Sapanca Lake is located on a tectonic hole, which is situated between Izmit Bay and Adapazari Meadow and runs parallel to Iznik Lake. The forest area near to the coast of Lake Sapanca's south slopes has been heavily damaged and has left space for new kinds of small trees like maquis. Nowadays there are no more significant forest areas surrounding Lake Sapanca. Flow volumes of the streams, which feed the Lake are very low and many of them have dried up.
The catchment area of Lake Sapanca - about 251 sq. km [km²] - is surrounded by mountains in the south and small hills in the north. Water is taken from the Lake for domestic and industrial needs.
Lake Sapanca is one of the few lakes in Turkey, which provides drinking water, but it is exposed to heavy urbanization because of its natural beauty and its proximity to the metropolitan Istanbul. Natural forest lands in catchment areas have been vanishing quickly. There is pollution from highways near the coast and also from waste water from settlement areas around the lake. A negative effect on the trophic level of the lake has been observed.
Until now heavy pollution has not been observed in the lake, but nevertheless dumping of waste water from domestic areas should be prevented and no licenses should be given to factories.
The region around Sapanca has become very important for day trips and weekend vacations with its charming natural beauty.
The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41-49 cm long with a 65-75 cm wingspan.
The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.
Mandarin Ducks, which are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang (simplified Chinese: 鸳鸯; traditional Chinese: 鴛鴦; pinyin: yuān yāng), are frequently featured in Oriental art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity.
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