Rabbit boom on Akdamar Island now under control

VAN, Turkey
Published 15.06.2015 21:57

Not long ago, the commission formed by the district government of Gevaş, Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ) Wild Animal Protection and Rehabilitation Center and the Culture and Tourism Ministry announced that the ecosystem as well as the historical texture of Akdamar Island in Lake Van was threatened by an excessive rabbit population and decided that the rabbits should be taken off the island. Thanks to the measures taken following the decision by the commission, the rabbit population on the island has been taken under control. The beginning of the rabbit gathering began around three months ago by teams formed by the commission. In the first three months of the operation, nearly 3,000 rabbits, mostly females, were carried off the island by boat and released into the wild on the mainland. After the island was saved from the rabbit explosion, Akdamar Island returned to returned to having a balanced ecosystem, which will be aided by the coming summer season. Various flowers and almond trees that were on the verge of drying out due to the rabbits blossomed on the island this year. The manager of YYÜ Wild Animal Protection and Rehabilitation Center, Associate Professor Lokman Aslan, said that the rabbit population on the island is now under control: "Previously, those who came to the island were welcomed by numerous rabbits who negatively affected the ecosystem of the island. However, the island has finally regained its natural state." The operation conducted to protect Akdamar Island's ecosystem will continue for two more years.

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