A special conservation program will be launched as the Environmental and Urban Development Ministry works to protect the flamingo population around Lake Tuz in Central Anatolia, home to Turkey's largest flamingo colony and the country's biggest source of salt, which is at risk of drying out. The amount of water evaporating in the lake has become excessive in recent years and now poses a threat to the flamingo population, prompting the ministry to make plans for observatory towers to be erected around the lake along with research studies on flamingo populations and programs for raising awareness.
Lake Tuz of Central Anatolia, which provides much of Turkey's salt but currently is at risk of drying out, houses the largest flamingo colony in Turkey, but the area has been losing its reputation as the amount of water evaporating from the lake has been excessive in recent years. The ministry is planning to place observatory towers around the lake along with research studies on flamingo populations and awareness-raising programs.
Flamingos mostly feed on artemia salina; tiny shrimp-like marine animals that live in salty waters and come to the area during winter to lay their eggs if the water level is suitable for their offspring to hatch. While the number of flamingos laying eggs in the area decreases during years of drought, this number increases greatly if the water level of Lake Tuz is higher, meaning the number of flamingos that lay eggs in the lake changes every year. Aside from Lake Tuz, thousands of baby flamingos were born on Turkey's first artificial island built for their accommodation in Izmir's bird sanctuary. According to a statement released by the Ministry of Forest and Water Management, 7,100 baby flamingos were born on the island established in the Gediz River Delta Wetlands located in Turkey's western province of Izmir.
The project mainly covers environmental areas under protection. Along with flamingos, another protected species, "Centaurea tchihatcheffii," pinkish-red florets, are going extinct. The florets are only grown in the Gölbaşı district of Ankara and efforts are ongoing to protect the species.
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