Wildlife in danger, they need ‘salt’ to survive


Lerato Khumalo

The Istranca Mountains are both the oxygen reservoir of Thrace and the heart of wildlife. In the unique habitat where a total of 4,179 species of living beings, including 2,117 plant species and 2,062 animal species, have been identified, an interesting activity has been carried out by nature lovers these days. Environmentalists, who have taken action for the healthy development and reproduction of wild animals in the region, have started a salt campaign needed by sheep, goats, deer and cattle species. In this context, rock salt is left for wild animals to lick in the feeding and breeding areas in Istranca, as well as on the edges of meadows and areas close to water sources, while Kırklareli City Council Executive Board Member Göksal Çidem said that unconscious forestry and quarry activities are putting wildlife at risk.

Environmentalists are putting rock salt, which animals need, into forest areas.


Stating that Istrancalar is a very important natural asset, Çidem said, “One third of Istrancalar is in Bulgaria and two thirds are in Turkey. Istrancalar was declared a biosphere reserve area in 1995, aiming to protect flora, fauna and natural life. However, in recent years, the problem of salt, which is needed by wildlife, has emerged due to unconscious forestry and mining activities. As environmentalists, “For the healthy development and reproduction of wild animals, we have started to leave rock salt for wild animals to lick in feeding and breeding areas, meadow edges and areas close to water sources.” he spoke.


Stating that salt is of great importance for wild animals, Çidem provided the following information: “According to experts, when there is a lack of salt and minerals in animals, growth slows down. This situation causes reproductive problems and also triggers diseases. Wild animals have to make regular visits to salt sources in nature to get the minerals they need such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and sodium. However, we see that wild animals in our region leave their habitats to lick salt and lick the solution salt thrown on the highway in winter. “Bulgarians leave salt in the forests so that animals can grow healthier and more resilient. We take science-based studies as an example and place rock salts at the crossing points of wild animals we have previously detected, under the supervision of veterinarians.”


On the other hand, Kırklareli City Council President Yasemin Ertaş and Kırklareli Bar Association Environmental and Urban Law Commission President Attorney Dilara Gürel continue their efforts against the excavation activities known as blasting in Kırklareli Istrancalar. Environmentalists state that the blasting excavation and quarry activities planned in the 31 thousand decare area in Geçitağzı and Kula Villages of Kırklareli will cause irreversible damage.

Wildlife is in danger, they need 'salt' to survive - Picture : 2
Wild animals are forced to lick the dissolved salts left on the asphalt.


The 2021 Environmental Status Report published by the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change addresses the environmental problems in Kırklareli in detail. The report emphasizes that urgent measures should be taken throughout the region, and states that “Although the quarries located in various parts of the city do not have a direct impact on residential areas, the dust generated as a result of the activities of these facilities has negative effects on the city’s air quality.”
The report also mentions that quarries, crushing and screening facilities and marble workshops should be moved outside residential areas.

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