Important Turkish wetland dries up


Lake Seyfe, an important waterbird refuge in central Türkiye's Kırşehir province, has turned into a salt flat since July following a severe lack of precipitation dried up the springs that feed the waterbody.

The lake is one of Turkey's most important wetlands and bird sanctuaries. It covers nearly 10,700 ha and is home to 187 bird species, including Greater Flamingo.

Greater Flamingo is one of the species impacted by the drying out of Lake Sefye (Raffaele Cargnelutti).

The lake partially dries up in summer before being revived in winter and spring by melting snow and rain waters. However, this year it has turned into a salt flat due to the lack of precipitation in the summer months and the drying up of the Seyfe, Horla, Yenidoganlı and Malya springs that feed the lake.

Muhammed Talha Yılmaz, a visitor at the site, said he had the opportunity to watch many species from the watchtower the last time he visited the lake. He hoped that the Lake Seyfe Bird Sanctuary would return to its former glory as soon as possible with the changing of season.

He added they could see thousands of birds from the watchtower during their visits when there was water in the lake. "There were different kinds of birds when we were here the last time. We were happy to see them. Lake Seyfe has now dried up."

Sultan Kıymaz from Kırşehir Ahi Evran University's Agriculture Faculty said that the water level at the Lake Seyfe Bird Sanctuary remained below average for many years between 1998 and 2022 due to drought and blamed a severe lack of precipitation and increased groundwater use in the region.