Turkey’s largest avian sanctuary, the Kızılırmak Delta Wetland and Bird Sanctuary in northern Samsun province, has sprung to life, welcoming waterfowl and wild horses to its water holes and green grasses.
A site on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, the highly diverse, 56-hectare wetland that runs into the Black Sea includes freshwater and saltwater marshes, wet meadows, forests and sand dunes.
The delta is home to 352 bird species, three-quarters of all the birds in Turkey.
It is considered a bird sanctuary for its protection of 27 rare or endangered bird species.
It is also considered one of the most important breeding areas for herons and storks in the southern Black Sea region.
Millions of migratory birds stopover in the Kızılırmak Delta twice a year and hundreds of aquatic birds spend the winter season there.
The basin also hosts 561 plant species, covering half of families and one-sixth of all species in Turkey.
It is a rich location for agriculture, supporting crops from rice to melons.
The Kızılırmak is Turkey’s longest river that originates and also flows into its territories. It is also the second largest drainage basin in Turkey.
The Kızılırmak runs through middle and northern Anatolia, passing through Sivas, Kayseri, Nevşehir, Kırşehir, Kırıkkale, Çankırı, Çorum and Samsun provinces on its way to the Black Sea.