Biodiversity research conducted by the Directorate General for Nature Conservation and National Parks in 25 provinces for the last two-and-a-half years has paved the way to the discovery of 5,219 new species in Turkey.Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Nature Conservation and National Parks General Director Nurettin Taş said their study dramatically increased the number of new animal species and different plants discovered in Turkey.
Highlighting the importance of identifying new species and determining their potential to protect natural resources and benefiting from them, Taş said that they initiated the National Biodiversity Inventory and Observation Project two-and-a-half years ago.
The project, which will continue until 2018, will focus on making an inventory of plant and animal species in Turkey. This project aims to recognize biodiversity and put together an observation methodology for animal and plant species.
The natural habitats of endemic plants and wild animals will be determined, and these species will be closely observed by scientists. "We are aiming to protect the biodiversity of Turkey, record it and provide the necessary environment for biodiversity to continue its sustainability," Taş said.
Although biodiversity in Turkey arouses the attention of foreign scientists, Turkey has been left behind in biodiversity studies. This new project aims to record every new species and protect the natural richness of the country.
All the data acquired during the project will be transferred to the Noah's Ark Database of the Directorate General for Nature Conservation and National Parks. With this database scientists will be able to check everything about a species, natural habitats and ecosystems. "Systematic observational studies will be more fruitful thanks to the biodiversity inventory that we will put together as a result of the project. Studies on species, population and ecosystem as well as biodiversity will be passed on to future generations without failure," Taş said.
About 300 experts from universities and various nongovernmental organizations are involved in the project, which has been carried out in 25 different provinces in Turkey. Taş said: "We have discovered 5,129 new species, and these new discoveries have been transferred to the database."
The project will be carried out in all 81 provinces by 2018.
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