By Halil Fidan
IZMIR, Türkiye (AA) – The number of bird species in Türkiye has fallen as migratory birds spend winter in Europe due to hot weather, according to a Turkish bird expert.
Ornithologist Omer Donduren told Anadolu there has been a decrease in bird species due to climate change and drought in recent years.
“The harsher the winter in Europe, the more birds there will be in our country. Because as the weather gets colder, the birds descend to the south,” said Donduren. "We don't see many ducks this year. Because the birds don't come due to the hot weather, they spend the winter in Europe. So, we wouldn't be surprised if there are fewer birds this year.”
He noted that Türkiye has experienced the problem, especially in the last two to three years, and said 28 wetlands have dried up.
Bird expert Hasan Pasali said he has been watching the waterfowl population and changes in wetlands for years.
Underlining that censuses were conducted in January and February, he said studies were organized by the International Wetlands Institution.
Recording 178,174 birds from 77 species in 28 wetlands in 2022, he said 228,031 birds from 80 species were counted in 2021.
“The number has decreased in terms of both species and bird numbers. According to our first findings in the region, the amount of water has decreased in wetlands due to drought. Therefore, the number and species of birds are also low,” he said.
“We saw that some species did not come due to the hot weather in Europe and northern regions. Therefore, we observe the impact of global climate change on wetlands and species here,” he added.