The Aras (Araks) River is the biggest tributary to Kura River system that flows from Turkey to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran.
Map from Kura-Aras GEF Project
If the Tuzluca dam is constructed in the Aras Valley in Turkey right before Aras River becomes the border with Armenia, the feeding, breeding and wintering areas for at least 240 bird species and nearly 100 mammal, reptile and amphibian species will be destroyed. This includes 36 animal species threatened or near threatened with extinction. With more research, it is thought that HALF of all land animal species in Turkey will be
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recorded here. Birds ringed (banded) and satellite-tracked at this wetland by KuzeyDo?a NGO were recorded to migrate to and from three continents and dozens of countries, including Cyprus, Ethiopia, Georgia, Hungary, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, and Zambia.
In this hot and arid region with massive erosion, instead of constructing a wasteful irrigation dam that will lose water to evaporation and fill with erosion, government officials should use drip irrigation and protect this globally important wetland. This dam is also a waste of taxpayer money. It will flood three villages of 1800 people, rich agricultural and grazing land, fruit orchards, a major bridge, railroad routes and kilometers of highways that will have to be rebuilt into steep, erosion-prone hills.
Despite its great ecological importance as one of the most biodiverse wetlands in Turkey and years of reports and official petitions prepared and submitted by KuzeyDo?a Society documenting this, the Aras River Bird Paradise is currently not even considered an “Official Wetland” by the government. This is to enable the construction of the dam, which has been declared without the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. This paradise for biodiversity and the surrounding villages are about to be destroyed under the waters of the expensive and short-lived Tuzluca dam.
Support the campaign before it is too late and before this wetland
paradise is destroyed along with all the living things
that depend on it, including villages, orchards and productive agricultural land. Help us ensure that Minister Ero?lu will keep his promise and “moral obligation” to protect the Aras River Bird Paradise.
Please sign the petition HERE