According to Ermenihaber, unprecedented mass mortality of gulls was observed in Lake Van in August 2020. This phenomenon has caused panic among the locals, as people think that it is due to the COVID-19 pandemic or environmental pollution.
Professor Lokman Aslan, a Turkish scientist, said that the gull mortality is normal. But leaving the dead birds lying around and not cleaning the environment is abnormal, and it is this fact that causes panic among people, and they associate this with the pandemic and other things…
There are about 223 bird species in the Lake Van area and 475 species in entire Turkey. That is, half of the country’s bird species live around Lake Van. One of these birds is the Van seagull, which lives only in the area of Lake Van.
Professor Lokman Aslan explained the decrease in the number of gulls by the fact that the main food of gulls, the tarekh fish, became unavailable for gulls during the spawning season.
According to the Turkish scientist, gulls are starving, which causes stress and extremely high mortality.