Discover Turkey, home of flora and fauna
Turkey is a place with splendid beauty, has excellent flora and fauna. The geographical location of Turkey along with its favorable climate has made Turkey very rich about flora and fauna.
The rich Turkish flora includes more than 9.000 varieties of plants. About 3.000 of them are endemic to Turkey and grow in nature nowhere else in the world.
Turkey is the only country in the world under the influence of 3 botanical geographical regions. Also famous bioclimatists concurred that Turkey is the only country in the world subject to three main climates.
Turkey is the center of origin for more that 30 species of fruits, and also a centre for world's most important plant genetic sources especially for grains and legumes.
Turkey's average altitude is over 1100 m. Fed by hundreds of streams, over 10 large rivers, including Euphrates and Tigris, originate from Anatolia mountains and flow to five seas.
Special climates and habitats exist also in and around numerous wetlands and lakes. Around Tuz Lake, more than 30 endemic species of plants grow. As grounds become saltier, attention given to salt resistant plants are becoming more pronounced.
Turkey is also endowed with a diverse richness of medical and aromatic plants. Istanbul supports a remarkably high diversity of plant species with approximately 2000 species. Forests cover 26% of the homeland. Totally 564 species of trees, 76 of them being endemic. The ratio of natural forests to total forest area is 93% in Turkey.
Turkey's fauna is so rich, different types of animals, beautiful birds, fish. 40.000 animal species found in Turkey are estimated to be over 80% of the ones found in the whole continent of Europe.
The diversity of fauna in Turkey is even greater than that of wild plants. While the number of species throughout Europe as a whole is around 60.000, in Turkey they number over 80.000. If subspecies are also counted, then this number rises to over a hundred thousand.
Anatolia is the original homeland of several species. For instance, the red deer comes from the foothills of the Taurus Mountains between Antalya and Adana. Another example is the pheasant which comes from Samsun on Turkey's Black Sea coast.
Few people are aware that the Anatolia leopard is one of the largest of these graceful cats, and another member of the Anatolian fauna.
Turkey is one of the most important bird migration routes in the world. The total number of migratory and local bird species are 456 in Turkey. Besides the diversity of species, Turkey is also an important habitat for breeding birds like, northern bald ibis, white headed duck, blue cheeked bee eater, spur winged plover and black francolin that are under the threat of extinction.
Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean shores provide a refuge for Mediterranean monk seals and Caretta Caretta turtles.
Today, the mountains and national parks still abound with wildlife, such as brown bears, wild boar, lynx, wolves, mountain goats, water buffalo, the occasional leopard and over 400 species of birds, several of them endangered.
Kantaron Flower, Lake Tuz, Central Anatolia
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