Urfa Birecik Steppes

Urfa Steppes, one of the largest pristine steppe habitats in Europe located in the South eastern part of Turkey, covers two Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), namely Akçakale Steppes KBA and South Euphrates Valley, and Birecik Steppes KBA.

The area holds endangered steppe species in Turkey such as Goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa), Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), Long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus), Great bustard (Otis tarda), cream-colored courser (Cursorius cursor), Pallid scops owl (Otus brucei), Bald ibis (Geronticus eremite), Monitor lizard (Varanus griseus) and Euphrates softshell turtle (Rafetus euphraticus).

The Southern Euphrates Valley and the Birecik Steppes KBA consist of the Euphrates Valley region together with the semi desert and steppe areas to the east of this valley. The Euphrates Valley reaches up to around 100 meters in width from time to time and is the richest river system in Turkey in terms of species diversity.

The main threats to biodiversity are the creation of agricultural fields and irrigation projects, new agricultural chemicals, pebble quarries, illegal hunting, overgrazing and the construction of dams. The Birecik Dam has in fact flooded an important portion of the Southern Euphrates Valley.

Doğa has been working on these two KBA’s for the last XXX years through projects such as:

  • Establishing community-based conservation for the Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), cream-colored courser (Cursorius cursor), and  monitor lizard (Varanus griseus)
  • The reintroduction of the Goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) in the Kızılkuyu Wildlife Reserve that increased numbers to 500 individuals in five years
  • Protecting the Bald ibis (Geronticus eremite), which resulted in an increase from 25 individuals in 2003 to 153 individuals in 2012
  • The Great bustard (Otis tarda) project that focused on human impact and conservation of their habitats

Key Biodiversity Areas


Key Biodiversity Areas of Turkey

Latest News

Featured Video

Related Photos

kba-aci_gol urfa_bozkirlari_ceylan kba-map tuz_golu-dd_arsivi

Follow Us