Turkey hosts more than two percent of all freshwater fish species (316 species of 15,000) in the world, with an increasing number following the discovery of new species. Thirty-two percent of all freshwater fish species in Turkey are listed as globally threatened (102 species). Furthermore, approximately fifty-four percent of Turkey’s freshwater fish are endemics. The inventory of KBAs of Turkey revealed that freshwater fish are among the most threatened taxonomic groups because of water retention by dams, excessive water abstraction, drainage, and pollution.
Doga has been working on conservation of Anatolian endemic and threatened freshwater fish fauna over the last ten years. Recently, a participatory action plan to conserve the endemic fish of Lake Beysehir Catchment, home to twelve globally threatened species is prepared with the support of GEF Small Grants Programme. Doga also works on monitoring and conservation of endemic Aphanius fauna of Lake Salda in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) threatened by a set of reservoir constructions which will block the inflow of streams to the lake. Furthermore, Doga initiated a new project to sustain the last populations of Burdur Toothcarp (Aphanius sureyanus), endemic to Lake Burdur, along with Burdur Loach (Oxynoemacheilus anatolicus) and Burdur Spring Minnow (Pseudophoxinus burduricus) through the establishment of an in-situ refuge for these species.
Photograph: © Barbara Nicca