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Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species Aerial view of Pokut plateau and Camlihemsin village in Rize, Türkiye. (Adobe Stock Photo)
By Gizem Gulmez
Jul 11, 2024 12:04 PM

Türkiye stands out as a country rich in unique natural diversity and wildlife, offering ideal exploration points for nature enthusiasts.

Particularly notable are rare species like the Hurmetci wild horses and various natural habitats that make up the ecological tapestry of the region.

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species
The horses in Hurmetci Marsh running wild in Kayseri, Türkiye , July 23, 2020. (AA Photo)

Hurmetci wild horses: Ancestral heritage of Anatolia

Located in the rich natural landscapes of Kayseri, central Anatolia, Hurmetci stands out as a village within the Tomarza district known for its significant natural wealth, particularly the Hurmetci wild horses. These horses are a crucial part of the region’s natural ecosystem.

The Hurmetci wild horses are often referred to as Anatolian horses, genetically tracing their ancestry back to the Central Asian horses. These horses freely roam the mountainous and forested areas of Kayseri, essential to the centuries-old wild heritage of Anatolia.

Hurmetci Wild Horses are typically medium-sized, sturdy animals with robust builds. Their coat colors often range in shades of brown, providing excellent camouflage in their natural environments. They thrive in expansive grasslands, mountainous regions, and areas near water sources. The rich vegetation and natural habitats of Hurmetci are vital factors supporting their survival.

Hurmetci’s wild horses are recognized as an important species for Türkiye’s biodiversity. However, threats such as habitat loss and human impact endanger their natural habitat.

Therefore, Kayseri authorities and environmental conservation organizations are engaged in various conservation efforts to protect the Hurmetci wild horses and sustain their habitats.

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species
Avusor glacial lake (Heart Lake) in Kackar Mountains. Avusor Plateau, Rize, Türkiye. (Adobe Stock Photo)

Kackar mountains national park: Paradise of natural diversity

Kackar Mountains National Park is a prominent area of natural beauty in Türkiye, known for its stunning views of the Black Sea and rich biological diversity. The high mountain peaks, glacial lakes, deep valleys, and extensive forested areas define the park’s natural structure.

Moreover, the Kackar Mountains are significant for their endemic plant species, contributing greatly to botanical diversity.

The national park also hosts numerous wildlife species, including large mammals such as wolves, bears, and lynxes, as well as many bird species like eagles and vultures. The ecosystems of the Kackar Mountains play a critical role in Türkiye’s biological diversity.

The region is also ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, and camping. Especially in the summer months, visitors flock to enjoy nature and relax amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Culturally rich, the area captivates visitors with its local lifestyle, traditional architectural structures, and regional cuisine. The Kackar Mountains are a haven waiting to be explored by nature enthusiasts, as well as those interested in culture and history.

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species
Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park Guzelcamli, Aydin province, Türkiye. (Adobe Stock Photo)

Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park: Hotspot of birdwatchers, nature photographers

Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park is one of Türkiye’s important natural conservation areas, particularly captivating birdwatchers and nature photographers.

Located along the Aegean Sea coast, the park is renowned for its rich biological diversity. The Buyuk Menderes Delta within the park holds significant importance for its wetland ecosystems and hosts many rare bird species.

In the park, visitors can observe various waterfowl species such as flamingos, pelicans, and pied kingfishers. Other notable bird species include the imperial eagle, peregrine falcon, and European roller, among others.

For birdwatchers, the park’s different habitats and seasonal changes offer great opportunities for bird observation.

For nature photographers, Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park provides a perfect setting with unique landscapes and natural habitats to capture. Especially during early morning or sunset, the park’s light and color play combined with natural bird behaviors provide an ideal environment for photography.

Within the park, accessible points like Incekoy, Karina, and Kalamaki beaches offer hiking trails and relaxation opportunities.

Additionally, the park’s historical and cultural riches, including ancient traces, castle ruins, and local lifestyle, are worth exploring.

Buyuk Menderes Delta National Park is a unique destination for nature lovers to experience unforgettable moments immersed in nature, bird watching, and nature photography.

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species
Saklikent Canyon is the deepest canyon in southern Türkiye, Antalya. (Adobe Stock Photo)

Saklikent Nature Park: Hiking, canyon adventure

Saklikent Nature Park, located near Fethiye in Antalya province in southwestern Türkiye, is an important natural park with stunning natural beauties.

Especially ideal for those seeking hiking and canyon adventure experiences, the park is named after Saklikent Canyon, one of Türkiye’s deepest canyons.

Saklikent Canyon stretches 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) long and reaches heights of up to 256 feet in some places. Formed by melting snow and ice waters during the summer months, this natural formation attracts visitors with its cool waters and impressive views.

Walking inside the canyon offers an unforgettable experience for those who want to feel the power of nature alongside the flow of water.

The park’s hiking and trekking trails, offering paths of varying difficulty levels, provide suitable options for every nature enthusiast. During nature walks, visitors can explore the park’s rich vegetation and wildlife.

Additionally, the park’s picnic areas and resting points offer visitors areas to enjoy nature.

Saklikent Nature Park is also a popular destination in the winter months. Near the entrance of the canyon, there are opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. Especially for winter sports enthusiasts, Saklikent offers a different kind of nature and adventure experience.

Located near Fethiye and just a short distance from the city, Saklikent is a point of interest for both nature lovers and adventure seekers. Visitors to this region filled with natural beauty find an unforgettable experience of nature walks and canyon adventures.

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species
Magnificent mountain ranges in the middle of Toros mountains, Türkiye. (Adobe Stock Photo)

Northeast Anatolian Mountains: Land of beech trees, wolves

The Northeast Anatolian Mountains form one of Türkiye’s highest and wildest natural regions. Extending from the northeast coast of the Black Sea to the East Anatolia Region, the area offers rich biological diversity.

Particularly known for its slopes covered with beech trees and extensive forested areas, this region is referred to as a “land of wolves” where natural life is preserved in its purest form.

The Northeast Anatolian Mountains are distinguished by their high-altitude peaks, deep valleys, and glacial lakes. The high regions of the mountains provide suitable habitats for rare and protected predatory animals like Caucasian wolves. Additionally, other wild animal species such as brown bears, lynxes, and bezoar goats can be observed in the region.

The Northeast Anatolian Mountains are also rich in terms of botany. Broad-leaved and coniferous forests like beech, fir, and spruce form the region’s flora diversity. Alpine meadows and endemic plant species can be seen in the higher parts of the mountains.

Culturally rich, the region is significant for its local lifestyle, traditions, and regional architecture. This geography, where nomads ascend to the highlands in summer and descend to the valleys in winter, offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty and local culture.

The Northeast Anatolian Mountains are a paradise waiting to be explored for nature enthusiasts. Preserving natural life, ecotourism activities, and conscientious visitor behaviors are critical steps for passing on this unique geography to future generations.

Wildlife in Türkiye: Guide to explore its natural wonders, unique species
Coast of the Black Sea at sunset, mountain ranges stretching into the distance, Türkiye. (Adobe Stock Photo)

Conservation efforts for Türkiye’s wildlife

Nature reserves are crucial areas aimed at preserving Türkiye’s biodiversity and supporting wildlife. These areas strive to maintain ecological balance by protecting extensive ecosystems and rare species. Türkiye, renowned for its rich flora and fauna diversity, implements various nature conservation strategies to safeguard its natural heritage.

Nature reserves are typically established in ecologically sensitive areas and play significant roles not only in conserving biological diversity but also in research, education, and sustainable natural resource management. These areas provide critical habitats for wildlife and enable nature enthusiasts, researchers, and educators to gain firsthand knowledge of nature.

The management of nature reserves in Türkiye is carried out by various institutions and nongovernment organizations (NGOs) National parks, nature parks, nature reserves, wetlands and biosphere reserves are planned and operated for different conservation.

Eastern regions of Türkiye, particularly crucial for wildlife conservation, provide sanctuary for large predatory animals and endemic species.

Conservation efforts in these regions contribute to the protection of endangered species and the sustainability of populations.

The management of nature reserves is supported by community involvement, awareness campaigns, and international collaborations. Ecotourism activities play a significant role in generating nature conservation revenues and contributing to local economies.

Last Updated:  Jul 11, 2024 5:23 PM