Speaking about the seagull deaths on the shores of Lake Van, experts state that there are seagull deaths on the shores of Lake Van due to increased drought and nutritional deficiency. Experts point out that gull deaths occur almost every year.
Seagulls living on the islands of Akdamar, Adır, Çarpanak and Kuzu in Lake Van began to experience food shortages with the end of fish migration. Seagull deaths continue to increase with the effect of drought and pollution as well as food shortages. Van Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYU) Biology Department Lecturer Atilla Durmuş says that seagull deaths on the shores of Lake Van occur almost every year in these months. Durmuş states that when they examined the dead seagulls, they observed that there were mostly young individuals.
‘More young seagulls are dying’
Stating that there are various reasons for the high number of young seagull deaths, Durmuş said, “There may be several reasons for this. The first reason; Young individuals found after breeding on the islands or on the coast cannot be fed enough and die of starvation. Second reason; These creatures, which are endotherm due to the increasing temperatures due to the season, die by not balancing their body temperatures and water losses. The third possible reason is that there is an intense breeding activity on the islands. In this period, there may be deaths after epidemic disease and parasite transmission.
Stating that the deaths of seagulls are indirectly related to fish migration, Durmuş says that the breeding period of the gull is parallel to the migration period of the fish. Durmuş said, “At this period, adult seagulls and their young are intensively fed with fish and there is no problem with the fry in that period. However, gull pups that hatch in the last period of fish migration may face starvation and death because they cannot consume enough fish.
‘Deaths are due to lack of food’
Stating that there is no direct connection between the water level, Durmuş says that it is highly likely that the deaths are due to lack of food. Durmuş also says that the possibility of seagull deaths due to an epidemic among seagulls is likely to be seen on the islands. Stating that they are affected by pollution, like every living thing, Durmuş said, “When we look at the regions where seagull deaths occur, it is seen that there is physical pollution rather than chemical or biological pollution. The subject of how this affects it needs to be investigated in detail,” he says.
‘If there is no outside intervention, the population density reaches equilibrium’
When asked about the measures to be taken regarding the deaths of seagulls, Durmuş states: “There is a balance in biological systems and in nature. Unless there is an outside intervention, the population density will reach the required balance. Deaths are quite natural and expected in species that reproduce intensively and are in colonies. When we look at the total population density of seagulls in Lake Van, we see that the deaths are not at a level that will endanger the species’ extinction and consume it.
Biological systems can take their own precautions and regulate the process without the need for human intervention.
Translator :Akif Coşkun