Number of gazelles under protection increases in Şanlıurfa

May 23, 2009, Saturday/ 16:52:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES
The number of gazelles that are under the protection of the Directorate of Agricultural Enterprises (TIGEM) in Şanlıurfa's Ceylanpınar district has been gradually increasing, and now the district is home to more than 1,500 gazelles.The number is expected to approach 2,000 by the end of the breeding season, which has just started. According to data given to the Anatolia news agency, the gazelle population had decreased in the district because of illegal hunting. As a result, 23 gazelles were taken into protection on 820 hectares of land surrounded by wire fences in 1977.

Apart from the protected gazelles in Şanlıurfa, there are also gazelles living in the wild around the Turkish-Syrian border. A number of gazelles are offered for sale by the directorate during the breeding period, which is generally between April and October. An average of 40 to 50 gazelles is reported to be sold every year. The directorate usually only offers breeding pairs for sale to ensure the reproduction of the species. Pairs cost TL 2,000 excluding value-added tax (VAT).

Directorate officials state that they never sell lone female gazelles although they will sometimes sell lone males if requested.

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