Yeşilırmak Delta

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
Part of the largest delta on the Turkish Black Sea coast, the majority of which is now under agriculture. The IBA comprises the largest remaining wetland˜the Simenlik-Akgöl lake complex˜a 1,900-ha area in the eastern part of the delta of which 200 ha is open water (max. depth 3 m), and the remainder is reed Phragmites and marsh vegetation. Also included are dunes and Cladium fen communities. Reed-cutting takes place (`Other' land-use).

Key biodiversity
The site is important for breeding waterbirds and congregations of wintering wildfowl. The majority of the latter are forced to spend the day at sea as a result of human disturbance, returning to feed in the delta at night. No information is available on the natural importance of the delta prior to large-scale drainage.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Ongoing drainage and irrigation projects threaten the remaining areas of natural wetland. Pinus forests designed to stabilize the dunes and Salix/Alnus plantations threaten to outcompete native vegetation. The lake complex is fed entirely by irrigation drains, leading to severe nutrient enrichment and the lakes becoming choked by reed. Fish catches are reported to have declined as a result of pollution. An airport is planned north-west of çarsamba, 25 km from the delta. Although closed to hunters, the area is subject to heavy hunting pressure throughout the year.

Protected areas
National High International None3,000 ha of IBA covered by Permanent Wildlife Reserve (Yeþilýrmak Deltasý, 16,043 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yeşilırmak Delta. Downloaded from on 08/08/2022.