Mount Ararat home to rare species of squirrel

mountAraratMount Ararat, Turkey’s highest mountain, is home to Anatolian ground squirrels and other extraordinary wildlife. 

Various bird species, predators, mammals, reptiles and many rodent species are also living on Mount Ararat. 

Mount Ararat has a snow-capped peak that towers over eastern Turkey, Iran and Armenia. It is where the Bible says Noah landed his ark after the flood. 

Thanks to its flora and fauna dotted on thousands of acres of land, the mountain provides a unique living environment to wild animals, some of which are still unknown to science. 

ararat squirrel

Anatolian ground squirrel

Anatolian ground squirrels, which live in the region but are rarely seen, have been drawing great attention. 

Iğdır Forestry and Water Affairs Director Mete Türkoğlu said, “This species is generally found in the region from the Caucasus to Iraq, Syria and even Palestine. In Turkey, they live across the eastern provinces of Kars, Erzurum, Iğdır and Ağrı as well as in the Central Anatolian region,” he said. 

He said the squirrels had many reasons to choose Mount Ararat and its vicinity. “They generally prefer dry lands; places far from water and moisture, but where people are. The reason why they are seen especially during these months is that they spend half of the year sleeping.

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