250 endangered Mountain gazelles found in Turkey – First record in Turkey23/03/2009 00:21:04
Gazella gazella found in Turkey for the first time
March 2009. A group of Turkish researchers found 250 mountain living in the province of Hatay in southern Turkey.
Tolga Kankilic from Aksaray University said that a group of scientists carried out an extensive ecological and genetical study in Turkey's south. During the study, it was found that mountain gazelle (gazella gazella), which is critically endangered, was living in Hatay.
"Unill now, it was thought that there was only one species of gazelle, 'gazella subgutturosa' living near Sanliurfa province in Turkey. We have now scientifically proven that a second species, the endangered Mountain gazelle, or 'gazella gazella' is living in our country.
The Mountain Gazelle is classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List (considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild). The species is declining as a result of habitat loss and degradation and hunting historically contributed to this decline.
DNA tests have revealed that these gazelle are actually Mountain gazelle - Gazella gazella, which have never been recorded in Turkey before. Mountain gazelle are found from Israel and Syria and south across the Arabian Peninsula. Dr Kankýlýç believes that these animals migrate between Syria and Turkey. But these gazelle are heavily hunted in Syria. And the population in Turkey live in a military zone, which probably affords them some protection.
Mountan gazelles are almost extinct in Syria due to over hunting; There are around 2000 thought to live in Israel.
The researchers were from Aksaray University, Middle East Technical University (ODTU), Harran University and General Directorate of Nature Protection and National Parks
Mountain gazelles in Turkey. Credit Dr. Tolga Kankýlýç
Map of the gazelle distribution