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The Anatolian Peninsula, which is considered to be one of the most important gene centers in the world, is home to many animal and plant species. The Aegean region, which forms an important part of Anatolia, and Izmir, which is the center of it, and its surroundings host many wild animal species.
As urban areas expand in the world, the habitats of animals trapped in small areas are shrinking, and many species are in danger of extinction. However, animal and plant diversity is a great importance for ecological balance. Turkey is pointed out in terms of the diversity of wild species of animals in Europe.
Approximately in Turkey; more than 9 thousand plants, 169 mammals, 465 birds, 165 reptiles, 127 freshwater fish and 385 marine fish species and around 80 thousand species live. Especially Gediz Delta, Yamanlar Mountain, Izmir Bird Paradise, Bafa Lake, Bozdağ and Datça attract attention with the variety of wild animals they host.
There are many fish and aquatic species in Izmir and its surroundings, which are surrounded by the sea. In the forest areas, there is a great variety of wild animals.
Izmir Wildlife Park, located in Çiğli district, hosts many animal species with its huge area of 425,000 square meters. It is possible to see nearly 1,500 animals from 125 species in their natural environment in the Izmir Wildlife Park.
Some of the main wild animals living in Izmir:
The wild boar, which does not have bushes and forest cover suitable for its shelter lives in all Anatolia except Central and Eastern Anatolia and where there are wide steppes and plains, is frequently encountered in the forests around Izmir. Their numbers are also quite high. The average life expectancy of wild boars with different colors ranging from mottled black to light gray is 20-25 years.
The rabbits, which prefer maquis, forested areas, meadows and steppes as their habitat, are found in Izmir and its surroundings as in many parts of Anatolia.
Although their numbers are decreasing due to hunting, they are located in the Taurus Mountains starting from the Aegean to Southeastern Anatolia. It is possible to come across wolf packs living in small groups in forested areas of Izmir.
The Jackals living in mountainous areas, in the wide reeds in river mouths, unfortunately, have narrowed their habitats, but it is still possible to see them all over Anatolia and around Izmir.
Foxes are common in almost every part of Turkey, there are also around Izmir. The foxes, which help maintain biological balance because they eat mice, do not pose any danger to humans.
Bears found in caves and lairs in forested areas in the Aegean are among the wild animals seen around Izmir, although their numbers are not very high.
The species of caracal, which are mostly seen in the direction of Çanakkale and around Muğla in the Aegean region, are endangered, and their population density is not exactly known.
Toy (Little Bustard)
It is 75 to 100 centimeters tall, its wingspan is between 2 and 2.5 meters. The most heavy black birds living in Turkey. The toys weighing between 10 and 16 kilograms and they have colorful feathers. Although it is thought that it is easy to see them due to their colorful feathers and large size, it is very difficult because they are very well camouflaged. The toys that are fed in flocks live in Izmir and its surroundings as in many parts of Anatolia.
Hedgehogs with arrows have a larger body, long spines, and different colors. Contrary to popular belief, the hedgehogs with arrows living around Izmir do not shoot their arrows.