In Samsun, the number of buffaloes in the Kızılırmak Delta, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List, decreased to 2,800 for a period and increased thanks to the studies carried out.
Ondokuz Mayıs University (OMU) Bafra Vocational School Lecturer Prof. Dr. Ali Kemal Ayan emphasized to the AA correspondent the importance of the existence of buffaloes for the Kızılırmak Delta, which covers an area of 56 thousand decares.
Stating that a project called “Buffalo Love” was prepared in 2008 with the support of the United Nations Development Program Global Environment Fund in order to protect the buffalo existence in the Kızılırmak Delta, Ayan said that the project lasted for 2 years.
Explaining that within the scope of the project, besides informing the local people about the water buffalo, contributing to the prevention of environmental pollution, Ayan continued:
“A significant part of the water buffalo population in Turkey lives here, but the chemical pesticides used especially in the paddy fields and other agricultural areas in the delta adversely affected the existence of water buffalo. The number of buffaloes, which was 10 thousand in the 1990 census, decreased to 2,800 in the following years. “As he spends most of the day eating the twigs and reeds in the water, we talked about the benefits to the flora and fauna, that it prevents the lakes from drying out, that he builds a nest for the fish with the footprint he opens on the ground where he treads. We also carried out studies on the production and marketing of milk and meat.”
“The existence of the Kızılırmak Delta depends on the existence of the water buffalo”
Ayan underlined that the existence of water buffalo has been increased with the efforts and government support for about 13 years, and said, “The combination of the ecological structure of the Kızılırmak Delta and the water buffalo is very important. The existence of the Kızılırmak Delta depends on the existence of the water buffalo. If there is no water buffalo, the lake mirror of the Kızılırmak Delta (within the lake surface) There is always water, reeds, reeds, swamps outside the areas). Also, the demographic and cultural ties of the local herd owners make the water buffalo special.” used the phrases.
Emphasizing that there are around 20 thousand buffaloes in Samsun and 60 percent of them live in the Kızılırmak Delta, Ayan said that with the studies carried out, the number of water buffaloes in the delta exceeded 12 thousand.
Pointing out that the existence of a buffalo is also important for the protection of the delta, Ayan said:
“Buffaloes contribute to the protection of wet meadows in the delta, preventing them from turning into forests and clearing them of bushes. They both eat reeds and feed on trees in the form of shrubs. It also feeds on juncuses (a type of flowering plant), providing natural vegetation. For him, the presence of water buffalo is synonymous with the presence of the delta. “In the past, there were serious problems in the delta due to the decrease in the number of buffaloes. As a result of the studies carried out, the herd owners increased the number of buffaloes. The added value of water buffalo milk and product varieties increased. Therefore, the economic and ecological value of the water buffalo was revealed.”