The Sultan Sazlığı Reedfield

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Sultan Sazlığı

The reedfield Sultan Sazlığı is located at the lowest part of the Develi plain which is to the south-west of Mt. Erciyes. It is in the triangle of Develi - Yeşilhisar and Yahyalı.

This reedfield, which 70 km from Kayseri, has been taken under protection with the International Ramsar Treaty.

The lakes Yay, Camız, Söbe and Çöl exit at the lowest section of Develi plain. In the broadest sense of the word, all these lakes - or in other words, the area to the south of the road connecting Develi to the Niğde - Kayseri highway, except for the lake Yay, is called Sultan Sazlığı. The marshy places and lakes making up Sultan Sazlığı become smaller in the dry season and larger in the rainy season. These lakes are fed by the waters coming down Mt. Erciyes and Mid-Taurus Mountains.

Sultan Sazlığı, which covers an area of 17.200 hectare, constitutes a world-famous ecosystem.

Sultan Sazlik mapThere are hardly noticeable small reed islets floating towards the center of the reedfield.

Both fresh and salty water ecosystems coexist in this area which was taken under protection in 1988.

Providing shelter for 301 bird species, Sultan Sazlığı is the second major bird paradise in Turkey, after the lake Manyas. An observation tower and a breeding station have been set up so that the migration route of birds and their living environments can be studied.

Being on the migration route of birds because of its flora and fauna, Sultan Sazlığı is beginning to contribute more and more to tourism with appropriate attempts and research.


Sultan Sazlik mapSultan Sazlığı is located within the province of Kayseri on the eastern border of the Anatolian plateau.

It is 70 km to the south of Kayseri. The coordinates are 38º 05" / 38º 40" north and 35º 00" / 35º 35" east. It is a catchment area, surrounded by high mountains on four sides. The land, having a slope of 2%, is completely flat. To the north of it is Mt. Erciyes (3917 m), the highest volcano in the region. The reedfield is surrounded by the mountains of Develi Dağı, Akpınar and Çelikyurt in the east; by Taurus, Aladağ (3373 m) and Elmalı (2235 m) in the south; and by Kartalkaya (1958 m) and İncildağı (1795 m) in the west.

The Distribution of the Reedfield and its Characteristics

The reedfield Sultan Sazlığı covers an area of 17.200 hectares. It is roughly divided into two main ecosystems: the Yay Lake (salty) and the reedfield area (sweet). The distribution is as follows:

Kind of Area Measure
Lake Area 3650 hectares
Reedfield Area 5200
Grassland 8350
Total 17200

In the reedfield area there are some big and small lakes named as Eğrigöl, Sarpgöl and Camızgöl and some reed-covered islets.


Sultan Sazlığı was first investigated in 1968 by a research carried out by Ismail Özer. The studies were carried on by Nihat Turan and ornithologist Tansu Gürpınar and it showed up that this area is an important marsh area (fens).

Sultan Sazlığı was declared

Sultan Sazlığı, whose importance was understood as a watery and protection area, was taken into the list of A Degree watery area according to the second and third articles of International Ramsar Treaty (about the protection of watery areas having international importance as a living environment for water birds), which was passed by the cabinet on 15th of march 1994 with decree 5434.

Geology / Climate

The Develi plain is a Devonian, which is an old geologic formation. Coral fauna from the mid-Devonian age (410-370 million years) have been discovered to the south of Yahyalı.

Kırşehir range which is to the south of Develi is a mountain that was formed in the Precambrian age. Neogenic tuffs exist to the north-west and north-east of the Develi basin. The Nemrut mountain within the Erciyes group near the lake Acıgöl has been an active volcano until recently. The formation of the lake area began in the Miocene epoch and continued in the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. With erosion materials various strata came into existence. These layers consist of limestone, basalt, andesite and tuff.

Typical continental climate is prevalent in Develi basin where summers are hot and dry, and winters are cold. The temperature difference between day and night and between summer and winter is high. The hottest months are July and August (34.2ºC – 35.5ºC) and the coldest are January and February (-18.3ºC) respectively.

According to 30 years' statistical figures, the annual average rainfall on an area of a square meter is 363 mm.

The bird population is higher in spring and autumn months. It is at its lowest level in February, July and August. Some immigrant birds stay here in winter.


The Aladağ Mountain and Mt. Erciyes are among the most extensively studied areas of the Middle and Near East for the flora, though the species collected are only a small part of what exists. For this reason it is believed that this studies should continue.

The species of algae are more than 50 kinds, some of which are Bacillariophyceae, Charophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Chrysophyceae, Dinophyceae, Eulenophyceae, and Rhodophyceae.

The flora species have been collected by Kasparek, Demirkuş and Sümbül and placed in Hacettepe University collection. Following is the stock of flora samples:

Family Gil
Alismataceae suotugiller
Ascetepiadeaceae ipektohumugiller
Boraginaceae hodangiller
Caryophyllaceae karanfilgiller
Chenopodiaceae ıspanakgiller
Compositae bileşikgiller
Convolvulaceae sarmaşıkgiller
Cruciferae turpgiller
Cuscutaceae küskütgiller
Droseraceae etyiyengiller
Euphorbiaceae sütleğengiller
Gentianaceae kızılkantarongiller
Labiatae ballıbabagiller
Lauraceae defnegiller
Leguminosae baklagiller
Lenthivulariaceae bubapıgiller
Lythraceae kınagiller
Malvaceae ebegümecigiller
Moraceae dutgiller
Nymphaceae nilüfergiller
Onagraceae küpeçiçeğigiller
Papaveraceae gelincikgiller
Plumbaginaceae dişotugiller
Polygonaceae karabuğdaygiller
Primulaceae çuhaçiçeğigiller
Ranunculeae düğünçiçeğigiller
Resedaceae sevgiçiçeğigiller
Rosaceae gülgiller
Rubiaceae kökboyagiller
Scrophulariaceae aslanağzıgiller
Solanaceae patlıcangiller
Tamaricaceae ılgıngiller
Umbelliferae maydanozgiller
Valerianaceae kediotugiller
Zygophyllaceae yabanikimyonugiller

The fauna species collected and placed in by F. Spitzenberger (Vienna Museum of Natural History) are as follows:

Mammals Memeliler
porcupine kirpi
miller's watershrew bataklık sivri faresi
etruscan shrew etrüsk sivri faresi
shrew sivri fareler
bat yarasalar
wolf kurt
fox tilki
veasel gelincik
marbled polecat alaca sansar
wild boar yaban domuzu
brown hare tavşan
lesser mole kör fare
woodmouse orman sıçanı
rats sıçan
grey hamster cüce dağ sıçanı
golden hamster dağ sıçanı
desert rat koşarfare
water vole su faresi
common vole adi tarla faresi
The birds in Sultan Sazlığı reedfield:

(For bird names and their translations into other languages
have a look at the nature database)
Birds Kuşlar
little grebe yumurta piçi
great crested grebe tepeli dalgıç
red necked grebe kırmızı boyunlu
black necked grebe karagerdanlı
cormorant karabatak
pygmy cormorant cüce karabatak
white pelican pelikan
dalmatian pelican tepeli pelikan
bittern balaban
little bittern cüce balaban
night heron gece balıkçıl
squacco heron alaca balıkçıl
cattle egret öküz balıkçıl
little egret küçük beyaz balıkçıl
great white heron beyaz balıkçıl
gray heron gri balıkçıl
purple heron erguvani balıkçıl
black stork kara leylek
white stork leylek
glossy ibis çeltikçi
spoonbill kaşıkçı
great flamingo flamingo
mute swan kuğu
pink-footed goose gillik
white-footed goose sakarca
greylag goose boz kaz
ruddy shelduck angıt
shelduck suna
wiegon fiyü
gadwall boz ördek
teal kırık
mallard yeşilbaş
pintail kılkuyruk
garganey çıkrıkçı
shoveler kaşıkgaga
marbled duck yağ ördeği
red crested pochard macar ördeği
pochard pas baş
tufted duck tepeli patka
smew sütlabi
honey buzzard arı şahini
black kite kara çaylak
egyptian vulture akbaba
griffon vulture kızıl akbaba
short toed eagle yılan kartalı
marsh harrier saz delicesi
hen harrier ekin delicesi
pallid harrier step delicesi
montagu's harrier çayır delicesi
goshawk büyük atmaca
sparrowhawk küçük atmaca
buzzard şahin
long-legged buzzard kızıl şahin
lesser spotted eagle küçük bağırgan
steppe eagle kartal
  yırtıcı kartal
imperial eagle şah kartal
golden eagle altın kartal
booted eagle küçük kartal
osprey balık kartal
lesser kestrel küçük kerkenez
kestrel kerkenez
red-footed falcon kırmızıayaklı kerkenez
merlin güvercin doğanı
hobby delice doğan
lanner falcon bıyıklı doğan
seker falcon ulu doğan
rock partridge kınalı keklik
partridge çil
quail bıldırcın
water rail su tavuğu
spotted crake benekli su tavuğu
little crake cüce su tavuğu
corncrake bıldırcın kılavuzu
moorhen saz tavuğu
purple gallinule saz horozu
coot sakarmeki
crane turna
little bustard mezgerdek
great bustard toy
oystercatcher deniz saksağanı
black-winged stilt uzunbacak
avocet kılıçgaga
stone curlew kocagöz
collared pratincole bataklık kırlangıcı
black winged pratincole siyah kanatlı bataklık kırlangıcı
little ringed plover küçük halkalı
ringed plover yağmurcun
kentish plover yarım halkalı yağmurcun
great sandplover büyük yağmurcun
dotterel damgalı yağmurcun
golden plover altın yağmurcun
silver plover gümüşi yağmurcun
spur winged plover mahmuzlu kışkuşu
sociable plover step yağmurcun
lapwing kiz kuşu
sanderling çakıl kuşu
little stint küçük çakılkuşu
temminck's stint temmink kumkuşu
curlew sandpiper kırmızı kumkuşu
dunlin dağ kumkuşu
ruff döğüşken kuş
snipe su çuıluğu
black-tailed godwit çamur kuşu
whimbrel yağmur kervan çulluğu
curlew kervan çulluğu
spotted redshank pasrengi kızılbacak
redshank kızılbacak
greenshank bataklık düdükcünü
green sandpiper yeşilbacak
wood sandpiper orman düdükcün
common sandpiper nehirkenarı koşucusu
red-necked phalarope kırmızıboyunlu kumkuşu
mediterranean gull akdeniz martısı
little gull küçük martı
black-headed gull karabaş martı
slender-billed gull ince gagalı martı
common gull küçük kara martı
lesser black-backed gull büyük gümüşi martı
herring gull kara martı
gull-billed tern taneli deniz kırlangıcı
sandwich tern deniz kırlangıcı
common tern akalınlı deniz kırlangıcı
little tern ak kanatlı deniz kırlangıcı
whiskered tern beyaz bıyıklı deniz kırlangıcı
black-bellied sandgrouse bağırtlak
rock dove kayagüvercini
collared dove kumru
turtle dove üveyik
great spotted cuckoo tepeli guguk
cuckoo guguk
scops owl cüce baykuş
eagle owl puhu
little owl kukumav
tawny owl alaca baykuş
long eared owl kulaklı orman baykuşu
short eared owl bataklı baykuşu
nightjar çobanaldatan
swift karasağan
alpine swift akkarınlısağan
kingfisher yalı çapkını
bee eater arı kuşu
roller mavi kuzgun
hoopoe çavuşkuşu
wryneck döner boyun
Syrian woodpecker suriye ağaçkakanı
calandra lark oklağı toygarı
bimacullated lark dağtoygarı
field lark miyop toygar
lesser short-toed lark küçük kısaparmaklı toygar
woodlark orman toygarı
crested lark tepeli toygar
skylark tarla kuş
shore lark kulaklı toygar
sand martin kum kırlangıcı
Swallow kırlangıç
house martin ev kırlangıcı
barn swallow kır kırlangıcı
tawny pipit kır incir kuşu
tree pipit ağaç incir kuşu
meadow pipit çayır incir kuşu
red-throated pipit kızıl gerdanlı incir kuşu
water pipit su incir kuş
rock pipit  
blue-headed wagtail kara enseli kuvruksallayan
yellow wagtail sarı kuyruksallayan
citrine wagtail  
white wagtail ak kuvruksallayan
pied wagtail  
Wren çit kuşu
hedgesparrow/dunnock çit serçesi
rufous bush chat yelpaze kuyruklu bülbül
robin nar bülbülü
thrush nightingale çalı bülbülü
nightingale bülbül
Bluethroat buğdaycıl bülbül
white throated robin iran bülbülü
black redstart ev kızılkuyruğu
redstart bahçe kızılkuyruğu
whinchat çayır tarlakuşu
stonechat taş kuşu
wheatear kuyrukkakan
black eared wheatear karakulaklı taşöpen
Isabelline wheatear karabaşlı kuyrukkıran
Finsch's wheatear  
rock thrush taş kızıl
blackbird karatavuk
fieldfare ardıçkuşu
mistle thrush ökse ardıcı
cettis warbler setti bülbülü
river warbler ırmak ötleğeni
grasshopper-warbler çekirge ötleğeni
moustached warbler bıyıklı ırmakardıcı
sedge warbler çif ardıcı
marsh warbler bataklık ardıcı
reed warbler küçük sazardıcı
great reed warbler büyük sazardıcı
olive tree warbler zeytin ardıcı
olivaceous warbler beyaz ardıcı
lesser whitethroat çif ötleğeni
  çalı ötleğeni
garden warbler bahçe ötleğeni
blackcap karabaş ötleğeni
bonelli's warbler dağ söğüt ötleğeni
wood warbler orman söğüt ötleğeni
chiffchaff tiz sesli bülbülü
willow warbler söğüt ötleğeni
goldcrest çalıkuşu
spotted flycatcher benekli sinekkapan
collared flycatcher kolyeli sinekkapan
European pied flycatcher kara sinekkapan
bearded tit babbler bıyıklı baştankara
long-tailed tit uzunkuyruklu baştankara
blue tit mavi baştankara
great tit büyük baştankara
rock nuthatch kaya sıvacıkuşu
penduline tit çulha kuşu
golden oriole sarı asma
red backed shrike kırmızı sırtlı örümcek kuşu
lesser grey shrike kara alınlı boğan
great grey shrike yırtıcı boğan
masked shrike maskeli boğan
woodchat shrike dokuz boğan
magpie saksağan
jackdaw küçük karga
rook tohum kargası
hooded crow leş kargası
starling sığırcık
rose coloured starling pembe sığırcık
rock sparrow kaya serçesi
house sparrow serçe
Spanish sparrow söğüt serçesi
tree sparrow dağ serçesi
chaffinch ispinoz
brambling dağ ispinozu
serin küçük iskete
greenfinch büyük iskete
goldfinch saka
siskin karabaşlı iskete
linnet keten kuşu
twite sarıgagalı ketenkuşu
crimson winged finch pembe kanatlı ispinoz
common rosefinch karmen renkli şakrakkuşu
yellowhammer sarı kirazkuşu
cinereous bunting gri kirazkuşu
black headed bunting ortolan kirazkuşu
  bataklık kirazkuşu
  karabaşlı kirazkuşu
corn bunting ekin kirazkuşu
wood pigeon tahtalı güvercin
barn owl peçeli baykuş
great spotted woodpecker büyük alaca ağaçkakan
  alaca kuyrukkakan
  şarkıcı ardıç
  karabaş küçük ötleğen
  Anadolu mahsus baştankara
  cüce sinekkapan

Other animals groups Diğer hayvan grupları
Reptiles Sürüngenler
swamp turtle bataklık kaplumbağa
agemes (agama ruderatilis) hardun
starred lizard  
little lizard cücecit kertenkelesi
Cappadocian lizard (ophisops elegans) anadolu kertenkelesi
caspian arrowsnake (coluber caspius)  
water snake (natrix tesellata) su yılanı
Tailes Amphibians Kurbağagiller
green toad yeşil karakurbağası
tree toad ağaç kurbağası
lake toad göl kurbağası
Fish Balıklar
Carps Sazangiller
Cobies Taş yiyenler
Sailton pupfish Dişli sazangiller
Hymenoptera Zarkanatlılar
Libellae Kızböcekleri
Mollusks Yumuşakçalar
Shelter / Food

Small ponds which have fresh water and are covered with dense reeds constitute ideal habitat environment for water birds to feed and shelter. Tadpoles and salamander larvae plus small fish around here underneath the high and dense reed let pelicans, cormorants, water hens, ducks, geese, flamingoes and spoonbills have no difficulties to find materials to build nests with.

Lake Yay, which is a saline water medium, is the breeding ground for flamingoes, gulls, swordbeaks (avocates) and some partridges. In the grassland at transition area between saline and fresh water media, breeding is observed of whimbrels, cranes and pelicans.

(English: Fikret Kara)

Have a look at the nature database as well...

last updated: Tue Mar 30 19:15:35 2004
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