Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country in Eurasia on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia. Turkey is bordered by Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey has a unique and extraordinary ecosystem providing habitat for various plant and animal species. Anatolia is the homeland of many plants that have been cultivated for food since the advent of agriculture, but there is a greater diversity of fauna than in flora. There are up to 80,000 animal species in Turkey which has led to the establishment of national parks, nature parks, preserve area, and several other protected areas.
Turkey's Endangered Mammals
The Persian leopard, also called the Caucasian leopard or Central Asian leopard, is the largest leopard subspecies and is scientifically known as Panthera pardus Ciscaucasia. It is found in the Caucasus region and has an approximate body weight of 60kg and a medium body length of 102 inches and is light in color. Persian leopards avoid areas with long-duration snow cover and areas that are near urban development. Their habitat, therefore, consists of subalpine meadows, broadleaf forests and rugged ravines from 2,000–12,500 feet in the Greater Caucasus, and rocky slopes, mountain steppes, and sparse juniper forests in the Lesser Caucasus and Iran.
The Dhole, scientifically known as Cuon alpinus, is a canid native to Central, South and Southeast Asia. It has a convex skull rather than concave in profile; it lacks a third lower molar thus having six instead of seven and the upper molars sport only a single cusp. The dhole is a highly social animal, living in large clans of 12 individuals but other groups of 40 have been spotted containing multiple breeding females. It has a dietary overlap thus competes with tigers and leopards in tropical forests and is a diurnal pack hunter.
Asia Minor Spiny Mouse
The Asia Minor spiny mouse, scientifically known as Acomys cilicicus, is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It has a general body length of up to 8 inches. The upper side of the body is dark gray, with purple reflections, while the lower sides are yellowish-white and the flanks are light brown in color. The species is endemic to Turkey and is found along its southern coast.
Mediterranean Monk Seal
Mediterranean monk seal, scientifically known as Monachus monachus, is a pinniped belonging to the family Phocidae. The adults have a length of up to 7.9 feet.
Threats and Conservation efforts
The Persian leopard has been listed as a critically endangered species but has been kept in captivity in an attempt to increase numbers. The Dhole has been listed as an endangered species due to its decreasing numbers which have been associated with habitat loss, loss of prey, and diseases among other factors. Since the Asia minor spiny mouse was previously considered endangered, a protection program is in place, and government permission is needed for export from Turkey with only a few zoos in the world having the particular species. The Mediterranean monk seal has been listed in the IUCN list as an endangered species due to the low survival rate associated with storms, high swells, and strong tides.