Turkish Breeding Bird Atlas Pilot Project 2001 Erciyes Mountain and Kayseri Region

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Per E. , Yaşar A., Ozesmi S., Ozesmi U.

Bird Census News, vol.1, no.15, pp.2-21, 2002 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1 Issue: 15
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Title of Journal : Bird Census News
  • Page Numbers: pp.2-21



The goal of this project was to create a Breeding Bird Atlas for the region surrounding Erciyes Mountain and the city of Kayseri in Central Turkey. Tlıeıe are previous scattered bird records for paı ts of this area but this is the first systematic breeding bird atlas. This region was one of three regiotıs clıosen as a pilot project for tlıe Breeding Bird Atlas of Turkey project vvhiclı is planned to be cornpleted in the next five years. This article is a sıimmary of the atlas vvhich was published in full in the ErKuş 2001 Activity Report (Ertaş, 2002 - in Turkish).

Study Area

For the Breeding Bird Atlas of Turkey project the whole country has beetı divided iııto 50x50 1un UTM squares. The coordinates of the 50x50 1un square we surveyed are from 700,000 - 750,000 m E and 4,250,000 - 4.300.000 m N in UTM Grid Zone 36S. The study area is located in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey and includes Erciyes Mountain and the city of Kayseri (Figüre 1). The City of Kayseri, with a population of 525.000 and at an elevatiotı of 1041 m, is situated in the northwest part of the study area. Besides the large city of Kayseri there are many sınailer towns and villages located throughout the study area. Erciyes Mountain is a volcanic mountain 3917 m high and located İn the west Central part of the study area to the south of the city of Kayseri. It İs the tallcst mountain in Central Anatolia. Surrounding Erciyes Mountain are the Develi. Kayseri, and Tomarza plains. The Develi plain İs a closed basin. The study area is semi-arid steppe and the plant cover İs generally montane steppe vegetation consisting of spiny shrubs and plants such as Astı algııs, Acantholimon, Onobrychis, Gundelia, and Genista spp. The plains İn the study arca are agricultural aıeas plantcd mainly to winter wheat, oats, and barley. Soıne natural Populus tremuloides forests grow on the pumice soils of steep mountainous slopes. Other natural forested areas consist of Çuercus spp. and buslıes includlng Pyrus, Crateagus, Rosa, Prunüs, Amygdalus, Coloneasler spp. with scattered Juniperus spp. The many valleys with intermiltent. streams have Populus, Salix spp. and fruit trees along the streams. The cllmate of the area consists of cold snowy wlnters with an average temperature of -2’ C. Summers are hot and dry. Most rain is seen in the spring months.


The bird atlas data were collecLed from May 5, 2001 througlı July 1, 2001. The 50x50 km UTM square in the Erciyes Mountain and Kayseri study area was divided into 25 10x10 km squares. Each 10x10 km square was visited twice during tlıe breeding season, önce early (hetvveeıı May 5 and May 29, 2001) and önce late in the season (betvvecn May 27 and July 1, 2001). For each visit İn a square at least one group of two people cornpleted a one lıour breeding bird survey. İn many of the squares more tlıan one group cornpleted a survey. For each survey tlıe altitude, UTM coordinates, time of day, habltat types, and the bird species that were seen and/or heard were noted along wilh their breeding code. The breeding code was noted from 1 to 16 dependiııg on the breeding evidence (EBCC Atlas 1997).

At the start of the project, one hour forms were completed. Later two halt hour forms vvere done İn oı der lo gather nrore Information on bird abundance. During thls time the atlas workers ııoted eaclı bird that was seen and/or heard together with the breeding bird code. Apart fronı the bird atlas fonn recording times, birds seen and/or heard and their breeding codes vvere noted on casual record forms. Ali the breeding bird atlas vvork was done during daylight hours so noctumal species vvere not recorded. Ali the bird atlas forms and casual record forms vvere input into a Computer spreadsbeet. From this data, the total number of bird species seen in eaclı 10x10 km square was determined. For eveıy square the total number of bird species seen on one hour forms, half hour forms and casual record forms vvas found along vvith the total number of hours of atlas vvork. Distribution maps for each bird species vvere made. Dots vvere placed in İliç çenter of each square vvhicfı had record(s) of the species, vvith the sl/.c of the dot rclaled lo the species' relallve abundance in llıat squaıe. The relative abundance in each square vvas calculated as the fraction of bird atlas forms vvhere the bird vvas noted divided by the total number of bird atlas forms for that square. An öpen dot indicated that the bird vvas recorded oııly on a casual record form and not during the breeding bird atlas sıırvey vvork. For every bird species vve calculated the maximum breeding code (1-16) noted in the 50x50 km square. We calculated the overall abundance of a species in the 50x50 km square as the number of forms vvhere the bird vvas recorded divided by the total number of forms in ali the bird atlas vvork. The number of times a lıabitat vvas noted during the bird atlas vvork vvas recorded for each lıabitat type. For each bird species, the perceııtage of each lıabitat type that it vvas seen in vvas calculated as the number of times each habitat vvas recorded for the species divided by the total number of lıabitats recorded for the species. The habitat types vvith perceııtages över 10% vvhere the bird vvas seen vvere reported. For each lıabitat vvhere the bird vvas seen över 10% of the time, a chi-square test vvas perfomıed to determine If the bird vvas seen İn these habitat types more than vvould be expected by chance. If the p-value vvas less than 0.05, it vvas reported as being statistically signtficant. For every bird species seen the average, minimum and maximum altitude vvhere the species vvas seen vvere determined.

Results In total 244 bird atlas record forms vvere completed for a total of 133 hours of bird atlas vvork. Figüre 2 shovvs the saıııpling efrorl, vvlıiclı vvas the number of breeding bird atlas record forms completed, for each 10x10 km square. The number of bird atlas record forms completed varies from a minimum of 4 to a nıaxinrum of 20 hımış completed in one square. The average number of forms completed per square vvas 9.8 ± 4.6 (std. dev)

Fig. 2.: For each 10x10 km square Üıe (otal rumıber of biıd atlas record forms completed during bird atlas work. Table 1 shovvs the habitat types noted in the 50x50 km study arca during the bird atlas surveys together vvith the percenlage of forms vvhere the habitat type vvas noted. The most common habitat types, vvlıiclı vvere noted on more than 10% of the forms during bird atlas sıırvey vvork, vvere: farmland, arable (dry); bare sediment/rock (nıontane); orclıards, poplar plaııtations; vvoodland (unspecified); bare ıock faces/lnlaııd eliffs; serub/grass (unspecified); river or streanı (slovv flovving); marslı, fen, or vvater fringe vegetation.

Table 1.: Habitat types noted İn the 50x50 km sqııare and thelr overall percentage (ııumber of fotms where habitat type was noted divlded by 244 total forms).