17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Indigenous plants of Lake Tuz under observation

2 November 2010, Tuesday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
Some indigenous halophytic plants, which according to experts only flourish in the Lake Tuz (salt lake) area, are now being monitored as part of a project launched by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Professor Latif Kurt from Ankara University’s biology department announced a project initiated by the environmental protection agency within the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to protect Lake Tuz and its habitat.

Kurt said the objective of the project would be to categorize the wildlife species and habitat in the Lake Tuz region and recommend measures to be taken to protect them.

Stating that the Lake Tuz basin is an important area for biological diversity, Kurt said that it has a very unique habitat. “We have identified 38 endemic plant species in our research,” he said. Noting that a species known as Elymus Cappadocicus, which is a kind of wheat that shows resistance to desertification, is only seen in the Lake Tuz basin, Kurt said endemic plant species are mostly located in the southern parts of the basin around the Eskil and Eşmekaya districts. “We have been examining the fauna and flora of the region while monitoring the habitat, and we have begun to monitor the 38 species by recording their coordinates. We are also examining the effects of desertification on the habitat,” he said.

The Lake Tuz basin, which extends across an area of 25,000 square meters in Central Anatolia, is becoming more of a desert day by day. Experts say the two main reasons for the desertification of Lake Tuz are the drought due to global warming and carelessly dug wells for groundwater used in irrigation.

According to experts, Lake Tuz is more than a salt store; it is an important wetland for wildlife and other organisms. It has a positive impact on the national economy, but moreover it offers biological diversity. Lake Tuz is the unique habitat for various kinds of plants and animals in the area.

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