Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 148, Issue 3, pp 347–355 | Cite as

Range of the Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus, metapopulation in the Mediterranean: new insights from Turkey

  • Özge BalkızEmail author
  • Uygar Özesmi
  • Roger Pradel
  • Christophe Germain
  • Mehmet Sıkı
  • Juan A. Amat
  • Manuel Rendón-Martos
  • Nicola Baccetti
  • Arnaud Béchet
Original Article


Metapopulation conservation should rely on a flyway approach aiming at assessing the spatial range of metapopulations by estimating the level of exchanges among local populations. In the western Mediterranean, Greater Flamingos have been shown to constitute a metapopulation with natal and breeding dispersal among colonies. In this paper, we examine whether this metapopulation reaches Turkey using a band-resighting study. Our results are the first evidence of natal and breeding dispersal from the western Mediterranean to Turkey, and suggest that the Gediz Delta, one of the two Turkish breeding colonies, can play a significant role in the recruitment of flamingos from the western Mediterranean. In 2003 and 2004, breeders of western Mediterranean origin accounted for more than 1.2 and 1.9% of the estimated breeding population of the Gediz Delta, respectively. Our observations also indicate that the western Mediterranean and Southwest Asia may constitute two sets of populations, which overlap in Turkey. Finally, the resightings of flamingos banded in Turkey show that post-fledging dispersal from Turkey reaches both the eastern and western Mediterranean wetlands. Future data on the natal and breeding dispersal of flamingos born in Turkey could clarify further the connection between Turkey and the western Mediterranean metapopulation.


Capture-recapture Colonial waterbirds Conservation Dispersal Gediz Delta 



We are grateful to Luc Hoffmann and Alan Johnson for their enthusiasm for wildlife conservation and for creating the opportunities to start this project in Turkey. On behalf of all dedicated conservationists, we would like to thank Antoine Arnaud from Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Burcu Arık from Doğa Derneği and Ortaç Onmuş from the Aegean Nature Society for their continuous support. In Turkey, the flamingo project was conducted under the leadership of Doğa Derneği, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Erciyes University, Ege University, with the support of the following partner organizations: Aegean Nature Society, Turkish Bird Research Society (KAD), İzmir Nature Protection and National Parks—Game and Wildlife Department, Kuşadası Nature Protection and National Parks, Ankara and Mersin Specially Protected Areas Directorates (ÖÇKK). We would like to thank all the Turkish and foreign birdwatchers who participated in the population counts, bandings and resightings of flamingos; the personnel of Gediz Delta Visitor Center for their continuous support for the field surveys since the start of the project; and Lauriane Rouan for her help with statistical analyses. This project was supported financially by the Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Tubitak—Programme of Integrated Actions (PIA) “Bosphorus”, İzmir Bird Paradise Conservation and Development Union and Turkish Bird Research Society (KAD) Small Support Program.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Özge Balkız
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Uygar Özesmi
    • 4
  • Roger Pradel
    • 2
  • Christophe Germain
    • 1
  • Mehmet Sıkı
    • 5
  • Juan A. Amat
    • 6
  • Manuel Rendón-Martos
    • 7
  • Nicola Baccetti
    • 8
  • Arnaud Béchet
    • 1
  1. 1.Station Biologique de la Tour du ValatArlesFrance
  2. 2.CEFE, Equipe Biometrie et Biologie des PopulationsMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Doğa DerneğiAnkaraTurkey
  4. 4.Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering DepartmentErciyes UniversityKayseriTurkey
  5. 5.Biology DepartmentAegean UniversityİzmirTurkey
  6. 6.Estación Biológica de Doñana, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientíficasSevillaSpain
  7. 7.Reserva Naturel Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, Consejeria de Medio AmbienteFuente de Piedra (Málaga)Spain
  8. 8.Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna SelvaticaOzzano Emilia (BO)Italy

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