|Hasankeyf's hole-studded rock|
walls have 'irreplaceable
importance' as nesting and
sheltering places for birds
But like so much else in the area, Hasankeyf’s bird diversity and “irreplaceable habitats for wildlife” are threatened by the building of Ilısu and other large dams, according to a report by Professor Murat Biricik and Assistant Professor Recep Karakaş, both of Dicle University in Diyarbakır.
Published earlier this year in Natural Areas Journal, their paper, “Birds of Hasankeyf (South-Eastern Anatolia, Turkey) Under the Threat of a Big Dam Project,” details sightings of 133 bird species in the Hasankeyf area, including five globally and 25 regionally threatened species – as well as 21 different diurnal (daytime) raptors, more than half of all those found anywhere in Turkey.
|The pied kingfisher's riparian|
habitat is at risk.
Photo: Mehmet Karatay
If you want to encounter Hasankeyf’s avian life while you still can, bird-watching is at its best in May and April, when the researchers found species richness to be at its highest level. Great numbers of individual birds (though fewer types) can also be seen in November.