Turkey's Butterfly Bounty Documented in New Report

turkish butterflies species collage photo
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Just a few of the 400 butterfly species in Turkey. Photo via Kelebek-Türk Gözlemciler Grubu

Lepidopterists are few and far between in Turkey, with just a few dozen butterfly-watchers, compared to 10,000 in England, for example. But the objects of their attention are present in abundance. Some 400 butterfly species are found in the country, and 253 of them are featured in a colorful new report, the Kelebek-Türk 2008 Almanac. (Kelebek is Turkish for butterfly.)Though the report is in Turkish, the accompanying web gallery of butterfly species speaks in the universal language of pictures, its marvels accessible to all. Both site and report were put together by a small group of butterfly fans and photographers, the Kelebek-Türk Gözlemciler Grubu (observers group), which plans to update its work every year in an effort to aid nature-protection programs by increasing awareness of the winged wonders. The group has also helped academics document butterfly species in the Aegean province of İzmir, identifying 13 new species.

The environmental group Doğa Derneği hopes to foster more such fans with its new butterfly-watching field guide (link in Turkish), Turkey's Butterfly Handbook, which contains information and pictures of all the country's species.

"I wish we could be more widespread," Kelebek-Türk member Vildan Bozacı said when discussing the release of her group's report. "I wish we had butterfly observers in every city to help discover different types of butterflies." After all, she added, all it takes is a camera and binoculars, and a desire to spend some time outdoors. Via: "Colorful celebration of Turkey’s butterflies," Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review