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Nature preserves

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The growing consciousness that Turkey enjoys a special status from the point of view of biological diversity has led, between 1987 and 1998, to the designation of 30 areas as nature preserves today. Their total area today reaches 63.008 hectares (155.695 acres). Most of these nature preserves are smaller in area than national parks, which allows for their enclosure and leads to more effective protection. All the nature preserves have been designated as such due to various biological characteristics. Some of these are listed in the table below, along with their province.

1.  Akdogan (Ebe Cami) – Bolu

2.  Akgöl – Konya

3.  Alacadag – Antalya

4.  Beykoz Göknarlik – Istanbul

5.  Camili / Efeler forest – Artvin

6.  Camili / Görgit – Artvin

7.  Çamburnu – Artvin

8.  Çiglikara – Antalya

9.  Çitdere – Zonguldak

10.  Dandindere – Afyon

11.  Demirciönü – Düzce

12.  Dibek – Antalya

13.  Domaniç / Kasaliç – Kütahya

14.  Habibi Neccar mountain – Hatay

15.  Haciosman – Samsun

16.  Kale / Bolu hazelnut plains – Bolu

17.  Kargi Sigla forest – Burdur

18.  Kartal lake – Denizli

19.  Kasatura gulf – Kirklareli

20.  Kasnak Mesesi forest – Isparta

21.  Kavakli – Zonguldak

22.  Kazdagi Göknari forest – Balikesir

23.  Kökez – Bolu

24.  Körçoban – Kahramanmaras

25.  Örumcek forest – Gümüshane

26.  Sarikum – Sinop

27.  Seyfe lake – Kirsehir

28.  Sirtlandagi – Mugla

29.  Tekkoz Kengerlidu – Hatay

30.  Vakif Çamligi forest – Kütahya

Special Areas of Environmental Protection

By means of legislation adopted in 1990, Turkish governments have taken under protection 19 areas and have granted these the status of Special Areas of Environmental Protection. These areas have been selected not so much for their biological characteristics but in order to prevent tourism and construction from encroaching on their natural beauty. Among these Mugla – Köycegiz – Dalyan area has been brought under protection because it is the habitat where Caretta Caretta, which has recently become the focus of world public attention, lay their eggs.Foca, near Izmir, is another special protection area because of Monk seals. The site of Pamukkale is under protection because of its world famous calcareous sediment; the Ihlara Valley, due to its historical significance as one of the earliest dwelling places of Christians and because of the presence of churches and temples containing painting and frescoes.

Other Protective Measures

In addition to the areas of environmental protection cited above, there are also enclosed zones of smaller scale which are under protection. These serve to protect some animal species which are either rare in Turkey or in the world, or face the danger of extinction. These animals are preserved and bred under special care and some are released into nature when their populations reach a certain level. There are 40 such areas of animal protection and they are located in all regions of Turkey. Some of the animals which are under protection in these areas are: Fallow Deer, Roe Deer, Northern Bald Ibis, Pheasant, Francolin, Partridge, Deer, Wild Goat, Water Fowl, Mediterranean Monk Seal, Wild Sheep (mouflon).