ZOOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, cilt.61, ss.201-214, 2015 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus is a waterbird commonly found in saline and brackish lagoons throughout the Mediterranean Region. We have gathered existing data on Greater Flamingos in Turkey and carried out field surveys to present the most up to date information on wintering (1999-2014) and breeding (1969- 2014). The wintering population of flamingos shows an increasing trend with 54,947 +/- 20,794 individuals mainly concentrated in the Gediz, Buyuk Menderes and Cukurova deltas, respectively. Breeding attempts were recorded in at least seven wetlands in Turkey in the past, yet after 1999 most of the colonies were abandoned due to basin scale intensive water management practices in Central Anatolia. Currently, only Tuz Lake and Gediz Delta are used as regular breeding sites, while breeding has been recorded sporadically in Acgol and Akehir Lakes. The breeding colony of Tuz Lake is of prime importance at the Mediterranean scale, with the number of young chicks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 accounting for the highest number of fledglings in the Mediterranean Region and West Africa (18,418, 20,274 and 20,292 respectively). Finally, building upon the previous findings about Turkey and the western Mediterranean metapopulation links, recent resightings of Turkish flamingos (despite the limited numbers) confirm post-fledging and natal dispersal reaching the western Mediterranean Basin and West Africa. Flamingos from Turkey were also found to disperse to Israel and to a region outside the known flyways of the western Mediterranean and West African flamingos (i.e. to Israel and UAE). Thus, Turkey, due to its geographic position, appears to be a crossroad between the western and eastern Mediterranean Region and southwest Asia.