On the verge of extinction, the hermit ibis has increased in number to 245 as a result of studies conducted at the Hermit Ibis Production Station in Şanlıurfa's Birecik district, founded by the Forestry and Water Affair Ministry.
The hermit ibis, which migrate from their natural habitat along the Euphrates River during spring months when their mating period starts, are taken into cages at the production station during the migration season.
At the station, they are fed a special meal of lean minced meat, boiled egg, grated carrot, feedstuff and sodium-free cheese.
A symbol of abundance in the area, hermit ibises are making a comeback thanks to the increased number of chicks this year.
The head of the 3rd Regional Manager of Nature Conservation and National Parks, İsrafil Erdoğan, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that hermit ibises died out in mass from agricultural pesticides in the 1950s.
Stressing the endangered status of the hermit ibis, Erdoğan said the proliferation studies conducted at the station are yielding positive results.
He said that the number of birds increases ever year: "We have 47 chicks this year and have placed 195 adults in cages along with the chicks. Also, three of them continue living in their natural habitat."
Statistics show that the number of birds under protection was 112 in 2012, which increased to 245 this year, more than doubling in seven years. Since the chicks fully mature in five years and can reproduce, their increase in number gives hope for the future of the endangered species.
Erdoğan also said that some hermit ibises cannot be put in cages. Due to dangerous conditions in their natural habitat, the birds are supported with special feeding services just like at the station by the ministry.