Integrated management in the Gediz Delta, Turkey


The aim of the project is to set up an adaptive and sustainable management system for the Gediz Delta in Turkey, with the possibility of carrying out restoration activities to compensate for the consequences of global changes. It consists of three complementary, closely linked components: improving knowledge, public participation, and site management.

Actions & methodology

The activities undertaken since 2009 in the framework of this project concern:

  • Vegetation/mapping dynamics and monitoring of habitats;
  • Amphibians and reptiles (in collaboration with Ege University): inventories of amphibian and reptile species present in the Delta and Capture-Marking-Recapture of several threatened taxa: Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca), the two species of pond turtle (European Emys orbicularis and Balkan Mauremys rivulata), and the two species of newt (Triturus ivanbureschi and Lissotriton vulgaris);
  • Monitoring of Greater Flamingo breeding in Turkey (Gediz Delta and Lake Tuz) with aerial survey and photography of Lake Tuz;
  • Monitoring the Delta’s potential holding capacity for birds;
  • Environmental awareness-raising campaigns;
  • Setting up environmental education activities;
  • Methodological support for drawing up nature monitoring protocols;
  • Concertation with stakeholders concerning the restoration of the site;
  • Organising participative seminars to enable discussion and facilitate/trigger local collaborative projects;
  • Research on the social networks concerning perceptions of the environment.


We have established that one of the greatest threats to reptiles in the Gediz Delta stems from their deliberate destruction by local people due to the persistence of a deep-seated fear of amphibians and reptiles. Encounters between humans and reptiles often end with the death of the latter. To raise the awareness of the general public and local site users about the species found in the delta, and their benefits, we developed a leaflet that is handed out at the Bird Paradise visitors’ reception centre.

We have contributed to the management of wetlands in the delta by mapping habitats and providing training on the use of the Mar-o-Sel software tool to visualise fluctuations in water levels and salinity, which are among the main factors influencing the flora and fauna of the marshes. The tool was relevant in the Gediz Delta for orienting the water management systems inside the reserve (Bird Paradise) to comply with the objectives of the management plan concerning the evolution of habitats and wildlife holding capacities.



Technical partners

Financial partners


  • Balkız, Ö.; Özesmi, U.; Pradel, R.; Germain, C.; Sıkı, M.; Amat, J. A.; Rendon-Martos, M.; Bacetti, N. & Béchet, A. 2007. Range of the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus metapopulation in the Mediterranean: new insights from Turkey
    Journal of Ornithology 148 : 347-355
  • Ernoul, L., 2014. Entre Camargue et Delta de Gediz: réflexions sur les transferts de modèles de gestion intégrée des zones côtières. (Thèse de doctorat). Aix-Marseille, Aix-en-Provence.
  • Ernoul, L. & Wardell-Johnson, A. (2015) Environmental discourses: Understanding the implications on ICZM protocol implementation in two Mediterranean deltas. Ocean & Coastal Management. 103 : 97-108.
  • Ernoul, L. & Wardell-Johnson, A. (2014) Adapting international conservation strategies to local context: perceptions of biodiversity values and management responsibility in two Mediterranean deltas. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management. 10 (4) : 300-312. DOI: 10.1080/21513732.2014.980849
  • Ernoul, L. & Wardell-Johnson A. (2013) Governance in integrated coastal zone management: a social networks analysis of cross-scale collaboration.  Environmental Conservation.  40 (03): 231-240.
  • Ernoul, L., Sandoz A. & Fellague A. (2012) The evolution of two great Mediterranean Deltas: Remote sensing to visualize the evolution of habitats and land use in the Gediz and Rhone Deltas.  Ocean and Coastal Management.  69: 111-117.
  • Kizil, D., Ismail, I.B., Olivier, A., Çiçek, K., 2016. A new case of facultative paedomorphosis in smooth newts, Lissotriton vulgaris (caudata: Salamandridae). Amphib. Reptile Conserv. 10, 28–33.