Turkey, 1993 & 2023

Here’s a combined report for two trips to central and southern Turkey, 30 years apart. 35 species including 2 endemic ground squirrels, world’s only non-introduced fallow deer, Asian mouflon, woolly dormouse, and lots of cool voles.

Turkey

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Vladimir Dinets

7 Comments

  • JanEbr

    Did you finally post the 1993 sightings just to stop me from being the only one to have ever reported a woolly dormouse? ๐Ÿ™‚ But seriously, what’s going on with the vole taxonomy in Turkey? I have seen several versions already and now you have presented several species I have still not heard about!

  • JanEbr

    Are you sure the Ground Squirrel in Derebucak was Taurus? It’s actually in the range for Asia Minor GS.

    • Vladimir Dinets

      Of course I am not 100% sure. They look very similar with only a minor difference in pelage color which might be affected by soil dusting. But IUCN range maps are just crude polygons: if you look at iNat records, the IUCN maps don’t include some core areas for S. t. and do include a huge area with zero records of C. x. The reasons I thought the animal was C. t., in addition to the color, were that (1) it was in the same river valley where C. t. is known to occur a bit downstream, (2) the habitat was lush meadow with tall grass, like at known C. t. sites where I had been earlier, and totally different from arid plains typical for C. x., and (3) the behavior was different: C. x. are easy to approach to within 50 or even 30 m, while C. t. is said to be very shy.

  • JanEbr

    I am not sure that the iNat records are any better than the IUCN maps. The “out of range” records almost all have huge uncertainties, some at the scale of many kilometers, I am not sure that they were put very carefully. Daan wrote that the two species are known to occur only 14 kms from each other at some locations, so proximity is not that good of an indicator – I am not disputing your observation, just interested in what led you to the conclusion. We were in the area too early for them anyway.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Considering that Turkey is rapidly becoming a popular mammalwatching destination, I think we’ll know the answer sooner or later.

  • JanEbr

    I was working on that just last week, but sadly we haven’t found anything really interesting. I think if we got the Caracal, people would come! But at least Ralf Bruglin already visited my Marbled Polecat Highway ๐Ÿ™‚

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