

4080

Porzana porzana Spotted crake PM
   

4100

Porzana parva Little crake PM
   

4110

Porzana pusilla Baillon’s crake PM
   

4210

Crex crex Corncrake PM
   

4240

Gallinula chloropus Moorhen PM
   

4290

Fulica atra Common coot PM
   

4330

Grus grus Crane R, PM
   

4410

Grus virgo Demoiselle crane PM
   

4460

Otis tarda Great bustard R, S
Charadriiformes Haematopodidae

4500

Haematopus ostralegus Oystercatcher S
  Recurvirostridae

4550

Himantopus himantopus Black-winged stilt S
   

4560

Recurvirostra avosetta Avocet S, R
  Burhinidae

4590

Burhinus oedicnemus Stone-curlew S
  Glareolidae

4650

Glareola pratincola Collared pratincole PM
  Charadriidae

4690

Charadrius dubius Little ringed plover R, PM
   

4770

Charadrius alexandrinus Kentish plover PM
   

4790

Charadrius leschenaultii Greater sand plover S
   

4870

Vanellus spinosus Spur-winged plover S, PM
   

4930

Vanellus vanellus Lapwing S, PM
  Scolopacidae

5010

Calidris minuta Little stint S
   

5170

Calidris pugnax Ruff S
   

5180

Lymnocryptes minimus Jack snipe W, PM

Order Family

Euro code

Scientific name English name Status
  Scolopacidae

5190

Gallinago gallinago Snipe W,PM
   

5290

Scolopax rusticola Woodcock PM
   

5320

Limosa limosa Black-tailed godwit S
   

5410

Numenius arquata Curlew PM
   

5450

Tringa erythropus Spotted redshank PM
   

5460

Tringa totanus Redshank S, PM
   

5530

Tringa ochropus Green sandpiper S, PM
   

5560

Actitis hypoleucos Common sandpiper S
  Laridae

5820

Larus ridibundus Black-headed gull S, PM
   

5850

Larus genei Slender-billed gull S, PM
   

5921

Larus armenicus Armenian gull R
   

5925

Larus cachinnans Yellow-legged gull R
   

6150

Sterna hirundo Common tern S
   

6240

Sterna albifrons Little tern S
   

6270

Chlidonias niger Black tern S
   

6280

Chlidonias leucopterus White-winged black tern S
Pterocliformes Pteroclidae

6610

Pterocles orientalis Black-bellied sandgrouse PM
Columbiformes Columbidae

6650

Columba livia Rock dove R
   

6680

Columba oenas Stock dove R
   

6700

Columba palumbus Woodpigeon S
   

6840

Streptopelia decaocto Collared dove R
   

6870

Streptopelia turtur Turtle dove S
   

6900

Streptopelia senegalensis Laughing dove R
Cuculiformes Cuculidae

7240

Cuculus canorus Cuckoo S
Strigiformes Tytonidae

7350

Tyto alba Barn owl R
  Strigidae

7390

Otus scops Scops owl S
   

7440

Bubo bubo Eurasian eagle owl R
   

7570

Athene noctua Little owl R
   

7610

Strix aluco Tawny owl R
   

7670

Asio otus Long-eared owl R
Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae

7780

Caprimulgus europaeus European nightjar S
  Apodidae

7950

Apus apus Common swift S
   

7980

Apus melba Alpine swift S
Coraciiformes Meropidae

8400

Merops apiaster Bee-eater S, PM
  Coraciidae

8410

Coracias garrulus European roller S
Bucerotiformes Upupidae

8460

Upopa epops Hoopoe S
Piciformes Picidae

8550

Picus viridis Green woodpecker R
   

8760

Dendrocopos major Great spotted woodpecker R
   

8780

Dendrocopos syriacus Syrian woodpecker R
   

8830

Dendrocopos medius Middle spotted woodpecker R
   

8870

Dendrocopos minor Lesser spotted woodpecker R
Passeriformes Alaudidae

9610

Melanocorypha calandra Calandra lark R
   

9620

Melanocorypha bimaculata Bimaculated lark S
   

9670

Calandrella brachydactyla Short-toed lark S, PM
   

9700

Alauda rufescens Lesser short-toed lark S
   

9720

Galerida cristata Crested lark R
   

9740

Lullula arborea Woodlark S
   

9760

Alauda arvensis Skylark S
   

9780

Eremophila alpestris Shore lark R
  Hirundinidae

9810

Riparia riparia Sand martin S

Order Family

Euro code

Scientific name English name Status
  Hirundinidae

9910

Hirundo rupestris Crag martin S, PM
   

9920

Hirundo rustica Swallow S, PM
   

10010

Delichon urbicum House martin S, PM
  Motacillidae

10040

Anthus campestris Tawny pipit S
   

10090

Anthus trivialis Tree pipit S
   

10110

Anthus pratensis Meadow pipit S
   

10140

Anthus spinoletta Water pipit S
   

10170

Motacilla flava Yellow wagtail S
   

10180

Motacilla citreola Citrine wagtail S
   

10190

Motacilla cinerea Grey wagtail S, PM
   

10200

Motacilla alba Pied wagtail R, PM
  Cinclidae

10500

Cinclus cinclus Dipper R
  Troglodytidae

10660

Troglodytes troglodytes Wren R
  Prunellidae

10840

Prunella modularis Dunnock R
   

10880

Prunella ocularis Radde’s accentor PM
   

10940

Prunella collaris Alpine accentor R
  Muscicapidae

10950

Cercotrichas galactotes Rufous bush robin S
   

10990

Erithacus rubecula Robin R
   

11040

Luscinia megarhynchos Nightingale S
   

11060

Luscinia svecica Bluethroat PM
   

11210

Phoenicurus ochruros Black redstart S
   

11220

Phoenicurus phoenicurus Redstart S
   

11370

Saxicola rubetra Whinchat S
   

11390

Saxicola torquata Stonechat S
   

11440

Oenanthe isabellina Isabellina wheatear S
   

11460

Oenanthe oenanthe Northern wheatear S
   

11480

Oenanthe hispanica Black-eared wheatear S
   

11610

Monticola saxatilis Rock thrush S
   

11660

Monticola solitarius Blue rock thrush S
  Turdidae

11860

Turdus torquatus Ring ouzel S
   

11870

Turdus merula Blackbird R
   

11980

Turdus pilaris Fieldfare W
   

12000

Turdus philomelos Song thrush S, PM
   

12020

Turdus viscivorus Mistle thrush R, PM
  Scotocercidae

12200

Cettia cetti Cetti’s warbler R
  Locustellidae

12380

Locustella luscinioidies Savi’s warbler S
  Acrocephalidae

12410

Acrocephalus melanopogon Moustached warbler S
Passeriformes Acrocephalidae

12430

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Sedge warbler S
   

12500

Acrocephalus palustris Marsh warbler S
   

12510

Acrocephalus scirpaceus Reed warbler S
   

12530

Acrocephalus arundinaceus Great reed warbler S
   

12550

Iduna pallida Olivaceous warbler S
  Sylviidae

12720

Sylvia hortensis Orphean warbler S
   

12740

Sylvia curruca Lesser whitethroat S
   

12750

Sylvia communis Whitethroat S
   

12770

Sylvia atricapilla Blackcap S
  Phylloscopidae

12910

Phylloscopus nitidus Green warbler S
   

13110

Phylloscopus collybita Chiffchaff S
  Regulidae

13140

Regulus regulus Goldcrest W
  Muscicapidae

13350

Muscicapa striata Spotted flycatcher S

Order Family

Euro code

Scientific name English name Status
  Muscicapidae

13430

Ficedula parva Red-breasted flycatcher PM
   

13470

Ficedula semitorquata Semi-collared flycatcher S
  Aegithalidae

14370

Aegithalos caudatus Long-tailed tit R, W
  Paridae

14410

Poecile lugubris Sombre tit R
   

14610

Parus ater Coal tit R, W
   

14620

Parus caeruleus Blue tit R
   

14640

Parus major Great tit R
  Sittidae

14810

Sitta neumayer Rock nuthatch R
   

14820

Tichodroma muraria Wallcreeper R, PM
  Remizidae

14900

Remiz pendulinus Penduline tit S
  Oriolidae

15080

Oriolus oriolus Golden oriole S
  Laniidae

15150

Lanius collurio Red-backed shrike S
   

15190

Lanius minor Lesser grey shrike S
   

15200

Lanius excubitor Great grey shrike PM
  Corvidae

15390

Garrulus glandarius Jay R
   

15490

Pica pica Magpie R
   

15580

Pyrrhocorax graculus Alpine chough PM
   

15590

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Chough PM
   

15600

Corvus monedula Jackdaw R
   

15630

Corvus frugilegus Rook R, S
   

15670

Corvus corone corone Carrion crow R
   

15680

Corvus corone cornix Hooded R
   

15720

Corvus corax Raven R
  Sturnidae

15820

Sturnus vulgaris Starling R
   

15840

Sturnus roseus Rose-coloured starling S, PM
  Passeridae

15910

Passer domesticus House sparrow R
   

15980

Passer montanus Tree sparrow PM
   

16040

Petronia petronia Rock sparrow R
   

16110

Montifringilla nivalis Snow finch R, W
  Fringillidae

16360

Fringilla coelebs Chaffinch R, W
   

16380

Fringilla montifringilla Brambling W
   

16390

Serinus pusillus Red-fronted serin R
   

16400

Serinus serinus Serin R
   

16490

Carduelis chloris Greenfinch R
   

16530

Carduelis carduelis Goldfinch R, S
   

16540

Spinus spinus Siskin R, W
   

16600

Linaria cannabina Linnet PM
   

16620

Carduelis flavirostris Twite R, PM
Passeriformes Fringillidae

16660

Loxia curvirostra Crossbill R
   

16790

Carpodacus erythrinus Scarlet rosefinch S
   

17100

Pyrrhula pyrrhula Bullfinch PM
   

17170

Coccothraustes coccothraustes Hawfinch W
  Emberizidae

18570

Emberiza citrinella Yellowhammer PM
   

18600

Emberiza cia Rock bunting R
   

18660

Emberiza hortulana Ortolan bunting S
   

18750

Emberiza aureola Yellow breasted bunting S
   

18810

Emberiza melanocephala Black-headed bunting S
   

18820

Miliaria calandra Corn bunting R, S

 

Kiziroğlu (1989) considered Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Alauda arvensis, Ardea cinerea, Botaurus stellaris, Circus aeruginosus, Columba palumbus, Fulica atra, Gallinula chloropus, Haliaeetus albicilla, Lullula arborea, Motacilla cinerea, Otis tarda, Otus scops, Oenanthe oenanthe, Phoenicurus phoenicurus, Podiceps cristatus, Podiceps nigricollis, Rallus aquaticus, Saxicola rubetra, Saxicola torquata, Tachybaptus ruficollis, Turdus philomelos and Vanellus vanellus to be local resident species were identified to be summer migrants, while Aegithalos caudatus, Anser anser, Coccothraustes coccothraustes and Regulus regulus reported to be local residents were found to be winter migrants during the present study.

Scolopax rusticola reported as local resident is Passage migrant: Anas clypeata, Anas penelope, Aythya ferina, Aythya fuligula, Hippolais pallida, Larus ridibundus and Tadorna ferruginea that were reported to be winter migrants were found to be summer migrants whereas Columba oenas and Montifringilla nivalis reported to be summer migrant, were determined to be local residents.

Alauda arvensis, Calandrella rufescens, Haliaeetus albicilla, Ptyonoprogne rupestris and Turdus philomelos species reported to be local residents by Jonnson (2006) were found to be summer migrants, while Buteo buteo, reported to be summer migrant, was found to be local resident. Anthus pratensis, Larus ridibundus, Pernis apivorus, Podiceps cristatus and Tringa ochropus reported to be winter visitors, were identified to be summer migrants. Some Cattle species prefer sites for nest building, which have regular accessibility of water, and usual human activities are common nearby (Abdullah et al., 2017). Erzurum marshes, located nearby city center, has regular accessibility of water for birds and has a lot of suitable nest sites for species especially cattle species too.

Being rich in bird diversity Erzurum Marshes have asignificant touristic potential. Besides other large falconiforms four vulture species occurring in Turkey viz., Aegypius monachus, Gypaetus barbatus, Gyps fulvus and Neophron percnopterus can all be seen in Erzurum Marshes. The inhabitants of Erzurum were almost ignorant of the fascinating bird diversity and their habitat that exists at Erzurum Marshes and that they were sitting on a gold mine of touristic attraction

Erzurum Marshes meet the criteria and of wetlands according to Ramsar and Wetland criteria that it is a very important habitat hosting significant level of bird population especially in migration periods, and could be a candidate to be declared a Ramsar site under the Ramsar Convention on the Wetlands of International Importance. The site hosts significant levels of bird population especially during migration. Despite the fact that Erzurum Marshes were given the wetland protection status by National Wetlands Commission in 2006, no protective activity was observed during the present study and that protective measures must be taken immediately.

The leading factor threatening the region and also the bird species is the deterioration of habitats that also support other important forms of life including the plants. This deterioration is mainly caused by drainage channels, livestock grazing, Erzurum airport, urbanization, high-voltage transmissions, poaching, use of peat and other sources, deterioration of water sources, use of pesticides in agriculture, recreational use, seasonal accommodation, apicultural activities, stone pit and rock hounding, frost, and hail (Sari, 2010; Sari et al., 2013).

 

Conclusions

 

As a result of the studies carried out to date, the occurance of 504 bird species in Turkey has been determined. Considering that the number of bird species observed in Erzurum Marshes is 239 i.e. 42.7%-almost half of the bird species recorded in Turkey, it can be seen how an important wetland the marsh is for Turkey and the World. Measurements must be taken against threat risks to protect This Important Bird Area. Drainage channels must be removed from the field and the plain must regain its previous form. No pasturage should be allowed in regions of the marsh, which are important as the bird habitat. Besides that, the pasturage activities must be performed in a controlled and planned manner in other regions of the marsh and in other pastures in surroundings. Especially after melting of snows, animals must not be allowed into the field while the grasses are just germinating. Erzurum Airport may not be enlarged further, and it would be better to translocate it to a far off location. Further urbanization towards the marshes must be stopped, and new buildings must not be allowed in this direction anymore. Alternative roads must be determined, all the roads dividing the integrity of field must be eliminated in long-term, and the heavy traffic problem must be solved via alternative motorways to be constructed. The route of high-voltage transmissions line passing through the field must be changed.

Study area is not within the scope of hunting ban. The field should immediately be registered into the hunting-ban areas. Use of peat should be prevented. The reasons of local people for using peat should be determined and, if possible, the solution/suggestions should be offered for eliminating those reasons. Deterioration of water sources should not be allowed. No recreational use should be allowed. Other places should be offered for accommodation of temporary workers coming from other cities to Erzurum, and their entrance into this region should be prevented. For apicultural activities executed within the borders of Erzurum Marshes, alternative locations should be offered, and such activities should not be allowed in this field. Stone quarries should be closed, and collecting stones should be prevented. Against the frost and hail damages, the large marshy areas and reedy regions should be enlarged as they were used to be in the past.

 

Statement of conflict of interest

Authors have declared no conflict of interest.

 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

April

Vol. 50, Iss. 2, Pages 401-797

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