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Bird Species of Erzurum Marshes in Northeastern Anatolia, Turkey.

Byline: Alptug Sari, Ahmet Arpacik and Sagdan Baskaya

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.

Key words

Wetland, Marsh, Bird Species, Erzurum, Turkey.

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 (Kiziroglu, 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: 39.9902Adeg N, Longitude: 41.3399Adeg 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 Pinarbasi Lake-Malatya", Ayvaz (1991) "bird species of Cildir Lake-Ardahan", and Ayvaz (1993) "Ornithological Observations around Elazig Province". Adizel (1993) and Kiziroglu (1994), reported population intensity of 112 bird species and their population intensity. Baskaya (1994) carried out a study on migratory bird species of Eastern Black Sea region. Adizel (1998) studied bird fauna of Van Lake basin, and reported on the biology and population intensities of 147 bird species.

Durmus (2002) studied the biology and population intensities of 83 bird species of Balik Lake (Dogubeyazit-Agri) 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 (Baskaya, 1994).

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study area

Erzurum Marshes are located within the borders of Erzurum-Kars part of Eastern Anatolian region. Kargapazari Mounts on eastern side of the marsh, Dumlu Mounts, the extension of Allahuekber Mounts, in the north, Erzurum province and Palandoken Mounts in the south, and Ilica 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 5.1AdegC. Considering the course of temperature in the year, the coolest month is January (-10.6AdegC), while the hottest month is August (19.6AdegC). 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 (Eroglu, 1998).

Erzurum Marshes embrace Sogucak, Cayirtepe, Kosemehmet, Guzelova, Yolgecti, Mulkkoy, Cayirca and Beypinari 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 Kiziroglu (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), Adizel (1993), (1998), Baskaya (1994), Akyildiz (2002) and Durmus (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 Baskaya (1994), Sterna albifrons only by Ayvaz (1991), Aythya nyroca by Adizel (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

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).(Continued)

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

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).(Continued)

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

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).(Continued)

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

###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

Kiziroglu (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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Author:Sari, Alptug; Arpacik, Ahmet; Baskaya, Sagdan
Publication:Pakistan Journal of Zoology
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:7TURK
Date:Apr 30, 2018
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