A Real Paradise; Manyas Bird Paradise
The Manyas Bird Paradise National Park (Manyan Kuş Cenneti Milli Parkı), which is located in the Marmara Region and within the borders of Balıkesir, was declared a national park in 1959. Manyas Bird Paradise Park, with a surface area of 17,058 hectares, was added to the forest regime by the decision of the Council of Ministers firstly because it was not in the forest regime, and gained the national park status later.
Because of the bird richness in the national park that is of capital importance at international level and successful protection in national park definition, Manyas Bird Paradise National Park was awarded with a Class A Diplomat, the top category of the “European Diplomacy” given to well-preserved natural areas in 1975 by the Council of Europe.
Especially its habitats that contain hundreds of birds attract many visitors. Located on the bird migration path from Anatolia to Europe, Manyas bird paradise contain large hatchery colonies where thousands of birds including, pelicans, herons, spoonbills, cormorants, wild goose, mallard and songbirds nest. Kuşcenneti is the smallest one among the national parks in our country. Despite its small size, the Bird Paradise National Park is one of our national parks that attract the most visitors.
In line with the proposal of the Council of Europe, a camera system has been established to monitor birds’ nesting sites from a distance without harming birds. Bird observation tower has been renovated and the mummy museum has been reorganized to enhance the educational function of the National Park.
History of Manyas Bird Paradise National Park
Lydians who settled in Anatolia from the 8th century BC set up a settlement named Daskyleon in Hisartepe, located at the southeast end of Lake Kuş, in the west of today’s Ergili Village. Later, the Persians who came to Anatolia destroyed this state and established a governorship (satrap) in this region and they called here as paradeisos (paradise) and used as a park belonging to kings and hunting ground for years.