Fauna Palaestina Part 3 Year 2013 by Dr Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf von Jaffa ISBN 978-9950-383-35-7

normankhalaf

Fauna Palaestina

Part Three / Teil Drei

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Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine

Tel. 00972-2340035

info@aljundi.biz

www.aljundi.biz

Fauna PalaestinaPart Three.

Zoological Studies in Palestine between 2005 – 2012

Fauna Palaestina – Teil Drei.

Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 2005 – 2012

by: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa

First Edition / Erste Auflage . July 2013

ISBN 978995038335 - 7

All Rights Reserved / Alle Rechte vorbehalten

Copyright © 2013 by Al Jundi Publishing House. Jerusalem, Palestine

Website of the Book:

Fauna PalaestinaPart Three. Zoological Studies in Palestine between

2005 – 2012 (ISBN 978-9950-383-35-7):

http://dr-norman-ali-khalaf-books.webs.com/faunapalaestinapart3.htm

E-mail of the Author: Jaffacity@yahoo.de

English / German Cover: A Wolf at Qalqilia Zoo, Qalqilia, Palestine in

2011. Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the

Palestine Wildlife Society, Beit Sahour, State of Palestine.

Cover Design / Umschlaggestaltung: Mrs. Ola Mostafa Khalaf. Dubai,

United Arab Emirates.

Printed and bound in Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine.

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Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa

Fauna Palaestina

Part Three / Teil Drei

Zoological Studies in Palestine

between 2005 – 2012

Zoologische Studien in Palästina

zwischen 2005 – 2012

Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine

2013

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Contents

Fauna PalaestinaPart Three

English / German Articles

1. Preface..................................................................... 7

2. About the Author: A Palestinian-German

Zoologist.................................................................. 9

3. Mammalia Palaestina: The Mammals of Palestine /

Die Säugetiere Palästine…...................................... 11

4. Israel uses the Eland Antelope (Taurotragus oryx)

as a new front line force to protect the Israeli-

Lebanese border....................................................... 82

5. The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus

monachus, Hermann 1779) in Palestinian,

Mediterranean and Atlantic Waters......................... 94

6. Carnivora Palaestina: The Carnivores of Palestine

/ Die Raubtiere Palästinas……................................ 122

7. Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008: A New

Golden Jackal Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,

Palestine................................................................... 159

8. Rodentia Palaestina: The Rodents of Palestine........ 177

9. Mus musculus gazaensis Khalaf, 2007: A New

House Mouse Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,

Palestine................................................................... 206

10. Cetacea Palaestina: The Whales and Dolphins in

Palestinian Waters. Cetacean Species Guide for

Palestine................................................................... 221

11. Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg,

1861) sighted off the Mediterranean Coast of

Palestine................................................................... 241

12. The Story of Prophet Yunus (Jonah) and the

Whale....................................................................... 249

13. The Andromeda Sea Monster of Jaffa .................... 257

14. The Story of Prophet Musa (Moses) and the Fish... 260

15. An Ocean Sunfish or Common Mola (Mola mola,

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Linnaeus 1758) caught off the coast of Gaza: The

First Record from Palestine, East Mediterranean

Sea........................................................................... 265

16. Samak Al-Luchs (Al-Hamoor) or the Orange-

Spotted Grouper (Epinephelus coioides) in

Palestine (Mediterranean Sea) and the United Arab

Emirates (Arabian Gulf).......................................... 287

17 Amphibia Palaestina: The Amphibians of Palestine 295

18 The Palestinian Frogs and Toads............................. 317

19 The Extinction of the Palestinian or Hula Painted

Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer, Mendelssohn and

Steinitz 1943): The Result of Israeli Drainage of

the Lake Hula.......................................................... 320

20 Das Aussterben der Palästinensischer

Scheibenzüngler oder Hulesee- Scheibenzüngler

(Discoglossus nigriventer, Mendelssohn and

Steinitz 1943): Das Resultat der Israelischen

Trockenlegung des Hulesees...................................

331

21 The Re-Discovery of the Palestinian or Hula

Painted Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer,

Mendelssohn and Steinitz 1943) in Palestine.......... 344

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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL

PREFACE

Packed into Palestine's small area are snow-covered mountains, parched

deserts, fertile fields, lush woodlands and long stretches of sand dunes.

No less than four different geographical zones are included in Palestine,

and the country's climate ranges from semi-arid to temperate to

subtropical.

All of this makes Palestine home to a stunning variety of plants and

animals. Some 47,000 living species have been identified in Palestine,

with another 4,000 assumed to exist. There are 116 species of mammals

native to Palestine, 511 kinds of birds, 97 types of reptiles and nine types

of amphibians. Some 2,780 types of plants grow countrywide, from

Alpine flowers on northern mountain slopes to bright red coral peonies

and desert papyrus reeds in the south.

My first published scientific article goes back to January 1980, when I

was still a student in the Zoology Department at Kuwait University,

State of Kuwait. The article was about "The Colouration of Animals".

I was especially interested in the Arabian Wildlife, and in particular, in

my Homeland Palestine. My first zoological article about the Palestinian

Fauna dates back to February 1983. The article was entitled "The

Badger in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula", and was published

in the Palestinian "Al Khalisah" Bulletin, Kuwait University.

Since that time, I had published many scientific articles in different

scientific books, magazines and bulletins, and established my own

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. In July 1983, "Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin" was created. It was the First Palestinian Scientific

Journal Worldwide (ISSN 0178 – 6288).

My first zoological article in "Gazelle" was about "Order Lagomorpha

in Palestine". Till now 100 "Gazelle" Issues were published; and many

of my articles were about Palestinian Animals.

Finally, and after more than 34 years in Zoological research and studies,

in Palestine and many Arabic and European countries, and after

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publishing many scientific articles in different scientific books,

magazines and bulletins, especially the "Gazelle Bulletin", and after

publishing many articles in the Gazelle Bulletin Web Site, since 2001

under (www.gazelle.8m.net), and after publishing most of my articles

on the internet under (www.webs.com), and after publishing my

zoological books: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin in July

2004, Aquatica Arabica in August 2005, Mammalia Arabica in July

2006, Felidae Arabica in July 2007, Carnivora Arabica in September

2008, Fauna PalaestinaPart One in September 2009, Fauna

Emiratus – Part One in November 2010, and my eighth book Fauna

PalaestinaPart Two which was published by Dar Al Jundi Publishing

House in Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine in July 2012; I finally

decided to publish my newest scientific book in the Holy City of

Jerusalem, Palestine, containing selected "Palestinian" research and

articles which were published between 2005 - 2012.

It is hard to be optimistic about the future of Wildlife in Palestine. But

recent years have shown the development of official and public interest,

and efforts to conserve the Palestinian Fauna. Palestinian animals lived

with humans for thousands of years. There are a lot of stories concerning

Prophets with Palestinian animals, which were mentioned in the Holy

Quran, Bible and Torah.

I hope that I can participate with my new book to our knowledge about

"Fauna Palaestina", and to help and to be part in protecting the

endangered Palestinian and Arabian Fauna.

Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-von Jaffa.

Al Quds (Jerusalem), the Capital of the State of Palestine and the Capital

of Arab Culture.

05 th July 2013 (My 51 th Birthday).

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About the Author

A Palestinian-German Zoologist

Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-Sakerfalke von

Jaffa is a Palestinian-German Zoologist, Ecologist and Geologist.

Born in Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany in 1962. His family

originally comes from Al Eizariya (Bethany), east of Al Quds

(Jerusalem), Palestine. The family then moved to the city of Jaffa,

Palestine before 1948. Finished School in Kuwait. Studied

Zoology, Geology and Ecology for the Bachelor, Master and

Doctorate degrees at the Universities of Kuwait, Durham

(England) and Ashwood (USA). Specialised in Animal Behaviour

and Ecology. Done a lot of work and research in the Universities

of Kuwait, Durham and Saarbrücken; and in the Zoos, Wild Parks

and Field Studies in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq,

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Turkey,

Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Holland, Belgium,

Luxembourg, England, Scotland, Jersey Island, France, Austria,

Switzerland and Germany.

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He is the author and publisher of "Gazelle : The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin" (ISSN 0178-6288), the first Palestinian

scientific journal worldwide (since 1983); and the author of nine

books: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin (2004),

Aquatica Arabica (2005), Mammalia Arabica (2006), Felidae

Arabica (2007), Carnivora Arabica (2008), Fauna Palaestina

Part One (2009), Fauna Emiratus – Part One (2010), Fauna

PalaestinaPart Two (2012), Fauna PalaestinaPart Three

(2013), and the co-author of the book "Palestine: A Guide"

(2005/2006).

He discovered and scientifically named five new animal

subspecies. Two Palestinian mammal subspecies from the Gaza

Strip: The Gaza or Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus

gazaensis Khalaf, 2007) and the Palestine Golden Jackal (Canis

aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008); and two Emirati freshwater fish

subspecies: The Emirati or Wadi Al Wurayah Blind Cave Fish

(Garra barreimiae wurayahi Khalaf, 2009) and the Emirati or

Bassam Khalaf's Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus

bassamkhalafi Khalaf, 2009) from the Emirate of Fujairah, United

Arab Emirates; and the Arabian or Emirati Four-Tusked Elephant

Fossil († Stegotetrabelodon syrticus emiratus Khalaf, 2010) from

the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

He is working now as a free Scientific Researcher, Publisher and

Tourist Guide in the United Arab Emirates. He is married to Ola

Khalaf and has one daughter, Nora (14 Years).

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Mammalia Palaestina

The Mammals of Palestine

Die Säugetiere Palästinas

ثدييات فلسطين

By: Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-von Jaffa

Despite its small area, Palestine has a relatively rich fauna, due to its

location at the crossroads of three continents, and because of the large

variety of habitats and climates.

More than 110 species of mammals have roamed the ancient forests,

mountains and deserts of the Holy Land. Their interaction with humans

is documented in the cave drawings of early Neanderthal inhabitants,

and in the writings of all Near Eastern civilizations and Religions

(Torah, Bible and the Holy Qur‘an). The expansion of human population

and encroachment into fragile ecosystems in recent centuries has

resulted in the extinction of several species: aurochs (wild ox), Syrian

Onager (wild ass), roebuck (roe deer), fallow deer, red deer, Arabian

oryx, Syrian brown bear, Asiatic cheetah and the Asiatic lion.

Today, the largest Palestinian land animals are Arabian mountain

gazelles, wild boar, foxes, jungle cats, Sinai ibex and the rarely seen

leopards, hyenas, jackals and wolves. In all, there are 116 different

species of land animals in Palestine, compared with 140 in the whole of

Europe, which is 300 times larger. This is an impressive figure for a

small country, but the numbers of animals within each species is

shrinking.

Since the 1960s, the Israeli Nature Reserves Authority has been

reintroducing populations of animals which were native to the area in

biblical times, under a program known as Hai-Bar. Breeding centers for

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Mediterranean animals (in the Carmel) and desert animals (at Yotvata in

the Wadi Araba) have been set up, and five species were selected for the

first stage: ostriches, roe deer, Asiatic wild asses, Persian fallow deer

and the white oryx. All except the roe deer are globally endangered. The

founder animals for each species came from both zoos and the wild,

around the world. Successful reintroductions into the wild have already

been implemented for the Asiatic wild ass (starting in 1982), the fallow

deer (since 1996) and the white oryx (since 1997).

Most of the Wildlife in Palestine is legally protected by the Israeli Wild

Animals Protection Law, enacted in l954. This law also protected all

carnivores, except the Syrian jackal (Canis aureus syriacus), which was

only later declared a protected species. The Wildlife in Palestine is also

legally protected by the Palestinian Environment Law no. 7, enacted in

1999. The legal protection of carnivores in Palestine is reasonably well

enforced. Cases of intentional killing of carnivores, mainly by shooting,

are rare and carried out only by the Arabs and Druse, with whom the

traditional animosity towards carnivores is still prevalent. There are,

however, occasional cases of mortality caused by pesticides, mainly

secondary poisoning from feeding on poisoned pest rodents. Mortality of

carnivores caused by humans in Palestine is mainly through road

accidents, which, however, do not appear to endanger any species, as

shown by the hyaena (Hyaena hyaena). This species has a small

population in Palestine (rough estimate: 150), and is very prone to road

accidents, with about 20 animals being killed in this way every year.

However, the population seems to be slowly increasing. One advantage

of road deaths is that they provide documentation on the distribution of

the carnivores concerned. For example, the recent spread of the stone

marten (Martes foina) is well-documented by road deaths (Khalaf-von

Jaffa, 2006).

Conservation efforts in occupied Palestine are needed to ensure the

continued survival of the Arabian leopard, Arabian caracal, Palestine

wild cat, Palestine jungle cat, Arabian wolf, Palestine fox, Afghan fox,

Sinai ibex and the desert gazelles, and to prevent the continued habitat

destruction that takes its toll on smaller mammals.

In this study which was relied mainly on the book ―Mammals of the

Holy Land‖ (1996) by the Palestinian Scientist Prof. Dr. Mazin B.

Qumsiyeh, I would like to list the Palestinian mammals living in the

―Land of Milk and Honey‖ or the ―Land of the Gazelle‖.

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Order: INSECTIVORA (Insectivores: Hedgehogs and Shrews):

Family: Erinaceidae (Hedgehogs):

1. East European Hedgehog, Common Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus

concolor, Martin 1918) and the Palestine Hedgehog (Erinaceus

roumanicus sacer, Thomas 1918) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 2, 9: 212.

Type from near Jerusalem, Palestine. Perhaps a valid subspecies:

Erinaceus concolor sacer]:

This is the largest of the three species of hedgehogs in Palestine. Head

and body length ranges from 200 to 260 mm. in adults with a skull

length over 55 mm. This hedgehog weighs about 550-700 g., with males

generally larger than females. The East European Hedgehog is

distributed in Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.

It is common in the northern half of Palestine, in the Judean hills

(around Al-Quds [Jerusalem]) and along the coastal plain, as far south as

Ruhama. This species is found in the more mesic areas of Palestine.

Records are available from the mountain regions (receiving more than

100 mm. rain/year) and the coastal plains south to Gaza. Where it occurs

it is common and records from Palestine are abundant. Both Aharoni

(1930) and Bodenheimer (1958) reported common hedgehogs as

abundant in Palestine extending as far south as Ruhama and Gaza. It was

also recorded in and around Jerusalem, Beit Lid (near Natanya), Tivon,

Lod, Beit Lahem (Bethlehem) and Beit Sahur.

Hedgehogs are common animals in the folklore of the locals. All

hedgehogs are referred to in Arabic as ―Qunfuth‖ ) ( and rarely as

―Kababet chouk‖ (spiny creature) or ―Khlund‖. They are eaten by some

locals, especially among Bedouins. In many areas, elders attribute

medicinal qualities to hedgehog meat (for example, a cure for arthritis

and rheumatism) (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

2. Egyptian Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus aegyptius, E.

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1803) and the Syrian Hedgehog (Erinaceus

syriacus, Wood 1876) [Bible animals, p. 83, from Palestine. Synonym of

aegyptius]; and (Erinaceus brachydactylus, Tristram 1884) [Fauna and

flora of Palestine, p. 95]:

The Egyptian Long-eared Hedgehog is distributed in Egypt, Cyrenaica

(East of Libya) and Palestine. In Palestine, it is common in the southern

part of the coastal plain as far north as Qeisariya (Caesarea), and south

to the northern Naqab (Negev) Desert (around Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e

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لنفذ


[Beersheba]). This species occupies an area in Palestine that is

intermediate in rainfall (100-400 mm.). It avoids extreme desert

conditions and the northern cold mountain regions. This species is

common along the coastal plains from Jaffa southward to Gaza and Al-

Arish (northern Sinai). It was also recorded in and around Ramleh, Bir

Salem (near Lod), Lod, Bie‘r Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), Tulkarem, Rishon

le Zion, Beit Sahur, Bethlehem, Givatayim (near Tel Aviv), Tel Aviv,

Beit Hanan, Herzelia, Kfar Vitkin, Moza, Revivim, Gevim, Shivta,

Zahala and Tel Shoqet (western Arad).

Ethiopian Hedgehog at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2012. Photograph by

Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife

Society.

3. Ethiopian Hedgehog, Desert Hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus

pectoralis, Heuglin 1861):

This species is intermediate in size between the small Hemiechinus

auritus and the large Erinaceus concolor. Skull length is generally 45-52

mm. It occurs throughout Africa, Sinai, Arabia, the Syrian Desert, the

Naqab Desert (south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e), and the Wadi Araba and

reaches the Jordan Valley. The first specimen from the area is that from

Petra (Jordan) on which the name pectoralis was based. Tristram (1884)

and Bodenheimer (1958) reported that this hedgehog is common in

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southern Palestine. It was recorded in and around Bie‘r Al-Sabe‘e

(Beersheba), Wadi Araba, Areeha (Jericho), Azraq ed Druz, Wadi Rum

(at Dieseh), Turabah, Wadi Raman, Revivim, Ein Radian, Rehovot,

Zeelim, Nahal Zin, Jerusalem, Massua, Ain Auja, Ahuzam and Avedat

Horvot.

Family: Soricidae (Shrews):

4. Bicoloured White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura leucodon, Hermann

1780) and the Palestine or Judean Bicoloured White-toothed Shrew

(Crocidura russula judaica, Thomas 1919) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9,

3: 32. Type from near Jerusalem, Palestine]:

The distribution of this species is from Western Europe to central and

southern Russia, eastern Turkestan, Asia Minor, northern Iran and the

Arabian Peninsula. In Palestine, It is found in the northern and central

part of the country, Mount Hermon (at 1,550 m.) and the occupied Golan

Heights.

5. Palestine Lesser White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura suaveolens portali,

Thomas 1920) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 5: 119. Type from Ramleh,

Palestine. Valid subspecies: Crocidura suaveolens portali] and (Suncus

tristrami, Bodenheimer 1935) [Animal life in Palestine, p. 95.

Synonym]:

This Shrew is distributed in Europe and Asia. The subspecies Crocidura

suaveolens portali is known from northern Iraq, Egypt (southern Sinai)

and Palestine, where it has been found in the Huleh Valley (Dan), the

coastal plain (Ramleh) and in the Araba (Arava) Valley (Ein Yahav).

6. Savi's dwarf Shrew, Mediterranean pygmy Shrew, Etruscan Shrew,

Lesser Shrew (Suncus etruscus, Savi 1822) and the Palestine pygmy

Shrew (Sorex pygmaeus, Tristram 1884) [Survey of western Palestine,

fauna and flora of Palestine, p. 24. Type from Dir Mar Saba, Palestine.

Synonym]:

Savi‘s dwarf Shrew is widespread from southern Europe, the

Mediterranean region, the Caucasus, southern Russia, Turkestan, India,

Ceylon, Malaya, Iran, Arabia, North Africa, northern Nigeria, French

Guinea, East and South Africa. In Palestine, it has been recorded from

the northern part of the country as far south as Mar Saba near the Dead

Sea.

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7. Thomas‘s White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura lasia, Thomas 1907):

This species is distributed in Turkey, Caucasia, Iran, Lebanon and

Palestine. It has been recorded once from Mount Hermon at 1,200 m.

above sea level.

8. Great White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura russula monacha, Thomas

1906):

This Shrew is widespread in Western Europe, southern Russia,

Transcaucasia, southern Turkestan, Armenia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Iran,

Afghanistan, east to Kashmir, China, Japan and North Africa, from

Morocco to Tunisia, but not Egypt. The subspecies Crocidura russula

monacha is known from Lebanon and Palestine, where it is the most

common shrew from Mount Hermon and the occupied Golan Heights as

far south as Eilat.

9. Ramon White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura ramona, Ivanitskaya

Shenbrot and Nevo 1996): This Shrew is presently known only from

southern Palestine, at the northern edge of the Judean Desert and the

Naqab (Negev) Desert highlands (Mizpe Ramon, Sde Boqer and

Sartaba).

10. Pale Gray Shrew, East Persian White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura

pergrisea, Miller 1913):This Shrew is distributed in Baltisan (Kashmir),

eastern Iran and Palestine, where it has been recorded once on Mount

Hermon at 2,000 m.

Order: CHIROPTERA (Bats):

Family: Pteropodidae (Fruit-eating Bats):

11. Egyptian Fruit Bat, Flying ―Fox‖ (Rousettus aegyptiacus, E.

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1810):

The Egyptian Fruit Bat is distributed in Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon,

Palestine, Egypt, and Ethiopian Africa in part, south to Angola. In

Palestine, It is common in the coastal plain, on Mount Carmel, in the

Huleh and Jordan Valleys, near the Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), but rarely in

the hills. In Eilat, it probably represents the Arabian subspecies,

Rousettus aegyptiacus arabicus Anderson and de Winton 1902, which is

usually smaller, with a more pointed ear tip.

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Family: Rhinopomatidae (Mouse-tailed Bats):

12. Arabian Lesser Mouse-tailed Bat, Small Mouse-tailed Bat

(Rhinopoma hardwickei arabium, Thomas 1913) and (Rhinopoma

hardwickei cystops, Thomas 1903):

This Bat is distributed in North and East Africa, the Asben region,

Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, southern to northern Kenya, Arabia, Iran,

Afghanistan, India, Burma and lower Siam. In Palestine, it is found in

the Huleh Valley (Dan), western Galilee (Hanita and Rosh Hanikra), the

western shore of the Sea of Galilee (Wadi Amud), the western shore of

the Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), and the Araba (Arava) Valley (Ein Yahav).

13. Larger Mouse-tailed Bat, Great Rat-tailed Bat, Long-tailed Bat

(Rhinopoma microphyllum, Brünnich 1782):

This Bat is distributed in Northeast Africa, Egypt and Arabia, through

India and Burma. In Palestine, it is fairly common in the Huleh Valley

and rarer in the hills, Jordan Valley, plain of Jericho and the Dead Sea

basin.

Family: Emballonuridae (Sheath-tailed Bats, Ghost Bats, Tomb

Bats):

14. Naked-bellied Tomb Bat, Naked-rumped Bat (Taphozous

nudiventris, Cretzschmar 1830):

This bat is distributed in Egypt, south to northern Kenya, Congo,

southern Iran, Arabia, and east to India, Burma and Malay States. The

subspecies Taphozous nudiventris nudiventris is known from Arabia. In

Palestine, it occurs in the Huleh Valley (Dan), Galilee (Wadi Amud),

southeast of Haifa, near the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.

15. Geoffroy‘s Tomb Bat, Egyptian Tomb Bat (Taphozous perforatus, E.

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1818) and (Taphozous perforatus haedinus,

Thomas 1925):

This Bat is distributed in southwestern Arabia, Egypt, southward and

westward in Africa and India. In Palestine, the subspecies Taphozous

perforatus haedinus has been recorded from west of the Sea of Galilee,

the western shore of the Dead Sea, and the northern Naqab Desert.

Family: Nycteridae (Slit-faced Bats):

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16. Egyptian Slit-faced Bat (Nycteris thebaica, E. Geoffroy St. Hilaire

1818):

This bat is distributed in Greece (Corfu), Egypt (Sinai), Sudan, Kenya,

Angola and Arabia. In Palestine, it has been recorded in the Jordan

Valley (Beit Shan) and the Araba Valley (Ein Yahav).

Family: Rhinolophidae (Horseshoe Bats, Old World Leaf-nosed

Bats):

17. Greater or Larger Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum,

Schreber 1774):

This Bat is widespread from Europe through Asia, north of the Himalaya

Mountains, as far east as Japan, south through Asia Minor, Syria,

Palestine and Africa. In Palestine, it is common throughout the

Mediterranean coastal region, around the Sea of Galilee and the Judean

hills (Jerusalem).

18. Arabian Horseshoe Bat, Desert or Cretzschmar's Horseshoe Bat

(Rhinolophus clivosus, Cretzschmar 1828):

This Bat is distributed around the Red Sea coasts of Arabia, African

coast of Gulf of Aden, southern Arabia, Eritrea, Egypt, the Sinai and

Sahara Deserts. In Palestine, it may occur in the southern coastal plain

and northern Naqab Desert.

19. Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros, Bechstein 1800)

and (Rhinolophus hipposideros minimus, Heuglin 1861):

This Bat is distributed in Western Europe through to southwestern

Russia, Asia Minor, Arabia, Iran, east to Kashmir and North Africa,

Sudan and Ethiopia. The subspecies Rhinolophus hipposideros minimus

occurs in Lebanon and Arabia. In Palestine, it ranges from the Huleh

Valley, around the Sea of Galilee, Mount Carmel, Judean hills

(Jerusalem), the coastal plain, Naqab Desert and Araba Valley (Ein

Yahav).

20. Peter's Horseshoe Bat, Blasius‘s Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus blasii,

Peters 1857):

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe, Cyprus, Transcaucasia,

southwest Russian Turkestan, Iran, Asia Minor and North Africa. In

Palestine, it is found from the coastal plain (Herzlia) to the Judean hills

(Jerusalem – the Cave of Adullam).

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21. East Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus euryale, Blasius

1853) and the Palestine or Judean Horseshoe Bat (Euryalus judaicus,

Anderson and Matschie 1904) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1904:

80. From Cave of Adullam, near Jerusalem (= Mogharet Khureitun, 4

km southeast of Beit Sahur, fide Atallah, 1977) Perhaps a valid

subspecies Rhinolophus euryale judaicus]:

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe, Asia Minor, Iran and North

Africa. The subspecies Rhinolophus euryale judaicus occurs in Lebanon,

Jordan and in Palestine, where it is known from the Sea of Galilee, the

coastal plain and the Judean hills.

22. Mehely‘s Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi, Matschie 1901):

This Bat is distributed in Transcaucasia, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and

Palestine, where it has been recorded from the north (Rosh Hanikra), the

coastal plain (Herzlia), Galilee and the Judean hills (Jerusalem).

Family: Hipposideridae (Leaf-nosed Bats):

23. Trident Leaf-nosed Bat (Asellia tridens, E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire

1812):

This Bat is distributed in North Africa, Senegal, Egypt to Zanzibar,

southern Iran, southern Syria, Arabia, eastward to northwestern India. In

Palestine, it is common and widespread from Mount Carmel, the coastal

plain, Jordan Valley, Judean hills to the Araba Valley (north of Eilat).

Family: Molossidae (Free-tailed Bats, Sharp-nosed Bats, Mastiff

Bats):

24. Egyptian Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida aegyptiaca, Geoffroy 1818):

This is a medium-sized bat with a forearm length of 47-55 mm. and a

greatest length of skull of 20-22 mm. This species is distributed in the

most of Africa, and into Arabia and India. In Palestine, it is not yet

recorded, but doubtless occurs in the Naqab Desert.

25. European Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida teniotis rueppellii, Temminck

1826):

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe, Madeira, and the Canary

Islands, through North Africa to southern China, Taiwan and Japan. The

subspecies Tadarida teniotis rueppellii is known from Egypt, Lebanon,

19


Iraq and Palestine, where it is found on Mount Carmel, the coastal plain,

Jordan Valley, Judean hills and the Naqab Desert, as far south as Eilat.

Family: Vespertilionidae (Plain-nosed Bats, Common Bats)

26. Arabian Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus leucomelas,

Cretzschmar 1826):

The nominate subspecies is found in Europe and Russia. The Arabian

race Barbastella barbastellus leucomelas occurs in the Caucasus,

Transcaucasia, Russian Turkestan, Chinese Turkestan, southern Asia,

Iran, Sinai and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the southern

Wadi Araba (Eilat), but it is very rare.

27. Geoffroy‘s Bat, Notch-eared Bat (Myotis emarginatus, Geoffroy

1806) and (Myotis emarginatus desertorum, Dobson 1875):

This Bat is distributed in southern and Central Europe, from France to

Italy, eastern Iran, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is common on Mount

Carmel and in the coastal plain.

28. Lebanese Greater Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis macrocephalis,

Harrison and Lewis 1961):

This Bat is distributed in Western Europe, south Asia Minor, Russia,

east to Carpathians, Arabia. The subspecies Myotis myotis

macrocephalis is found in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is

fairly common in Upper Galilee.

29. Persian Lesser Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis blythii omari, Thomas

1906):

The Lesser Mouse-eared Bat is distributed in the Mediterranean region

of Europe, southern Russia, and eastwards through southwest Asia, Asia

Minor, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Arabia and North Africa. The Persian

subspecies Myotis blythii omari is known from Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria,

Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the Jezreel

Valley (Beit She‘arim).

30. Long-fingered Bat (Myotis capaccinii bureschi, Heinrich 1936):

This Bat is distributed in the Mediterranean region, Spain, southern

France, Italy, Corsica, Switzerland, Sardinia, Transylvania, Yugoslavia,

Greece, Bulgaria, Turkestan, Iran, Arabia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Morocco

and Algeria. The subspecies Myotis capaccinii bureschi is known from

20


Bulgaria. In Palestine, it has been recorded from around the Sea of

Galilee and Mount Carmel.

31. Palestine Natterer's Bat (Myotis nattereri hoveli, Harrison 1964) [Z.

Säugetierkd., 29: 58. Type from Aqua Bella, near Jerusalem, Palestine.

Synonym of Myotis nattereri] :

The Natterer‘s Bat is distributed in Europe, the Middle East and Far

East. The Palestinian subspecies Myotis nattereri hoveli is known only

from Palestine, where it is common in Galilee, the coastal plain and the

Judean hills, where it was first recorded by David L. Harrison in Aqua

Bella, near Jerusalem.

32. Egyptian Pygmy Pipistrelle, Desert Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus ariel,

Thomas 1904):

This Bat is distributed in Eastern Egypt and Sudan; and in Palestine, it is

very rare, but has been recorded southwest of the Dead Sea (Nahal

Ze‘elim) and in the Wadi Araba.

33. Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Schreber 1774):

The subspecies Pipistrellus pipistrellus pipistrellus is known from

Europe and parts of Asia, Asia Minor, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine,

where it is very rare on Mount Hermon and the occupied Golan Heights,

and seems to reach the southern limit of its range in Upper Galilee.

34. Kuhl's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii marginatus, Cretzschmar 1830)

and (Pipistrellus kuhlii ikhwanius, Cheesman and Hinton 1924):

The species is widespread from southern Europe, southern Russia,

southwest Asia, Asia Minor, Arabia, northern Sinai and North, East and

South Africa. The subspecies Pipistrellus kuhlii ikhwanius is known

from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Arabia, Sinai and Palestine, where it is the

commonest insectivorous bat and found throughout the north into the

northern Naqab Desert, Judean Desert and around the Dead Sea.

35. Savi's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii caucasicus, Satunin 1901):

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe and Russia, Asia Minor,

Lebanon and Palestine east to Siberia and Mongolia, North Africa, but

not Egypt. The subspecies Pipistrellus savii caucasicus is known from

Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been recorded from Upper Galilee.

36. Palestine Bodenheimer's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii bodenheimeri,

21


Harrison 1960) [Durban Mus. Novit., 5 (19): 261. Type from Yotvata

(Ein Ghidyan), 40 km north of Eilat, Wadi Araba, Palestine]:

This Bat is distributed in Sinai, Arabian Peninsula, south to Aden. In

Palestine, it is common near the western shore of the Dead Sea and in

the southern Wadi Araba, where it was first recorded by David L.

Harrison in Ein Ghidyan (Yotvata).

37. Rüppell‘s Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus rueppelli coxi, Thomas 1919):

This Bat is distributed in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the

Congo, northern and southern Zimbabwe, Nyasaland, Ngamiland,

Bechuanaland, Senegal and Angola. The subspecies Pipistrellus

rueppelli coxi is known from Iraq and Palestine, where it has been

recorded from northernmost Upper Galilee.

38. Lebanese Common Noctule or Great Bat (Nyctalus noctula

lebanoticus, Harrison 1962):

This Bat is widespread in Western Europe, Russia, south to Asia Minor,

eastwards through Iran and Asia. The subspecies Nyctalus noctula

lebanoticus is rare in the region where it is known from Lebanon and

Palestine (near Areeha [Jericho]).

39. Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus, Schreber 1774) and (Eptesicus

serotinus isabellinus, Temminck 1840):

This species has the widest range of all bats – being the only bat

common to both the Old and New Worlds. It is widespread in central

and southern Europe, east toward Asia, North and part of West Africa.

In Palestine, it is found in Upper Galilee, the coastal plain and the

Judean hills.

40. Botta's Serotine Bat, Lesser Serotine Bat (Eptesicus bottae innesi,

Lataste 1887):

This bat is distributed in Egypt and Palestine, where it is very rare but

has been recorded in the Araba Valley (from Ein Gedi and Yotvata).

41. Hemprich's Long-eared Bat (Otonycteris hemprichi jin, Cheesman

and Hinton 1924):

This Bat is distributed in Kashmir, Russian Turkestan through Iran, Iraq

and Palestine, where the subspecies Otonycteris hemprichi jin is known

from the western shore of the Dead Sea, the Naqab Desert and the Wadi

Araba.

22


42. Gray Long-eared Bat (Plecotus austriacus christiei, Gray 1838):

This Bat is distributed in Europe, Asia Minor, Iran, Afghanistan and

Kashmir, Egypt, North and East Africa. The subspecies Plecotus

austriacus christiei apparently occurs in Egypt, Sinai, Syria and

Palestine, where it is widespread in the north, the Judean hills (near

Jerusalem), and south through the Naqab Desert to Eilat.

43. Schreiber's Bat, Long-winged Bat, Bent-winged Bat (Miniopterus

schreibersi, Kuhl 1819) and (Miniopterus schreibersi pallidus, Thomas

1907):

Schreiber‘s Bat is widespread in the Old World, through Europe and

Asia, Asia Minor, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been

recorded from the central coastal plain, south to Lahav.

Order: CARNIVORA (Carnivores):

Family: Canidae (Dogs, Jackals, Wolves, Foxes):

44. Syrian or Asiatic Jackal, Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus,

Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Palestine Golden Jackal (Canis

aureus palaestina, Khalaf 2008) [Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008, Rajab / Sha‘ban 1429 AH. pp. 1-13.

Type from Rafah and Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine]:

The Golden Jackal is distributed in southern Europe, North Africa,

Egypt, Asia Minor, Arabia, to India and the Indochinese Peninsula. The

subspecies Canis aureus syriacus is common throughout the northern

half of Palestine to just south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), but does

not penetrate the desert.

45. Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster, Hemprich and Ehrenberg

1833):

The Egyptian Jackal is a valid subspecies, and is distributed in Egypt

and perhaps Sinai and the Naqab Desert. The Egyptian subspecies was

quoted from Palestine by Flower (1932).

46. Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus, Noack

1896):

The Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal is distributed in southern Arabia. In

Palestine, jackals found near the Dead Sea (Ein Fashkhah and Neot

Hakikar) probably belong to this subspecies.

23


47. Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes, Sykes 1831):

The Indian Wolf is widespread from northern India to Sind, south to

Dharwat, Baluchistan, southern Iraq, Kuwait, northern Arabia, Syria,

Lebanon and Palestine, where the subspecies Canis lupus pallipes is

extirpated from the coastal plain, but still occurs in the Judean hills, and

is an intruder in the Huleh Valley from the occupied Golan Heights. A

slightly smaller and paler population appears to inhabit the northern

Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.

48. Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs, Pocock 1934):

The Arabian Wolf is distributed in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait (where

it may intergrade with the Indian subspecies), and Egypt (the southern

and eastern Sinai desert). In Palestine, Canis lupus arabs inhabits the

southern Wadi Araba and appears to intergrade with the Indian

subspecies in the northern Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.

A Wolf at Qalqilia Zoo, Qalqilia, Palestine in 2011. Photograph by Mr.

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.

24


49. Egyptian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus, Sonnini

1816) and (Vulpes vulpes niloticus, Geoffroy 1803):

The Egyptian Red Fox is known from Libya and Egypt. It may be the

race that inhabits the mountains of the Naqab and Sinai Deserts.

50. Arabian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica, Thomas 1902):

The Arabian Red Fox is distributed in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and

Palestine, where the subspecies Vulpes vulpes arabica is found in the

southern half of the country, in the stony desert hills and wadis of the

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba,

51. Palestine Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes palaestina, Thomas

1920) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 5: 122. Type from Ramleh, near

Jaffa, Palestine. Synonym of Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus]:

The Palestine Red Fox is distinguished by its gray colour, particularly

along its sides, with a nearly complete suppression of rufous, except the

face. The forelegs are grayish-rufous or fulvous. The underparts are

whitish or black. The upper tail is buffy, washed with black.

Measurements: Head and body 455-625 mm.; ear 83-105 mm.; hind foot

121-148 mm.; tail 305-412 mm.

The Palestinian subspecies Vulpes vulpes palaestina is known from

Lebanon and Palestine, where it is common along the coastal plain and

as far south as Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).

52. Mountain Common Red Fox, Tawny Fox (Vulpes vulpes flavescens,

Gray 1843):

The Mountain Fox is distributed in northern Iran, Kurdistan and Iraq.

Vulpes vulpes flavescens may be the subspecies found in the northern,

more mountainous regions of Palestine.

53. Rüppell‘s Sand Fox (Vulpes rueppelli, Schinz 1825) and (Vulpes

rueppelli sabaea, Pocock 1934):

Rüppell‘s Sand Fox is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria, Libya

and Egypt, south to Sudan, Somaliland and Asben, Iran and

Afghanistan. The subspecies Vulpes rueppelli sabaea is known from

Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Palestine, where it inhabits the western

side of the Dead Sea, and Wadi Araba. It may intergrade with the

African subspecies Vulpes rueppelli rueppelli in the Naqab and Sinai

Deserts where intermediate forms occur.

25


54. Afghan Fox, Blanford‘s Fox (Vulpes cana, Blanford 1877):

The Afghan Fox is distributed in Uzbek, southern Turkman, Russia,

Afghanistan, Iran, northwestern Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United

Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine and Sinai. In Palestine, it was

discovered by G. Ilani, where it is known from the western side of the

Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), and south to Eilat.

55. Fennec Fox (Vulpes [Fennecus] zerda, Zimmerman 1780):

The Fennec Fox is almost certain to be found in sandy desert areas in the

Naqab and in eastern Jordan, because it was reported in similar habitats

in Kuwait, Egypt and western Sinai (Harrison, 1968; Khalaf, 1984;

Qumsiyeh, 1996). There is a record of an Epipaleolithic Fennec Fox

from Qasr Al Kharana in Jordan (Hatough-Bouran and Disi, 1991).

Family: Felidae (Cats):

56. Palestine Wild Cat, Bush Cat (Felis Silvestris tristrami, Pocock

1944) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 11, 11: 125. Type from Ghor Seisaban,

Moab, Jordan (collected by Tristram). Perhaps a valid subspecies: Felis

silvestris tristrami] :

The Wild Cat is widespread in Europe, Asia, Arabia and Africa. The

Palestinian subspecies Felis Silvestris tristrami is found in Lebanon,

Syria, Jordan and Palestine, where it is fairly common throughout most

of the country.

57. Iraqi or Mesopotamian Wild Cat, Desert Wild Cat (Felis silvestris

iraki, Cheesman 1920):

The Iraqi Wild Cat Felis silvestris iraki was described from Kuwait and

northeast Arabia. In Palestine, a specimen fitting the description of this

race, which had been killed by a car, was found by Walter W. Ferguson

on the western side of the Dead Sea between Ein Zohar and Ein Boqek.

58. Sand Cat (Felis margarita, Loche 1858) and the Arabian Sand Cat

(Felis margarita harrisoni, Hemmer, Grubb and Groves 1976):

The Sand Cat is distributed in North Africa, Egypt (Sinai), Russian

Turkestan and Arabia. In Palestine, it is confined to the Wadi Araba

(Hatseva).

59. Palestine Jungle Cat, Swamp Cat (Felis chaus furax, de Winton

1898) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 6, 2: 293. Type from Areeha (Jericho),

26


Palestine (based on a specimen collected by Tristram). Valid subspecies]

and (Lyncus chrysomelanotis, Nehring 1902) [Schriften Berl. Ges.

Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1902: 145. Type from near the Jordan River. Synonym

of Felis chaus furax] :

The Jungle Cat is distributed in Asia, from the Caucasus and Turkestan

to India and the Indochinese Peninsula, and Egypt. The Palestinian

subspecies Felis chaus furax is known from Iraq, Jordan and Palestine,

where it is found in the Huleh and Jordan Valleys, Galilee, the coastal

plain, reaching just north of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), Areeha

(Jericho), and the southern end of the Dead Sea.

60. Arabian Caracal Lynx, Desert Lynx (Felis [Caracal] caracal

schmitzi, Matschie 1912) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1912:

64. Type from ―Wadis opening to the Dead Sea‖. Type specimen at the

Berlin Zoological Museum is from Ain ed Dachubeijir, Jordan. Valid

subspecies] :

The Caracal Lynx is distributed in northern Africa, Arabia, the Near East

and India. The Arabian subspecies Caracal caracal schmitzi is known

from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and

Oman. In Palestine, it has been found in the occupied Golan Heights,

Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley, Mount Carmel, near the Dead Sea, in

the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.

61. Anatolian Leopard (Panthera [Felis] pardus tulliana, Valenciennes

1856):

The Leopard is widespread from South Africa to Arabia, Iran and Asia,

as far east as Japan. The Anatolian subspecies Panthera pardus tulliana

is known from Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been

recorded from Upper Galilee, formerly Mount Carmel, and the Judean

hills (near Al-Quds [Jerusalem]).The Anatolian Leopard is a valid

subspecies in northern Palestine.

62. Arabian Leopard, Nimer or Nimr (Panthera [Felis] pardus nimr,

Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Sinai Leopard (Panthera [Felis]

pardus jarvisi, Pocock 1932):

The Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr occurs in Palestine along

the western side of the Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), the Judean and Naqab

Deserts, south to Eilat and Sinai. It is rare and on the verge of

extirpation. The Arabian Leopard is a valid subspecies in Arabia and

27


southern Palestine; and the Sinai Leopard is a synonym of Panthera

pardus nimr.

63. Asiatic or Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Griffith

1821):

The Asiatic cheetah once ranged from Arabia to India, through Arabia,

Iran, central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, particularly in Iran

and the Indian subcontinent, it was numerous. Cheetahs were easy to

train, and rulers kept huge numbers for hunting gazelles. The Moghul

Emperor of India, Akbar, is said to have had 1,000 at a time. It appears

in many Persian and Indian miniature paintings. But by 1900 it was

already headed for extinction in many areas. The last physical evidence

of cheetahs in India was three shot (with two bullets) by the Maharajah

of Surguja in 1947 in eastern Madhya Pradesh. In Palestine, it was

scarce by 1884, though more common east of the Jordan River. By 1930,

it was rare, but still common in the southern steppe. The last Palestinian

cheetah was seen in the Naqab Desert (near Yotvata) in 1959. By 1990,

Asiatic cheetahs are apparently extirpated except from Iran, and possibly

Pakistan and Afghanistan. Estimated to number over 200 during the

1970s in Iran, current estimates by Iranian biologist Hormoz Asadi put

the number at 50 to 100 (Jackson, 1998).

64. Asiatic or Persian Lion (Panthera [Felis] leo persica, Meyer 1826):

The Asiatic or Persian Lion was formerly distributed in Greece, Asia

Minor, Iran, northern Arabia, and east to India. The Persian subspecies

Panthera leo persica was found in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Palestine, where

it must have been abundant in Biblical times. According to the Bible, in

which it appears under several different names, the lion must have been

quite common at that time. The species appears often on mosaics from

the Roman and Byzantine periods. The thickets of the Jordan were a

preferred habitat. It became extinct after the time of the Crusaders. The

last mention of them being by Arab writers of the 13th and 14th century,

when lions still existed near Samaria and other areas. One specimen has

been hunted at Lejun, near Megiddo, in the thirteenth century. Alfaras

Bin Shawer, Wali of Ramla, wrote that he saw eleven dead lions after

heavy rain in Ramla and the area of Nahr (River) Al-Auja in 1294.

Sanqarshah Almansouri, Naib of Safad (1304-1307), killed in the coastal

forests 15 lions. At this time, lions certainly roamed over parts of Syria

and Arabia and along the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, where in

ancient times lions figured prominently in the great royal hunts in

28


Assyria. It is clear that lions survived in Mesopotamia until the

nineteenth century, and there are several references to them by travellers

of that period. The Persian Lion has not been reported from Iran since

1942. However, it is possible that it still exists there.

The last remnant of the Asiatic Lion, which in historical times ranged

from Greece to India through Iran (Persia), lives in the Gir Forest

National Park of western India. About 300 lions live in a 1,412 km² (558

square miles) sanctuary in the state of Gujarat. In 1907 there were only

13 lions left in the Gir, when the Nawab of Junagadh gave complete

protection to them.

A Lion hunting a Gazelle seen in the ―Tree of Life‖ Mosaic in the

audience room of the bath house at Hisham‘s Palace (Qasr Hisham) in

Jericho. Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the

Palestine Wildlife Society. Picture taken in 2007.

Unlike the tiger, which prefers dense forests with adequate cover, the

lion inhabits the scrub-type deciduous forests. Compared to its African

counterpart, the Indian lion has a scantier mane. The lion seldom comes

into contact with the tiger which also lives in India, but not in the Gir

region as this forest is hotter and more arid than the habitat preferred by

the tiger.

In Al-Jaleel (Galilee) there is a hill called Tel el Assad (Lion Hill in

Arabic), and there is a village nearby called Deir el Assad (Monastery of

the Lion), that may refer to a quite late occurrence of this species. Bie‘r

29


Al-Sabe‘e بئز انضبع (Well of the Lion) is a famous Palestinian city in the

Naqab (Negev) desert (Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

Family: Herpestidae or Viverridae (Genets, Mongooses and Civets):

65. Palestine Genet (Genetta genetta terraesanctae, Neumann 1902)

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 183. Type from Mount Carmel

area, Palestine]:

The Palestine Genet was recorded from the Mount Carmel area by

Tristram (1866). Unspecified additional specimens were reported from

Sejera (Schedschera) and Wadi Fauar near the Dead Sea by Aharoni

(1930).

66. Egyptian Mongoose, Ichneumon (Herpestes ichneumon, Linnaeus

1758):

The Egyptian Mongoose is distributed in southern Spain, North, East

and Southwest Africa, Asia Minor, Turkey and Palestine, where it is

common in the northern half of the country, in the Huleh Valley, along

the coastal plain, with several isolated populations near the Dead Sea

and the Wadi Araba.

Family: Hyaenidae (Hyaenas and Aardwolves):

A Striped Hyaena at Ramat Gan Safari Park and Zoo, near Jaffa,

Palestine in 1999. Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash.

30


67. Syrian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena syriaca, Matschie 1900):

The Striped Hyaena is distributed in North and East Africa, Egypt and

Sinai, through Asia Minor, southern Russia, Iran, Arabia, Lebanon,

Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq to Nepal and India. The Syrian subspecies

Hyaena hyaena syriaca is known from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and

Palestine, where it has disappeared from the coastal plain and is

becoming rare in the Huleh Valley, Upper Galilee, Mount Carmel and

the Judean hills, south to the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba.

68. Arabian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena sultana, Pocock 1934):

The Arabian Striped Hyaena is known from southern Arabia. In

Palestine, it occurs near the southern end of the Dead Sea (Neot

Hakikar). A specimen in the collection of the Hebrew University of

Jerusalem constitutes the first geographical record for Palestine. It may

be that the Arabian race intergrades with the Syrian subspecies in the

northern part of its range.

69. Dubbah, Sudan Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena dubbah, Meyer

1793):

The Dubbah is a valid subspecies and perhaps enters Palestine from the

Sinai.

Family: Mustelidae (Weasels, Polecats, Martens, Badgers, Otters

and Skunks):

70. Common Weasel, Least Weasel, Snow Weasel (Mustela nivalis,

Linnaeus 1766) and the Egyptian Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis

subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Mediterranean

Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein 1800):

The common Weasel is the smallest carnivore in the region. It is

distinguished by its slender body; long neck; low, rounded ears; short

limbs; and tail which is less than a quarter of the length of the head and

body. In the summer, the upper parts are a uniform brown, and the under

parts are white, sharply demarcated along the flanks. The dorsal surface

of the forefeet is white. The tail is brown, becoming darker towards the

tip. The winter coat is presumably all white, as in the colder parts of its

range. Measurements: Head and body 160-290 mm; hind foot 20.5-30.5

mm; tail 40-70 mm. (Ferguson, 2002).

The common Weasel is active day and night. It inhabits holes, often the

burrows of rodents and hollow trees, among boulders and rock crevices.

31


It lives also in mountains, as high as the sub-alpine zone. In Egypt, this

species appeared to be more commensal than feral and was mostly

obtained around human habitations and near cultivated areas (Setzer,

1958). Flower (1932) remarked that in Egypt, these animals frequented

clubs, restaurants, homes, and other buildings. Such habitat choice was

not seen in Egypt later by Osborn and Helmy (1980).

The Common Weasel feeds on insects, small rodents, birds, lizards,

amphibians, fish and occasionally larger animals. Gestation period is 34-

37 days; and in Armenia, it usually produces 3-9 young in the late spring

and summer (Dahl, 1954); and in Egypt, a litter of five was noted born

in December (Flower, 1932).

The Common Weasel is widespread in Europe eastwards through

Russia, Asia Minor, Iran, northern Arabia, Afghanistan, Mongolia,

Korea, China, Japan and North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and

North America.

Considered by some authors a definite Pleistocene rodent specialist, the

Common Weasel seems to have made its first appearance in Europe

during the Mindel glacial episode (about 400,000 years ago) and is

commonly found in cave deposits from the beginning of the Late

Pleistocene. It represents a Palaearctic species of the Euro-Siberian

Region, widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North Africa (Masseti,

1995).

In the Mediterranean region, the Common Weasel occurs today in

northern Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), in most of southern

Europe and in Anatolia. In the Levant its distribution is restricted to the

northern areas of the region, including Lebanon (Harrison and Bates,

1991) and northern Syria. In the northern Arabian Peninsula, it has not

been reported since the Early Bronze Age (Dayan and Tchernov, 1988).

In fact, in Palestine, the species does not exist at present (Dayan and

Tchernov, 1988; Dayan, 1989). Beyond this distribution gap in

Palestine, the Common Weasel occurs again in Egypt, along the Nile

delta and valley, with a population characterized by large body size. This

Egyptian population is almost completely commensal with man (Osborn

and Helmy, 1980) and has been occasionally considered either a Roman

introduction or a glacial relic. Even if they do not reach the size of the

Egyptian Weasel, The Mediterranean Weasels are all characterized by a

very large body size (King, 1989; Masseti, 1995).

The subspecies found in Lebanon is the Mediterranean Mustela nivalis

boccamela, and is smaller than the Egyptian subspecies Mustela nivalis

subpalmata.

32


The status of the weasel in Palestine is not clear. Two Common Weasel

subspecies may occur in Palestine: The Egyptian Common Weasel

(Mustela nivalis subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the

Mediterranean Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein

1800). Zoologists (Aharoni, 1930; Bodenheimer, 1958) of the first half

of last century failed to confirm Tristram‘s listing of this species (as

Mustela boccamela) as a member of the Palestinian fauna, from the

vicinity of Mount Tabor. The common Weasel is reported from

Holocene fossils (11,000 to about 5000 years before present) from

Areeha (Jericho), Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), and the Galilee

(Tchernov, 1988). It probably became extirpated in Palestine due to

increasing aridity. However, relict populations survived around the Nile

Valley in northern Egypt (Osborn and Helmy, 1980), and two specimens

are known from Lebanon (Harrison and Lewis, 1964). Thus, a

population perhaps still survives in the Holy Land. Indeed, Harrison and

Lewis (1964) reported undocumented skins in the collection of Salah

(Selah) Merrill, who made most of this collection, while an American

Consul in Jerusalem between 1882-1907 (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

The word Mustela is Latin for weasel; and the name nivalis is derived

from nix, Latin, genitive nivis, snow. Hence, also, the common name

Snow Weasel (Qumsiyeh, 1996; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006); and I would

like to mention that the Weasel Tribe are common in Palestine.

71. Syrian Stone Marten, Rock Marten, Beech Marten (Martes foina

syriaca, Nehring 1902) [Type from Wadi Sir or Syr, Jordan (specimen is

at the Zoological Museum in Berlin). Valid subspecies]:

The Stone Marten is widespread across Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.

The Syrian subspecies Martes foina syriaca occurs in Iraq, Syria,

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was formerly common in the

Judean hills and was extirpated on Mount Carmel. It has recently

appeared at Ramat Shaul and Kiryat Shprinzak. It is now rare in the

Galilee and the occupied Golan Heights, but has increased in the Hula

Valley near Kibbutz Dan.

33


A Marbled Polecat from Tammun, Palestine in 2009. Photograph by Mr.

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.

72. Syrian Marbled Poleacat (Vormela peregusna syriaca, Pocock 1936)

[Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1936: 720. Type from near Lake Tiberias (Sea

of Galilee), Palestine]:

The Marbled Polecat ranges from southeastern Europe and southwestern

Asia, Russia into Mongolia. The Syrian subspecies Vormela peregusna

syriaca is found in Syria, western and northern Iraq, and Palestine,

where it is fairly common in the northern half of the country up to the

edge of the desert.

73. Persian Honey Badger or Ratel (Mellivora capensis wilsoni,

Cheesman 1920):

The Honey Badger is widespread in most of Africa, Arabia to Russian

Turkestan, east to Nepal and India. The Persian subspecies Mellivora

capensis wilsoni is known from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, southern

Arabia and Palestine, where it is rare but widespread from Upper Galilee

(Umm Falik) to the Judean hills and the Naqab Desert (Ein Hussub). It

has also been recorded from Gaza.

74. Persian Common Badger, Old World Badger, Eurasian Badger

(Meles meles canescens, Blanford 1875):

The Common Badger is the only species of its genus, and it is

widespread throughout Europe and Asia, Tibet, northern Burma and

southern China. The Persian race Meles meles canescens occurs in Iran,

Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is uncommon but has been

recorded in Upper Galilee, Jezreel Valley, upper Jordan Valley and the

coastal plain.

34


A Common Badger at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2012. Photograph by

Mr. Imad Atrash, Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.

75. Persian Common River Otter (Lutra lutra seistanica, Birula 1912):

The Common River Otter is widespread across Europe and Asia, from

England to Japan, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. In Palestine, the

Persian subspecies Lutra lutra seistanica is widespread, though

uncommon, in the northern half of the country, from the Huleh Valley to

the mouth of the Jordan River at the Dead Sea, and the coastal plain.

Family: Ursidae (Bears):

76. Syrian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos syriacus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg

1828) [Type from near Bischerre, Mount Makmel, Lebanon] and the

Hermon Brown Bear (Ursus arctos schmitzi, Matschi 1917)

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 33. Type from Mount Hermon,

Palestine. Synonym]:

The Brown Bear ranges widely across the northern parts of the New and

Old Worlds.

The Syrian subspecies Ursus arctos syriacus is known from Asia Minor,

Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it formerly

occurred in Galilee and the Judean hills during Biblical times. Prophet

David boasts of having strangled a bear, which had attacked his herd,

and two bears killed the 42 boys, who scoffed at the Prophet Elisha. In

the nineteenth century it was observed in a ravine near Tiberias, near

Beisan and in the Golan Heights. The last wild Syrian Bear was killed

near Majdal Shams in the southern Mount Hermon in 1917. They were

140 cm in height and dark brown. It has not been a menace to flocks of

sheep and goats for a long time, but occasional visits to vine-yards and

35


fruit-groves are still reported from Syria. The Bear is extinct on the

Hermon and Anti-Lebanon, mainly because it was so drastically hunted

by German officers during the war (Khalaf, 1983, 2001). Today, it exists

in Palestine only in zoos.

A Brown Bear at Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Jerusalem, Palestine in 2004.

Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine

Wildlife Society.

Order: HYRACOIDEA (Hyraxes):

Family: Procaviidae (Hyraxes):

77. Syrian Rock Hyrax, Coney (Procavia capensis syriaca, Schreber

1784) and the Palestine Hyrax (Procavia sinaitica schmitzi, Brauer

1917) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1917: 302. Type from

Bteha Plains, north of Lake Galilee, Palestine. Synonym]:

The Rock Hyrax or Coney is distributed in Africa and the Middle East.

The Syrian subspecies Procavia capensis syriaca is known from Syria,

Lebanon and Palestine, where it inhabits Mount Hermon up to 1,300 m.,

the occupied Golan Heights and Upper Galilee. Allopatric populations

are found on Mount Tabor and Mount Carmel. The Sinai subspecies

Procavia capensis sinaiticus occurs in the Naqab Desert and may

intergrade with the Syrian subspecies in the Judean Desert. At Ein Gedi,

there are two colour phases, dark brown and pale grayish-yellow.

78. Sinai Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis sinaiticus, Gray 1868):

36


The Sinai Rock Hyrax is described from Sinai (Mount Katarina) up to

2,000 m. The Sinai subspecies Procavia capensis sinaiticus occurs in the

Naqab Desert and may intergrade with the Syrian subspecies in the

Judean Desert. In Palestine, the Sinai Hyrax is known from the Judean

Desert (Ein Gedi) and the Naqab Desert.

A Rock Hyrax at Wadi Al Qilt, Palestine in 2008. Photograph by Mr.

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.

Order: PERISSODACTYLA (Odd-toed Ungulates):

Family: Equidae (Horses, Asses, Zebras):

79. The Syrian Onager, Syrian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus hemippus, I.

Geoffrey 1855) and the Persian or Caucasus Onager (Equus hemionus

onager, Zimmerman 1780 and Boddaert 1785):

The Syrian Onager or Wild Ass Equus hemionus hemippus inhabited the

Syrian Desert, where it became extinct in the 1920s. Although it is not

native to Palestine in historic times, a hybrid population between the

larger Persian Onager Equus hemionus onager, and the Asiatic Onager

Equus hemionus kulan, has been introduced into the central Naqab

Desert.

Order: ARTIODACTYLA (Even-toed Ungulates):

Family: Suidae (Pigs, Boars):

80. Palestine Wild Boar, Wild Hog (Sus scrofa libycus, Gray 1868):

The Wild Boar is widespread through Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa

and Asia as far east as Japan. The Palestinian subspecies Sus scrofa

37


libycus occurs in southwestern Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine, where it

survives in the occupied Golan Heights, Upper Galilee, the Huleh and

Jordan Valleys, hills of Samaria and Judea (occupied West Bank of

Jordan River), and was extirpated from the coastal plain. A relic

population survives along the Jordan River and south of the Dead Sea.

Family: Cervidae (Deer):

81. Kurdish Roe Deer, Kurdish Roebuck (Capreolus capreolus coxi,

Cheesman and Hinton 1923) [Type from Zakho, Kurdistan, northern

Iraq]:

The Roe Deer is distributed in Europe and Asia. The Kurdish subspecies

Capreolus capreolus coxi is known from Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. In

Palestine, it was common in Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley and

Mount Carmel, where it probably reached the southernmost limit of its

range. It has been extirpated since about 1912. There is a report of one

caught in 1941 at Ein Sachne (Kibbutz Kfar Szold), which may have

strayed from Lebanon. Sightings of deer in recent years refer to the

Mountain Gazelle, with which they are often confused. The species has

been reintroduced to the country in captivity. In 1996, nine deer were set

free on Mount Carmel and appear to be thriving (Ferguson, 2002).

82. Red Deer, Stag (Cervus elaphus, Linnaeus 1758):

The Red Deer was the first of three species of deer to disappear in

Palestine, according to Bodenheimer (1958). Remains of the red deer

were excavated at Tel Hesbon in layers from the 12 th to the 15 th century

AD. It is not known when the last of the red deer vanished from the

forests of the Holy Land. In Iran, the red deer was common in the

Caspian Forest. The specific name elaphus comes from the Greek

elaphos and means stag or deer (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

83. Mesopotamian Fallow Deer, Persian Fallow Deer (Dama

mesopotamica, Brooke 1875) [Type from Luristan Province, Iran]:

―These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat.

The hart (red deer) and the gazelle, and the fallow deer, and the wild

goat and the addax, and the bison (wild ox), and the wild (mountain)

sheep‖. (The Bible: Deuteronomy, 14: 4-5).

The Mesopotamian or Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) is

considered to be one of the rarest species of deer in the world; over

hunting brought this species to the verge of extinction. It was

38


widespread in western Iran, south Asia Minor, Iraq and Palestine, where

it was known from the Upper Pleistocene of the Huleh Valley (Bnot

Ya‘acov). It was in the nineteenth century found in Upper Galilee,

Mount Tabor, Mount Carmel and the coastal plain (Emeq Hefer), and

was at that time on the verge of extinction. It has completely disappeared

from Palestine since. In fact, in the early 1950s it was thought to be

extinct, but in 1956 a very small herd, estimated at 25 animals, was

discovered in Iran. In 1978, four fallow deer were brought to Palestine

and placed in Hai Bar Carmel together with two more Persian fallow

deer acquired from zoos in Europe the previous year.

The six animals formed the nucleus of a breeding core, and with the care

and devotion of the Hai Bar staff, the Persian fallow deer quickly

flourished. By 1996, its population had swelled to more than 150, by far

the largest herd anywhere in the world. Since that year, ten deer have

been transported twice a year from Hai Bar Carmel to a 10-hectare

enclosure with rich vegetation within the Kziv Reserve in the Northern

Galilee. The animals are kept in the reserve for three months before

being released into the neighboring countryside. During the brief period

in the enclosure, they become accustomed to their new environment and

become independent of artificial feeding.

Before being released, all the females and several males are fitted with

radio collars. This enables the experts to track the deer after they are

released into the wild. In this manner, the herd's progress can be

monitored and any factors threatening its existence can be quickly

traced. Over the past years, the experts have been learning how the deer

have adjusted to their new environment by studying their patterns of

movement and preferred habitat. Based on the data accrued, the Israel

Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (INNPPA) has been able

to improve its reintroduction program, acquire basic information for

future management of the Persian fallow deer population, and project the

distribution and success of the future wild population. Biologists have

also added to what they already knew about the Persian fallow deer:

their average weight and height is 150 kilograms and 100 centimeters

respectively, their life span about 16 years and their gestation period

seven and a half months, producing a single fawn. The first fawns were

born in the wild in the spring of 1997.

By the summer of 2000, ten bi-annual releases had taken place, making

a total population of more than 100 fallow deer in northern Galilee. An

additional 150 deer continue living in Hai Bar Carmel. Estimates are that

by the year 2005, there will be nearly 200 fallow deer living in the wild.

39


In 2002, the reintroduction effort will shift to eastern Galilee and the

Jerusalem mountains (Khalaf, 2001).

As a direct result of this program, Persian fallow deer have been

successfully reintroduced to the wild, once again becoming part of the

country's landscape. However, aside from the reintroduced population in

Palestine, both in the wild and Hai Bar Carmel, there are thought to be

no more than 15 Persian fallow deer still alive in the wild in Iran, and

several hundred more in captivity in zoos worldwide. Therefore, the

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) still lists this

rarest of deer as a critically endangered species (Khalaf, 2001).

Family: Bovidae (Oxen, Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Antelopes):

84. Addax (Addax nasomaculatus, de Blainville 1816):

The Pleistocene presence in Palestine of the Addax is documented. The

exact time that this species became extirpated in the eastern

Mediterranean region is unknown, and remaining small populations may

have existed during the Roman periods (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

85. Bubal Hartebeest, Bubale (Alcelaphus buselaphus, Pallas 1766):

The Pleistocene presence in Palestine of the Bubale is documented. The

exact time that this species became extirpated in the eastern

Mediterranean region is unknown, and remaining small populations may

have existed to the 19 th century. Aharoni (1930) mentioned that this

species was not seen in Palestine since the turn of the 20 th century.

Bubales were introduced into the Hula Nature Reserve (Qumsiyeh,

1996).

86. Aurochs, Wild Ox (Bos primigenius, Boianus 1827):

The Aurochs were reported from ancient strata (about 7000 BC) from

Areeha (Jericho), and there is no record of their domestication in the

Jericho Tell strata. However, the species was domesticated in India,

where it gave rise to the domestic humped cattle or Zebu (Bos indicus).

Tristram (1876) reported that these animals are depicted in earlier

dynasties (Nineveh) but not in the latter dynasties of the Assyrians at

Kuyonjik. Thus, the aurochs probably became extirpated in the eastern

Mediterranean region sometime during Assyrian rule.

Bos is Latin, genitive bovis, meaning an ox, and primigenius is Latin

meaning original or primitive (in reference to its being the ancestor of

40


domestic cattle). The word aurochs is from the Old High German

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa is showing the Skull of a

female Arabian Oryx at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai,

United Arab Emirates. 04.05.2013.

87. Arabian Oryx, White Antelope, Al Maha (Oryx leucoryx, Pallas

1777):

The Arabian Oryx was previously widespread in the Arabian Peninsula

as far north as Syria. In the 19 th century, this beautiful antelope was still

common in northern Arabia and in the Belka and Hawran in Jordan

(Tristram, 1866, 1876), but it was rare or absent in Palestine. Talbot

(1960) stated that it was already becoming rare in Sinai and the southern

deserts of Palestine in 1800. Schmitz collected this species at Amman,

Jordan in 1910. A hunter shot three animals at Qatrana in the 1920s. In

southern Jordan, the species may have persisted into the 1930s as a

British Army Unit kept one there; but by the 1940s the Oryx probably

was exterminated throughout Jordan. Populations persisting early in the

20 th century were reported near Jebel El Tubaiq, and in Al Busayta, and

Wadi Sirhan in northern Saudi Arabia near the border with Jordan.

Sometime between the First and Second World Wars, populations of the

Oryx were decimated in the Arabian and Syrian deserts. This was

accomplished by intensive hunting using modern weapons and vehicles,

especially near the newly discovered oil fields. By 1970 it was found

only in the southeastern regions of the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter)

desert on the Arabian Peninsula. The last one in the wild was shot in

41


1972. In the early 1960s, several international organizations began to

cooperate in saving the Oryx. These organizations included the

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World

Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Shikar-Safari Club. A breeding

population was established at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, U.S.A., with

animals collected from a trip to Saudi Arabia in 1962, and donated

animals from holdings in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the London Zoo.

This ―world herd‖ began to multiply and was the nucleus to be used to

―repopulate the desert‖. Animals raised in Arizona were re-introduced

into the wild in Oman (Jiddat Al Harasis, Yalooni) in 1982. Additional

reintroduced populations now occur in Palestine (Wadi Araba), Jordan

(Wadi Rum), Syria (Al Talila Reserve), and Saudi Arabia (Mahazat As-

Sayd, ‗Uruq Bani Ma‘arid), with a total reintroduced population in the

wild of approximately 886 in 2003. In occupied Palestine, there is a

managed population in the Hai Bar Reserve, and a reintroduced herd in

Wadi Araba, and a captive breeding population at Tel Aviv Zoo.

88. Sinai Ibex (Capra ibex sinaitica, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1828) and

the Nubian Ibex (Capra ibex nubiana, F. Cuvier 1825):

The Ibex is distributed in Europe, Asia, southwest Asia, Arabia, Egypt,

Sudan and Eritrea. In Palestine, the Sinai subspecies Capra ibex

sinaitica is confined to the Dead Sea region, and Naqab Desert, south to

Eilat.

The Ibex at Ein Fashkhah, Dead Sea Mountains, Palestine in 2009.

Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine

Wildlife Society.

42


89. Palestine Gazelle, Mounatin Gazelle, Idmi or Edmi, Chinkara

(Gazella gazella, Pallas 1766):

The Mountain Gazelle is distributed in North Africa, Iran, Syria and

Arabia. The nominate subspecies Gazella gazella gazella occurs in

Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is fairly common in the northern

half of the country, south to the Judean hills.

The words Gazelle and Gazella derive from the Arabic Ghazzal or

Ghazal, the name for these animals.

90. Araba (Arava) Gazelle, Common Arabian Gazelle, Idmi or Edmi

(Gazella gazella cora, Hamilton Smith 1827) and the Desert Arabian

Gazelle (Gazella gazella acaciae, Mendelssohn, Groves and Shalmon

1997) and the Saudi Arabian or Farasan Island Gazelle (Gazella arabica,

Lichtenstein 1827):

The Arabian Gazelle Gazella gazella cora was formerly found in the

northern Wadi Araba (Hatseva), but is now known only from the

southern Wadi Araba (Yotvata), Palestine.

91. Naqab (Negev) Gazelle, Dorcas Gazelle, Afri (Gazella dorcas,

Linnaeus 1758) and (Gazella dorcas isabella, Gray 1846):

The Dorcas Gazelle is distributed in North and East Africa, Sinai and

Arabia. In Palestine, it inhabits the western side of the Dead Sea and the

southern half of the country.

92. Arabian Sand Gazelle, Goitered Gazelle, Rhim or Rheem (Gazella

subgutturosa marica, Thomas 1897) [Type from Ibri, Najd Desert, Saudi

Arabia]:

The Goitered Gazelle ranges from the Arabian Peninsula, west through

Russian Turkestan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to Tibet and

Mongolia. A specimen at the Berlin Zoological Museum is from El

Katrana (Harrison, 1968). A specimen at the Philadelphia Zoological

Gardens came from 160 km. southeast of Hibar. A skull was reported

from Safawi (H 5 station) in 1950, and another from Qa‘a Dhuweila in

September 1983 (Amr and Disi, 1988). A specimen is available at the

Berlin Zoological Museum from Al Busayta in northern Saudi Arabia

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

43


Order: LAGOMORPHA (Hares, Rabbits and Pikas):

Family: Leporidae (Hares and Rabbits):

93. Syrian Hare (Lepus capensis syriacus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg

1833):

The Cape or Common Hare is very widespread, polymorphous and

clinal, ranging across Europe, northern Asia, Asia Minor, Arabia, and

Africa as far south as South Africa. The Syrian subspecies Lepus

capensis syriacus is known from Lebanon, Syria, northern Jordan and

Palestine, where it is common in the northern half of the country, south

almost to Kiryat Gat. Part of a cline, it may intergrade with other races

to the south.

94. Philistine Hare (Lepus capensis philistinus):

The Philistine subspecies Lepus capensis philistinus is found in the

southern coastal plain between Qedma and Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).

It may intergrade with Lepus capensis syriacus to the north and Lepus

capensis sinaiticus to the south. The Holotype is deposited in the

Zoological Museum of Tel Aviv University. Type locality is from

Qedma, Philistine coastal plain, Palestine. It was named philistinus after

the region in which it is found.

A Hare at Areeha (Jericho), Palestine in 2006. Photograph by Mr. Imad

Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.

44


95. Arabian Hare (Lepus capensis arabicus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg

1833) [Type from Qunfidha, South of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Valid

subspecies] and the Palestine or Judean Hare (Lepus capensis judeae,

Gray 1867) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 20: 222. Type from Ain

Fashkhah, Palestine. Synonym of Lepus capensis arabicus] :

The Arabian Hare is distributed in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

and Palestine, where it is rare and confined to the southern Wadi Araba

(Bir Hindis). Yom-Tov (1967) listed Lepus capensis arabicus from

Eilat. Atallah (1977) reassigned Lepus capensis sinaiticus and Lepus

capensis judeae in Palestine as synonyms of Lepus capensis arabicus.

Harrison and Bates (1991) retain Lepus capensis sinaiticus for southern

Palestine.

96. Egyptian Hare (Lepus capensis aegyptius, Desmarest 1822):

The Egyptian Hare was recorded in Jordan Valley, Wadi Araba, and

Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).

97. Sinai Hare (Lepus capensis sinaiticus, Ehrenberg in Hemprich and

Ehrenberg 1833) [Type from Jebel Musa, near Mount Sinai, Sinai

Peninsula. Perhaps a valid subspecies in Sinai and Naqab (Negev)

deserts]:

The Sinai Hare is known from eastern Sinai and the southern half of

Palestine, generally south of the 100 isohyte line. It may intergrade with

the Philistine Hare to the north.

Order: RODENTIA (Rodents or Gnawing Mammals):

Family: Sciuridae (Squirrels and Marmots):

98. Syrian Squirrel, Persian Squirrel, Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus

anomalus syriacus, Ehrenberg 1828) [Type from Lebanon Mountains.

Valid subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus in southern Turkey, Syria,

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine]:

The Caucasian Squirrel is widespread in Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.

The Syrian subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus is known from

southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was

found in northern Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century, and was

thought to be extirpated, but in 1967, it was rediscovered in Wadi Assal,

several kilometers from Dan at the foot of Mount Hermon. It is also

known from the occupied Golan Heights.

45


Family: Hystricidae (Porcupines):

99. Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica, Kerr 1792) and the

Palestine Crested Porcupine (Hystrix hirsutirostris aharonii, Müller

1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 123. Type from

Emmaus, Palestine. Synonym] and (Hystrix hirsutirostris schmidtzi,

Müller 1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 126. Type from

Ain Dschuheijir, northwestern Dead Sea, Palestine. Synonym]:

The Indian Crested Porcupine is distributed in India, Iran, Iraq, Syria

and southern Arabia. In Palestine, it is fairly common throughout the

country.

Family: Capromyidae (Coypus):

100. Nutria or Coypu (Myocastor coypus, Molina 1782):

The Nutria or Coypu is a large rodent, with partially webbed hind feet

and a rather bare cylindrical tail. It is amphibious and inhabits marshes,

ponds and rivers. A native of central and southern South America, it was

introduced into Palestine, for the purpose of fur farming, but some

escaped or were set free, and are now feral in the Huleh and Beit Shean

Valleys, coastal plain (Ma‘agan Michael, Ma‘ayan Zvi, Alexander

River) and in the Naqab Desert (Ein Yahav) (Ferguson, 2002).

Family: Cricetidae (Hamsters):

101. Syrian Gray Hamster (Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens, Wagner

1848):

The Gray Hamster is distributed in Greece, eastwards through Asia

Minor, Arabia, southern Russia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus,

Transcaucasia, Russian Turkestan, Chinese Turkestan, Iran,

Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and southwest Siberia. The Syrian

subspecies Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens is known from Syria,

Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, where it reaches the southern limit of its

range in the northern half of the country, on Mount Hermon, the

occupied Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and the Mediterranean region.

102. Syrian Hamster, Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus,

Waterhouse 1839) [Type from Aleppo, Syria]:

The Syrian Hamster is distributed in Rumania and Bulgaria,

southwestern republics of the U.S.S.R., Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon

46


and Palestine. Tristram (1884) reported seeing this species in northern

Palestine. Aharoni (1930) reported that this species is known from

Metullah, and later (1932) listed three specimens collected by Siehe at

Mersina (southern Lebanon). A specimen at the Hebrew University of

Jerusalem is from Qiryat Saide (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

Family: Arvicolidae (Voles, Lemmings and Muskrats):

103. Syrian Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris hintoni, Aharoni 1932):

The Water Vole is distributed in Eurasia, Asia Minor and northern

Arabia. The Syrian subspecies Arvicola terrestris hintoni is known from

Asia Minor, Turkey (Lake Antioch). In Palestine, its presence is a

mystery. It has been reported as common near the Banias, but the only

specimens known are skulls found in owl pellets in the vicinity of Lake

Huleh at Yessod Hama‘ale and near Melaha.

104. Hermon Snow Vole (Microtus nivalis hermonis, Miller 1908) [Ann.

Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 1: 103. Type from Mount Hermon, Palestine.

Valid subspecies].

The Snow Vole is distributed in Europe, southwestern Turkestan, Iran,

Asia Minor and northwestern Arabia. The Hermon subspecies Microtus

nivalis hermonis is known from Lebanon and Palestine, where it is

found on Mount Hermon from 1,650 m. to just under 2,000 m. above sea

level.

105. Mediterranean Vole, Günther‘s Social Vole, Levant Vole (Microtus

socialis guentheri, Danford and Alston 1880) and the Philistine Vole

(Microtus philistinus, Thomas 1917) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 19:

450. Type from Ekron, Palestine. Synonym of Microtus guentheri]:

The Mediterranean Vole is distributed in Greece, Asia Minor to northern

Arabia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Libya. The subspecies Microtus

socialis guentheri is found in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine,

where it is widespread throughout the northern half of the country, south

to Mishmar HaNegev.

The occurrence of Günther‘s Social Vole in Palestine was first

discovered not in Palestine, but in the British Museum in London, when

a specimen of the snake Caelepeltis lacertina, collected by Tristram in

1863 on the Plain of Gennesaret, was found to contain a perfect

specimen of Günther‘s Social Vole in its stomach.

47


Family: Spalacidae (Blind Mole Rats):

106. Palestine or Jaffa Mole Rat, Greater Mole Rat, Blind Mole Rat

(Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) or (Spalax leucodon

ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., (for

1897), p. 178, pl. 2. Type from Jaffa, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Greater Mole Rat is distributed in Libya, Egypt and Sinai, eastern

Europe, Asia Minor, southern Russia and Arabia. The Palestinian

subspecies Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi is known from Iraq,

Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread on Mount

Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights, from the Galilee to the northern

Naqab Desert. Four sibling species (chromosomal forms) interbreed and

hybridize in Palestine.

A Palestine Mole Rat at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2008. Photograph by

Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife

Society.

Family: Gerbillidae (Gerbils, Jirds and Sand Rats):

107. Arabian Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani arduus,

Cheesman and Hinton 1924) and Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus

cheesmani, Thomas 1919):

The Cheesman‘s Gerbil is distributed in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and

Iran. Qumsiyeh (1996) collected four specimens of Cheesman‘s Gerbil

from near Disi in Wadi Rum, Jordan. The species is known from 30 km.

west of Badanah, and 5 km. west of Turaif, both in northern Saudi

48


Arabia, close to the Jordanian border. The species may occur in the

Naqab Desert.

108. Wagner‘s Gerbil, Rough-tailed Dipodil (Gerbillus dasyurus,

Wagner 1842) and (Gerbillus dasyurus dasyuroides, Nehring 1901)

[Type from the mountains of Moab, Jordan. Perhaps a valid subspecies]:

The Wagner‘s Gerbil is distributed in Arabia, Egypt (Sinai) and possibly

Africa. It is known from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine,

where it is found in the southern half of the country, from the northwest

end of the Dead Sea and south from Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).

109. Lehmann‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus dasyurus leosollicitus, von Lehmann

1966):

The Lehmann‘s Gerbil is known from Syria and probably Lebanon. In

Palestine, it is found in the northern half of the country, from Upper

Galilee (Rosh Hanikra), Mount Carmel (Haifa), the coastal plain (Wadi

Ara), and the Judean Hills (Jerusalem).

110. Lesser Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus, Olivier 1801) and the

Asyut Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis, Setzer 1960):

The Lesser Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in Africa, from Egypt

eastwards to Iraq and Iran, south through the Arabian Peninsula and

Sinai (Nabeq). The Asyut subspecies Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis is

known from Upper Egypt (southeast of Asyut, Eastern Desert). In

Palestine, it has been recorded from the northwestern Naqab Desert, and

is slightly larger in Wadi Araba.

111. Greater Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus pyramidum, E. Geoffroy St.-

Hilaire 1803) and (Gerbillus pyramidum floweri, Thomas 1919) [Type

from Wadi Hareidin, South of Al Arish, northern Sinai. Valid subspecies

in Palestine]:

The Greater Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in North Africa, from

Morocco eastwards to Egypt, and southwards to Asben and Sudan, and

northwestern Arabia. The subspecies Gerbillus pyramidum floweri is

known from the northern Sinai Desert (south of Al Arish) and Palestine,

where there is a morphologically indistinguishable chromosomal cline

from the northern Naqab Desert, up the coastal plain to Holon. An

allopatric population is found as far north as Akka (Acre).

112. Baluchistan Gerbil (Gerbillus nanus arabium, Thomas 1918):

49


The Baluchistan Gerbil is distributed in Baluchistan, Arabia and Egypt.

The subspecies Gerbillus nanus arabium is known from northwestern

Arabia, southwestern Iraq, Oman, South Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,

Egypt (Sinai), Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread in the Naqab

Desert, from the southern end of the Dead Sea (Sdom), south through

Wadi Araba to Eilat.

113. Pygmy Dipodil, Henley‘s Gerbil, Pygmy Gerbil (Gerbillus henleyi,

de Winton 1903) and (Gerbillus henleyi mariae, Bonhote 1909):

The Pygmy Gerbil is distributed in the North African Sahara, from

Algeria through Libya, Egypt and northwestern Arabia. The subspecies

Gerbillus henleyi mariae is known from Sinai, Jordan and Palestine,

where it has been found in the northern and central Naqab Desert,

practically to Eilat.

114. Anderson‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni, de Winton 1902) and

(Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei, Thomas 1919):

The Anderson‘s Gerbil is distributed in Libya, Egypt, Jordan and

Palestine. The subspecies Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei is found in the

northern coastal plain of Sinai, Jordan and Palestine, where it occurs in

the southern coastal plain and northwestern Naqab Desert. It intergrades

with Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi between Ashkelon and Kerem

Shalom.

115. Allenby‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi, Thomas 1918)

[Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 9, 2: 146. Type from Rehobot, near Jaffa,

Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Allenby‘s Gerbil is endemic in Palestine, where it is confirmed to

the narrow littoral zone of the Mediterranean, from Haifa south to

Ashkelon, where it intergrades with the more richly coloured Gerbillus

andersoni bonhotei.

116. Bushy-tailed Jird (Sekeetamys [Meriones] calurus, Thomas 1892):

The Bushy-tailed Jird is distributed in eastern Egypt, Sinai, Jordan and

Palestine, where it inhabits the western side of the Dead Sea, south

through the eastern and southern Naqab Desert, as far as Eilat.

117. Tristram‘s Jird (Meriones tristrami, Thomas 1892) [Ann. Mag. Nat.

Hist. ser. 6, 9: 148. Type from the Dead Sea region, Palestine]:

50


The Tristram‘s Jird is distributed in Asia Minor, Iran, Iraq, Syria,

Turkey, Lebanon, Sinai (Al Arish), and Palestine, where the subspecies

Meriones tristrami tristrami is common in the north in the valleys, and

less common on the mountains and the coastal plain.

118. Tristram‘s Syrian Jird (Meriones tristrami bodenheimeri, Aharoni

1932):

The Tristram‘s Syrian Jird is known from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine,

where it is found on the occupied Golan Heights.

119. Tristram‘s Desert Jird (Meriones tristrami deserti):

The Tristram‘s Desert Jird is a previously unrecognized subspecies of

Tristram‘s Jird, and inhabits the northern Naqab Desert, and the northern

coast of the Sinai Desert. The Type locality is 5 km. south of Bi‘er Al-

Sabe‘e (Beersheba). It was deposited in the Zoological Museum of Tel

Aviv University. Body Measurements: Head and body 107-138 mm.; tail

98-138 mm.; hind foot 29-30 mm.; ear 17-18 mm.; length of skull 39+

mm.; tympanic bullae 12.5-14 mm. The upper parts are pale sandy-fawn

with little red or black; the under parts are white. The tail has a blackish

tip.

120. Vinogradov's Jird (Meriones vinogradovi, Heptner 1931):

The Vinogradov's Jird was recorded from Gaza, Palestine.

121. Libyan Jird (Meriones libycus, Lichtenstein 1823) and (Meriones

libycus syrius, Thomas 1919):

The Libyan Jird ranges from Libya, Egypt, Arabia, and southwestern

Asia to Azerbaijan SSR and Pakistan. It has been reported from areas

east of the Rift Valley in Jordan. The species was first reported from

Beersheba and Nahr Al Rubin (near Jaffa) (Aharoni, 1932). However,

these records actually belong to Meriones sacramenti (Zahavi and

Wahrman, 1957). The species was also reported from northern Sinai at

Bir Lehfan (14 km. south of Al Arish) (Wassif, 1954).

122. Sundevall‘s Jird, Silky Jird, Sand Jird, Gentle Jird (Meriones

crassus, Sundevall 1843):

The Sundevall‘s Jird is distributed in North Africa from Morocco, east

to Egypt and south to Asben and Sudan, throughout Arabia, Iran,

southern Russian Turkestan, Afghanistan and Waziristan. The typical

subspecies Meriones crassus crassus is known from Egypt (Sinai),

51


Palestine, Jordan, northern and central Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and

Oman. In Palestine, it is found in the southern half of the country, in the

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.

123. Buxton‘s Jird, Palestine or Naqab (Negev) Jird (Meriones

sacramenti, Thomas 1922) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 10: 552. Type

from 10 miles south of Bir As Seba (Beersheba), Palestine] and

(Meriones erythrourus legeri, Aharoni 1932) [Z. Saeugetierkd., 7: 202.

Type from Wadi el Abiad, southwest of Bir As Seba (Beersheba),

Palestine. Synonym]:

The Naqab (Negev) Jird is confined to Palestine, where there are two

populations, a slightly larger one in the coastal plain as far north as the

Yarkon River, and the other population is from the Naqab Desert (area

of Beersheba).

124. Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus, Cretzschmar 1828) and the

Palestine Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus terraesanctae, Thomas

1902) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 7, 9: 363. Type from the Dead Sea

region, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Fat Sand Rat is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria to Egypt,

south to Sudan and east across Arabia. The Palestinian subspecies

Psammomys obesus terraesanctae occurs in Sinai, Syria, Jordan and

Palestine, where it is found north and west of the Dead Sea, the central

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, from south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e

(Beersheba) to Yotvata.

Family: Dipodidae (Jerboas, Birch Mice, Jumping Mice):

125. Greater Egyptian Jerboa, Oriental Jerboa (Jaculus orientalis,

Erxleben 1777):

The Greater Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in North Africa, Algeria,

Tunis, Libya, Egypt and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the

northern Naqab Desert (northeast of Beersheba) and western Judean

Desert (Arad).

126. Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Thomas‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa,

Muscat Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus vocator, Thomas 1921):

The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in southwestern Iran, Arabian

Peninsula, North Africa and the Sinai Desert. The Muscat subspecies

Jaculus jaculus vocator occurs in southeastern Syria, eastern Jordan,

52


Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Palestine, where it occurs in Wadi Araba and

may penetrate the southern Jordan Valley.

127. Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Sinai Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus

jaculus macrotarsus, Wagner 1843):

The Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern

Iran, Arabia, North Africa, Sinai and Palestine, where the Sinai

subspecies Jaculus jaculus macrotarsus is found in the northwestern

Naqab Desert.

128. Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Palestine or Jaffa Lesser

Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus schlueteri, Nehring 1901) [Schriften Berl. Ges.

Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 163. Type from the coastal region south of Jaffa,

Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern

Iran, Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. The Palestinian or the Jaffa

subspecies Jaculus jaculus schlueteri is found along the southern coast

of Palestine, as far north as Jaffa. It may intergrade with Jaculus jaculus

macrotarsus in the northwestern Naqab and Sinai Deserts.

Family: Gliridae (Dormice):

129. Sinai Dormouse, Levant Garden Dormouse, Southwest Asian

Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus melanurus, Wagner 1839):

The Levant Garden Dormouse lives in Europe and Asia. The Sinai

subspecies Eliomys quercinus melanurus is known from Asia Minor,

Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Sinai and perhaps Africa. In Palestine, it

occurs on Mount Hermon, the Huleh Valley (Dan) and the Naqab Desert

(Wadi Naphekh).

130. Golan Dormouse, Sooty Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus

fuscus).

The Sooty Garden Dormouse lives in the occupied Golan Heights and

Jordan. The Holotype is deposited at the Zoological Museum of Tel

Aviv University. Type locality is Bab El Hawa, Golan Heights. It was

named after its sooty colour.

131. Turkish Forest Dormouse (Dryomys nitedula phrygius, Thomas

1907):

53


The Forest Dormouse is widespread across southeast Europe, Asia

Minor, and Arabia and as far east as India. The Turkish subspecies

Dryomys nitedula phrygius is known from Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine

and probably Lebanon. In Palestine, it occurs only in Upper Galilee.

Family: Muridae (Rats and Mice):

132. Broad-toothed Field Mouse, Big Levantine Field Mouse, Rock

Mouse (Apodemus mystacinus, Danford and Alston 1877):

The Rock Mouse is distributed in Greece, Yugoslavia, Crete, Iraq,

Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, where the Turkish subspecies Apodemus

mystacinus mystacinus is found in the northernmost part of the country

on Mount Hermon, in Upper Galilee, the Huleh Valley, an allopatric

population on Mount Carmel, and south to the Judean hills (Jerusalem).

133. Wood Mouse, Common Field Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis,

Melchior 1834) and the Persian Wood Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis

arianus, Blanford 1881) and the Hermon Wood Mouse (Apodemus

flavicollis hermonensis, Filippucci, Simson and Nevo 1989):

The Wood Mouse lives in most of the western Palearctic region

including all of Europe. The species was reported from the ―plains of

Palestine‖ (Tristram, 1884). No specific localities were given by

Tristram or subsequently by Bodenheimer (1935, 1958). Specimens at

the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are from Masada North, Moza,

Sasa, and Horshat Ha‘arbaim (Horshat Tel). Specimens at the Museum

of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (Cambridge,

Massachusetts) were obtained from Shiba, Rasheya, and Ain Hersha in

southern Lebanon (Allen, 1915). Filippucci, Simson and Nevo (1989)

reported on populations in Galilee, Mount Hermon, and Tel Arad.

134. Mount Hermon Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus iconicus,

Heptner 1952):

The species is distributed in Iceland, Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and

North Africa. The Mount Hermon subspecies Apodemus sylvaticus

iconicus occurs in Asia Minor, northern Iraq, northwest Syria, Lebanon

and Palestine, where it is found in the northern part of the country, at the

base of Mount Hermon, Upper Galilee and Mount Carmel.

135. Yellow-necked Field Mouse, Long-tailed Field Mouse (Apodemus

flavicollis argyropuloi, Heptner 1948):

54


The species lives in Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and Asia. The

Armenian subspecies Apodemus flavicollis argyropuloi is known from

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is found only in the north,

on Mount Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights and Mount Carmel.

136. Alpine Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus chorassanicus, Goodwin

1940):

The Alpine Field Mouse lives in the western Palearctic region, Iceland,

Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. The Apodemus sylvaticus

chorassanicus is a pale coloured form, inhabiting rocky mountain slopes

above the tree line. There is no reason to consider the alpine form on

Mount Hermon as different from the alpine form in Iran, unless the two

are shown to be different (Ferguson, 2002).

137. House Mouse (Mus musculus, Linnaeus 1758) and the Syrian

House Mouse (Mus musculus praetextus, Brants 1827) and the Gaza or

Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus gazaensis Khalaf, 2007) [The

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 66, June 2007, Jamada Al-Ulla

1428 AH. pp. 14-24. Type from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip,

Palestine]:

The House Mouse is Cosmopolitan. The Syrian subspecies Mus

musculus praetextus is known from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan,

Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Sinai). In Palestine, it is found mostly in

cities and settlements throughout the country.

138. Egyptian House Mouse (Mus musculus gentilis, Brants 1827):

The Egyptian House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the

Naqab Desert.

139. Oriental House Mouse (Mus musculus orientalis, Cretzschmar

1826):

The Oriental House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the

Naqab Desert.

140. Macedonian Common Mouse, Wild Mouse, Short-tailed Mouse

(Mus macedonicus, Petrov and Ruzic 1983):

The Macedonian Common Mouse is distributed in Yugoslavia, Greece,

Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus and Palestine, where it is found in the

Mediterranean Zone.

55


141. Porcupine Mouse, Common Spiny Mouse, Egyptian Spiny Mouse,

Cairo Spiny Mouse, Sinai Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus,

Cretzschmar 1826-1827):

The Porcupine Mouse ranges from southern Iran, southern Asia Minor

and Cyprus, Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, southern Algeria, south to

Tanzania, and west to Niger. In Palestine, the Sinai subspecies Acomys

cahirinus dimidiatus is widespread from Galilee to the coastal plain,

Mount Carmel, the southern Judean hills (around Jerusalem), near the

Dead Sea, and the Naqab Desert.

142. Southern Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus homericus, Thomas

1923):

The Southern Spiny Mouse occurs mainly in southern Arabia and Oman,

but apparently is distributed in a kind of mosaic, influenced by the dark

substrate of soil and rocks. In Palestine, it is found on the occupied

Golan Heights (near Kibbutz Sneer).

143. Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus, Wagner 1840) and the

Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus harrisoni, Atallah

1970) [Univ. Conn. Occas. Pap. Biol. Sci. Ser., 1(4): 202. Type from

half a km south of Qumran Caves, near Ain Faschkha, West Bank of

Jordan, Palestine. Perhaps a valid subspecies] and the Jordanian Golden

Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus lewisi, Atallah 1967) [J. Mammal., 48:

258. Type from 3 km northwest of Azraq Shishan, Jordan. Valid

subspecies]:

The Golden Spiny Mouse is distributed in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia,

Yemen and Palestine, where the Sinai subspecies Acomys russatus

russatus is found from the western side of the Dead Sea (Ain Faschkha),

south through the Naqab Desert to Eilat. The Palestinian subspecies

Acomys russatus harrisoni was described by the Palestinian Zoologist

Dr. Sana Issa Atallah (1970) from the western shore of the Dead Sea.

Harrison (1972) notes that ―the status of the population on the west

shore of the Dead Sea in Israel is uncertain, possibly representing

Acomys russatus harrisoni.‖ He also states that ―the material available is

scarcely adequate to assess the full degree of individual variation in the

species.‖ The distinctive characters of Acomys russatus harrisoni, of

smaller size and paler colour, are based on only two specimens. Atallah

(1970) found the Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse on steep rock slides in

semi-arid areas near the Dead Sea at Ain Faschkha, where it is strictly

diurnal, with peaks of activity in the morning and evening. Acomys

56


ussatus lewisi was found along the edge of the basalt desert, where it

adjoins a rocky limestone plateau, as well as in gardens around human

habitations (Atallah, 1967). The Jordanian Golden Spiny Mouse occurs

northwest of Azraq Shishan in the Syrian Desert, and was also noted by

Atallah (1967) from Azraq ed Druz. Body Measurements: Head and

body 100-115 mm.; ear 13-18 mm.; hind foot 15-19 mm.; tail 57-75

mm. (Ferguson, 2002).

144. Common Rat, House Rat, Black Rat, Ship Rat (Rattus rattus,

Linnaeus 1758) and the Alexandrian House Rat (Rattus rattus

alexandrinus, E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1803) and the Arabian House Rat

(Rattus rattus flaviventris, Brants 1827):

The Common Rat originates from Asia Minor and the Orient; it has

spread throughout the World, and is most common in warm countries.

The subspecies Rattus rattus rattus is found in Lebanon, Palestine,

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain. In Palestine, it occurs

throughout the country, wherever there is human habitation.

145. Brown Rat, Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus, Berkenhaut 1769) and

the Egyptian Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus maniculatus, Wagner 1848):

The Brown Rat originates from Japan and the Far East, and it has spread

throughout the World. The typical race is found in Iraq, Lebanon,

Bahrain and Palestine, where it has established itself in the port cities,

from Haifa and Jaffa to Eilat.

146. Palestine Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat (Nesokia indica bacheri,

Nehring 1897) [Zool. Anz., 547: 503. Type from Ghor es Safi, Holy

Land. Valid subspecies]:

The Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat is distributed in Egypt, Syria, northern

Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, western Pakistan, northern India,

Russian and Chinese Turkestan. The Palestinian subspecies Nesokia

indica bacheri is known only from Jordan (southeast of the Dead Sea),

and from Palestine, where it occurs in Sdom and Ein Bedda, the Naqab

Desert (Ein Avdat), Wadi Araba (Ein Yahav) to Eilat.

Introduced and Domesticated Mammals:

147. Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus, Linnaeus 1758):

57


Rabbits most likely were domesticated from their wild ancestors by

early Romans, probably in the Iberian Peninsula. In Palestine, as in

many other parts of the world, they are used for both food and pelts.

148. Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus, Linnaeus 1758):

Guinea pigs are South American rodents that were domesticated for

meat and pelts at least 3000 years ago. Unlike the nutria, the time since

domestication and the way guinea pigs are reared in captivity would

probably prevent any establishment of feral populations. Guinea pigs

give birth to one to four young following a gestation period of about 2

months. They have been known to live 8 years in captivity. Domestic

guinea pigs have been used for research since the 18 th century

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

Our Black and White Cat ―Tussy‖ with my book ―Fauna Palaestina

Part Two‖ at our home in Al Nahda 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Photo by the author. 08.06.2013.

149. Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris, Schreber 1777 = Felis catus,

Linnaeus 1758):

Morphologic and genetic studies suggest that all the domestic and wild

cats in Europe, Asia, and Africa belong to a single variable species, Felis

58


silvestris. The divergence of the European (Felis silvestris silvestris) and

north African forms (Felis silvestris libyca) probably occurred some

20,000 years ago. Domestication was most likely first established in

northern Africa (?Egypt) some 5000-10,000 years ago. In Egypt, cats

were considered sacred and their mummies have been discovered

entombed with Kings and other royalties.

Domestic cats, called Felis catus by Linnaeus in 1758, most probably

originated from the North African Felis silvestris libyca. Genetic

evidence suggests that divergence time was about 5000 years ago.

Because of the many wild habits of domestic cats, including the ability

to return to and survive in the wild, many do not believe that cats were

ever truly ―domesticated‖. As is true of many other places, feral cats are

known from the Holy Land (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

150. Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris, Linnaeus 1758):

People befriended dog ancestors in the Near East at least 12,000 years

ago. In Egypt, hounds were probably used to hunt gazelles at least 3000

years ago. If one considers the dog as an extension of its ancestor, the

wolf, then perhaps this association with humans is much more ancient.

We still marvel at the early events associated with transforming the

feared competitor of humans to a trusted ally. Wolf pups can be raised as

―tame‖ and friendly animals; this is not unusual among Alaskan

Eskimos. The actual domestication process is difficult to trace and

probably took place independently in many parts of the World, where

humans and wolves coexisted during the last ice age (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

Feral and domestic dogs are present around human habitations

throughout Palestine. There appear to be several breeds, of which the

true Pariah Dog is still half-wild (Tristram, 1866; Bodenheimer, 1958).

Several breeds (Greyhound, Saluki, and Tazi) were known to be used by

Bedouin for gazelle hunting. These highly inbred strains are still the

common breeds seen around the camps of the Bedouin. In villages, the

Sheep Dog is more often used. According to Bodenheimer, these breeds

are all descended from the Pariah Dog.

Feral dogs are common in Palestine, and may interbreed with wolves.

Attacks on domestic animals by groups of feral dogs are sometimes

ascribed to wolves by the locals (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

151. Horse (Equus caballus, Linnaeus 1758):

The ancestors of the horse have all gone the path of extinction. Only one

wild form remains in the Mongolian steppes, Przewalski‘s horse (Equus

59


caballus przewalskii). Tristram (1866) mentions that east of the Jordan

River he and others with him saw only purebred Arabian horses. West of

the river, such horses were only in the possession of ―Sheikhs and

wealthy men‖. Today, as then, the horse is more a symbol of wealth and

sport rather than a practical beast of burden in the Holy Land. Equus is

Latin for horse, and caballus is Latin for a pack horse or domestic horse

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

152. Ass, Donkey (Equus asinus, Linnaeus 1758):

The North African Wild Ass (Equus africanus, synonym Equus asinus)

is the ancestor of the domestic ass or donkey. Domestic and wild asses

will interbreed and produce fertile hybrids. Although domestic asses can

be seen everywhere in Palestine, there is no evidence that the wild form

was present there. Domestication probably occurred in northern Africa

(perhaps Egypt). As Tristram (1866) observed, this is the most common

beast of burden in Palestine. Even today with motor vehicles common

everywhere, asses still are used in remote areas for transport, especially

along difficult mountain passes.

In captivity, domestic horses and asses interbreed but their hybrid is

sterile. A mule is a hybrid produced by a male ass (jackass) and a female

horse (mare). A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (stallion) and a

female ass (jenny). The hybrids are useful because they combine

characteristics of both species. Hybrids were depicted in Egyptian tomb

paintings at about 1400 BC. The word asinus is Latin for an ass

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

153. Domestic Pig (Sus scrofa, Linnaeus 1758 = Sus domesticus,

Erxleben 1777):

The domestic pig is still very close to its wild ancestor and as such does

not justify the use of the Latin name Sus domesticus. In Palestine, the

wild pig is still common. There is evidence of domestication or at least

interference by humans in excavations at Areeha (Jericho) dated at

8000-7000 years BC. A few domestic pigs are raised in Palestine for

meat. They are raised in villages and towns where Christian populations

predominated (for example: Al Nasira (Nazereth), Ramallah, Bethlehem,

Beit Sahur, Beit Jala) (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

60


154. Dromedary or Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedarius, Linnaeus

1758):

The Dromedary Camel (Order Artiodactyla, Family Camelidae) no

longer exists in the wild anywhere. The oldest records of wild camels in

Palestine come from the Upper Paleolithic, some 35,000 years ago. They

were probably domesticated some 3500 years ago in areas outside the

Holy Land. The camel, weighing more than 700 kg., is used as the main

beast of burden in deserts from Africa to China. Camels can travel with

a heavy load for up to 40 km. a day, and have been known to live in

captivity for 25 to 30 years. Camels give birth to one (unusually two)

young following a gestation period of 11 months. In Palestine and

Jordan, camels are encountered commonly in the deserts of the Naqab

(Negev), Wadi Araba, and east Jordan, where their population is

probably around 30,000 according to FAO yearbook data for 1976.

Camelus is Latin for camel. The word dromedarius is derived from the

Greek dromas, meaning running (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

155. Cattle, Cows (Bos taurus, Linnaeus 1758) and (Bos indicus,

Linnaeus 1758):

The Aurochs (Bos primigenius, Bojanus 1827) was the progenitor of

domestic cattle in many parts of the World. Even though the aurochs is

known in prehistoric and historic sites in Palestine, it apparently was not

domesticated here. Rather, domesticated cattle were probably first

imported to Palestine from the east. Domestic cattle were known in

Palestine for thousands of years. Cattle were especially plentiful near the

coast. For example, the Bible states that ―Shitrai the Sharonite had

charge of the cattle which were grazing in Sharon‖ (1 Chronicles, 27:

29). Cattle were still reared extensively, especially in the southern

regions of Palestine and in eastern Jordan, at the time of Tristram (1866)

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

156. Buffalo, Indian Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis, Linnaeus 1758):

The domestic water buffalo is descended from the wild Indian water

buffalo (Bubalus arnee, Kerr 1792). The latter is now rare in the wild

and found only in localized areas of Nepal and Southeast Asia. Water

buffalo were reared extensively in the Ghor and the Jordan Valley at the

time of Tristram (1866), where they replaced cattle as the work and food

animal. Tristram also indicated that buffalo were used by the Bedouins

of Beni Sakhr and others in the forested regions of Bashan. With

increased aridity and drainage of swamps, the numbers of water buffalo

61


declined. The remnant populations in the Hula Basin were decimated in

the 1950s. Other beasts of burden and then mechanized agriculture

replaced this large animal. The scientific name is based on the Greek

boubalos, a buffalo (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

157. Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries, Linnaeus 1758):

The ancestor of the domestic sheep was probably the Asiatic mouflon,

Ovis orientalis, Gmelin 1774. Tristram (1866) mentions the two

varieties of sheep raised in Palestine: the bigger one rose in the north,

and a smaller, broad-tailed southern form (which he called laticaudata).

Ovis is Latin for a sheep, and aries is Latin for a ram (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

158. Domestic Goats (Capra hircus, Linnaeus 1758):

Goats were thought to be first domesticated in Persia some 10,000 years

ago. Wild goats are hardy animals adapted to harsh conditions on

mountain slopes and hills. One such species, Capra aegagrus, Erxleben

1777, was thus easily transformed to a useful domestic animal having

little maintenance cost. The wild goat or ibex, Capra ibex, is a

successful inhabitant of mountains in Palestine. Tristram (1866)

mentions the abundance of domestic goats as a food source in Palestine.

The goat variety used is the black Syrian breed (which Tristram calls

Capra mambrica L.). The goat gives birth to one to three (unusually

more) young following a gestation period of 5-6 months. Goats may live

to 10-15 years in captivity (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

62


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Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1992). An Introduction to the

Animal Life in Palestine. Gazelle. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number

30, Tenth Year, October 1992. pp. 1-7. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1994). An Introduction to the

Animal Life in Palestine. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n (Anemone coronaria). A

72


Quarterly Magazine Issued by the Program EAI (Education for

Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental Education / Children

for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of General and Higher

Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan 1994. pp. 16-21. (in

Arabic).

Acquaintance Card: Majallet Al-Ghazzal (Gazelle Magazine): The

Palestinian Biological Bulletin, Bonn, Germany. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n

(Anemon corinaria). A Quarterly Magazine Issued by the Program EAI

(Education for Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental

Education / Children for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of

General and Higher Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan

1994. pp. 51-52. (in Arabic).

Khalaf, Ali (1997). Fennec. Magazin der Akademie. Nummer 1. Zu

Elkeda 1417 H, Maerz 1997. Koenig Fahad Akademie – Bonn, Bonn-

Bad Godesberg, Deutschland. (in Englisch).

Khalaf, Norman Ali (2001). Foxes of Palestine.

www.geocities.com/ali_porsche2000/fox.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). A Palestinian Zoologist: Dr. Sana

Issa Atallah. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home

Page. Environmental Affairs 2 and Dinosaurs.

http://gazelle.8m.net/custom3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Extinct and Endangered

Animals in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin

Home Page. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). Threatened Mammals. In: Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Extinct and Endangered

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Syrian Bear. In: Gazelle: The

Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Mesopotamian or Persian

Fallow Deer. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin

Homepage. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). Wild Cats in Palestine. In: Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. / Gazelle: Das

Palästinensische Biologische Bulletin Webseite. (ISSN 0178-6288).

http://gazelle.8m.net/contact.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). Leopards in Palestine. In: Gazelle:

73


The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage.

http://gazelle.8m.net/whats_new.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Asiatic or Persian Lion

(Panthera leo persica) in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin Homepage. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Mustelids of Palestine. In:

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Mammals in

Palestine and the Book ―Mammalia Arabica‖.

http://gazelle.8m.net/catalog.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Common Weasel. In: Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). Gazelle: Das Palästinensische

Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palästina, Arabien

und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between

1983 – 2004. Erste Auflage, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten. Zweite erweiterte

Auflage, August 2004: 460 Seiten. Norman Ali Khalaf, Bonn-Bad

Godesberg, Germany.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gazelle_Bulletin.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). Die Wal Sonderausstellung

"Delphinidae Delphionidae" und "Kleinwale in Nord- und Ostsee" im

Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg,

Federal Republic of Germany. Number 35, Twenty-second Year,

September 2004. pp. 1.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). Der Schweinswal (Phocoena

phocoena) in der Nord- und Ostsee...The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena

phocoena) in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of

Germany. Number 36, Twenty-second Year, October 2004. pp. 1-7.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Thema des Tages (5. Januar

2005): In See gespuelter Indopazifischer Buckeldelfin (Sousa chinensis)

in Thailand nach Tagen gerettet. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 37, Twenty-third

Year, January 2005. pp. 1-3.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Story of Prophet Yunus

(Jonah) and the Whale. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 38, Twenty-third Year,

February 2005. pp. 9-13.

74


Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Jaffa (Yaffa, ‏:(يبفب The History of

an Old Palestinian Arab City on the Mediterranean Sea & The

Andromeda Sea Monster of Jaffa. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 39, Twenty-third

Year, March 2005. pp. 7-8.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Leopards of Palestine.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. Number 41, Twenty-third Year, May 2005. pp. 1-9.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Leopard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Der Arabische Leopard, Panthera

pardus nimr. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates. Number 42. Twenty-third Year. June 2005. pp. 1-8.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Arabischer_Leopard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Aquatica Arabica. An Aquatic

Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980 - 2005.

/ Aquatica Arabica. Eine Aquatische Wissenschaftliche Reise in

Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980 - 2005. Erste Auflage,

August 2005: 376 Seiten. Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-

Hanweiler, Bundesrepublik Deutschland & Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Aquatica_Arabica.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Mammals in Dubai Zoo,

Dubai City, United Arab Emirates. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

bulletin. Number 45, Twenty-third Year, September 2005, Sha‘ban

1426. pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Rafah Zoo in the Rafah

Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine : A Story of Destruction by the

Israeli Occupation Army. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 46, Twenty-third Year, October 2005, Ramadan 1426. pp. 1-11.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (2005). The Qalqilia Zoo and the

Natural History Museum in the City of Qalqilia, West Bank, Occupied

Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47,

Twenty-third Year, November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 1-10. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (Member of PALESTA) (2005).

Palestinian Scientists and Technologists Abroad (PALESTA). Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47, Twenty-third Year,

November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 11-12. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. (in Arabic).

75


Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Arabian Carnivores in the

Arabia‘s Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Desert Park, United Arab Emirates.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 48, Twenty-third

Year, December 2005, Thu Alqi‘da 1426. pp. 1-9. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Der Asiatische oder Persische

Löwe (Panthera leo persica). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 49, Twenty-fourth

Year, January 2006, Thu Alhijja 1426. pp. 1-5.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Loewe.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). A Bryde‘s Whale (Balaenoptera

edeni) Stranding on Al Mamzar Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. Number 50, Twenty-fourth Year, February 2006, Muharram

1427. pp. 1-5. http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Brydes_Mamzar.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). The Sumpters (Animals) of the

Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 51,

Twenty-fourth Year, March 2006, Rabie‘ Alawal 1427. pp. 1-4. (in

Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Felidae Palaestina: The Wild Cats

of Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 52,

Twenty-fourth Year, April 2006, Rabie‘ Althani 1427. pp. 1-15. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Felidae_Palaestina.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Der Asiatische oder Iranische

Gepard (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological

Bulletin. Number 53, Twenty-fourth Year, May 2006, Rabie‘ Althani

1427. pp. 1-7. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Gepard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Die Rohrkatze (Felis chaus).

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 54, Twenty-fourth

Year, June 2006, Jumada Al-Ulla 1427. pp. 1-8. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Rohrkatze.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Mammalia

Palaestina: The Mammals of Palestine. / Die Säugetiere Palästinas.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, Twenty-fourth

Year, July 2006, Jumada Al-Thania 1427. pp. 1-46. Sharjah, United

Arab Emirates.www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina1.html (Part

76


1) & www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina2.html (Part 2) &

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina3.html (References).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Ornithomimid

Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Jerusalem, Palestine. Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth Year,

August 2006. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Dinosaur_Palestine.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Common

Weasel (Mustela nivalis, Linnaeus 1766) in Palestine and the East

Mediterranean Region. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 57, Twenty-fourth Year, September 2006. pp. 1-7. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Weasel_Palestine.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Mustelids

of Palestine. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Mustelid.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Mammalia Arabica. Eine

Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-

2006. / Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia

and Europe between 1980-2006. (Book in preparation, Summer 2006).

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Arabica.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2007). Fauna Palaestina. A Zoological

Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980-2007. / Fauna

Palaestina. Eine Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa

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81


Israel uses the Eland Antelope

(Taurotragus oryx) as a new

front line force to protect the

Israeli-Lebanese border

By: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Two Elands, the largest members of the antelope family, walk along the

border fence separating Israel and Lebanon. Photo: AP. http://elandantelope-israel.webs.com/

Israel Occupation Army (Israel Defense Forces) already uses spy

drones, automated sentry towers, and slew of sophisticated

sensors, to keep watch over its borders. The latest addition to the

arsenal: a group of eight African Eland Antelope (Taurotragus oryx

Pallas, 1766), each weighing nearly 500 kilograms.

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The African Eland antelope have been stationed in the zone

between the high-security Israeli fence and the southern Lebanese

border to clear problematic foliage that distorts views of the

Lebanese side and within which “Hezbo Allah” fighters could

hide and stage an attack on Israeli border guards.

The animals are known for their sharp incisors and fondness for

eating vegetation.

The Eland was first brought to Israeli zoos from eastern Africa in

the 1970s as part of a project to raise them at local zoos before

sending them to zoos in Europe, and a decade ago was

introduced on to army bases to cut down the cost of maintenance.

"They eat huge quantities of weeds, they are the D9 of weeds,"

said Ilan Hagai, of the Israel Nature and National Parks

Protection Authority, referring to the massive bulldozers the IDF

uses to clear “enemy” territory. "They clean problematic areas,

open trails and a view and prevent fires."

Ilan Hagai explained that the capacity of the antelope was already

known, but took about a decade until they were more antelope in

captivity to launch the idea of eliminating the bad herbs that

grow every two years.

Israel's occupation establishment has apparently caught onto the

beasts' impressive ability to quickly chew through large

quantities, as well as the low cost of looking after them and their

environmental-friendliness.

"The elands eat tremendous quantities and do a wonderful job

clearing the weeds at enormous or secret military installations,

and in places where there are ammunition store rooms, where the

fear of fires is greater," says Israeli expert Yossi Ben. "In these

places the elands save on manpower and obviate the need for

spraying chemical herbicides."

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There are now "between 500 and 700 elands" at military bases

throughout Israel, according to the Ha’aretz Newspaper. And it’s

not the Israeli Defense Forces' only four-legged deployment. The

Israel Prison Service uses special microphone and audioprocessing

software to interpret dogs' barks into alarms. And in

addition to the army's elite canine unit, Oketz, IDF infantry units

have also used llamas to transport supplies into Lebanon.

This is not the first time that the IDF has augmented its forces

with animals. Oketz, the combat canine unit, actually predates the

IDF and founded in 1939 as part of the Haganah, the paramilitary

organization that was a precursor to the Jewish State’s current

army.

During the last Lebanon war, the IDF used Llamas to schlep

heavy loads. After extensive tests, the uncomplaining work-horse

animals were found to easily out-perform donkeys. What’s more,

they need refueling only every other day. Military sources said

the Israel Army plans to use llamas for reconnaissance and

combat missions in “enemy” territory, Middle East Newsline

reported. They described the llama as ideal for special operations

missions in Lebanon against the Hezbo Allah. “The llama is a

quiet and disciplined animal that can carry huge loads,” a

military source said. “Vehicles make noise and need roads and

fuel. We’ve tried donkeys and they are not suitable for such

missions.”

The commander, Tal, said that during the last Lebanon war the

Israeli army tried using llamas to carry the heavy loads needed

for combat. But the experiment failed. “They ran right off to the

Hezbollah fighters with our stuff,” Tal says. “We had to shoot

them to keep our things from falling into the hands of Hezbo

Allah.”

84


The Common Eland Antelope

(Taurotragus oryx Pallas, 1766):

The Common Eland (Taurotragus (Tragelaphus) oryx, also known as

the Southern Eland) is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and

Southern Africa.

Description:

The Common Eland is considered, alongside the ironically similarlydimensioned

Giant Eland (Taurotragus derbianus), the largest species of

"antelope", though in many respects the Elands are quite bovine.

Females weigh 300–600 kg (660–1,300 lb), measure 200–280 cm (79–

110 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 125–153 cm (49–

60 in) at the shoulder. Bulls weigh 400–1,000 kg (880–2,200 lb), are

240–345 cm (94–140 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand

150–183 cm (59–72 in) at the shoulder. The tail adds a further 50–90 cm

(20–35 in). Females have a tan coat, while males have a darker tan coat

with a blueish-grey tinge; there may also be a series of white stripes

vertically on the sides of bulls (mainly in parts of the karoo in South

Africa). Males have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap.

Both sexes have horns, about 65 cm (26 in) long and with a steady spiral

ridge (resembling that of the bushbuck). The female's horns are wider set

and thinner than the male's.

Ontogeny and Reproduction:

Gestation Period: 9 months.

Young per Birth: 1

Weaning: After 6 months.

Sexual Maturity: Females at 15-36 months, males at 4-5 years.

Life span: Up to 25 years.

After birth the young lie briefly in concealment before joining a crèche

or nursery with other infants.

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Ecology and Behaviour:

Common Eland live on the open plains of Southern Africa and along the

foothills of the great South African plateau. They eat grass, branches and

leaves and are most active in the morning and late afternoon, lying

sheltered in the heat of the day. A very gregarious species, the common

eland is always found in large herds with 25 to 80 individuals, but are

known to exceed 400, and with no dispersion during the rainy season. A

possible explanation for this is the strong mutual attraction by calves,

and a "safety-in-numbers" strategy. The Common Eland has an unusual

social life, leaving or joining herds as necessary without forming close

ties. Elands are remarkably fast, have been recorded running over 70

km.p.h. / 42 m.p.h. Despite their size, they are exceptional jumpers,

easily clearing heights of 1.5 m / 5 feet. Home range sizes vary

dramatically with respect to sex and season. In the dry season, males

used an average of 11.7 square kilometers out of their 41.1 square

kilometer total range. Female herds had a dry season range of 26.1

square kilometers, while in the wet season this expanded to 222.0 square

kilometers. There is no exclusive use of space or evidence for

territoriality, but adult males within maternal herds have a distinct social

hierarchy. The size and power of the bull Eland generally (but not

always) discourages predators, but females are thought to be more

vulnerable to attack. Known Eland predators include lions, Spotted

Hyenas, African Wild Dogs and, rarely, leopards.

Taxonomy:

Common Eland are sometimes considered part of the genus

Tragelaphus, but are usually categorised as Taurotragus, along with the

Giant Eland.

Uses:

Common Eland are sometimes farmed and/or hunted for their meat, and

in some cases can be better utilized than cattle due to their being more

suited to their natural habitat. This has led to some Southern African

farmers switching from cattle to eland.

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Name:

The name "Eland" is derived from the Dutch word for moose. When

Dutch settlers came to the Cape Province they named the largest wild

ruminant herbivore they met with the name of the huge northern

herbivore.

In Dutch the animal is called "Eland antelope" to distinguish it from the

moose, which is found in the northern boreal forests.

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References and Internet Websites:

Abd Rabou, Dr. Abdel Fattah Nazmi (2009). Israel uses the ‗Plant

Killer‘ against ‗Hezbo Allah‘: The African Giant ‗Eland‘ ‗destroys‘ the

green cover and expose the other ‗front‘ soldiers. Felesteen Newspaper,

Environment Section, Page 26, Sunday 12 Safar 1430 H, 8 February

2009. (In Arabic). www.felesteen.ps

Ashkenazi, Eli , Haaretz Correspondent. IDF adds antelope to its arsenal

in fight against Hezbollah. Haaretz. 25/01/2009.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058506.html

Aurora. IDF: antelope in its fight against Hezbollah.

http://noti.hebreos.net/enlinea/en/2009/01/26/3792/comment-page-1/

BENNET, JAMES (2003). Gaza Journal; A Good Spring for the

Flowers and the Antelopes. The New York Times. Published: Thursday,

April 10, 2003. www.nytimes.com/2003/04/10/world/gazajournal-a-good-spring-for-the-flowers-and-the-antelopes.html

Common Eland: Tragelaphus (Taurotragus) oryx.

http://library.thinkquest.org/16645/wildlife/common_eland.shtml

Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx).

www.bio.davidson.edu/people/vecase/Behavior/Spring2005/Rivers/river

s.html

Common Eland.www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Common_Eland

Common Eland. www.arkive.org/common-eland/tragelaphus-oryx/

Elenantilope.

www.world-of-animals.de/Tierlexikon/Tierart_Elenantilope.html

Elenantilope.

http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/dokument/dokument.html?id=54414416

&suchbegriff=Elenantilope&top=Lexikon

ELENANTILOPE (Tragelaphus oryx) - ELAND ANTELOPE.

www.zoovienna.at/elenant.html

Elenantilopen.

http://de.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761575843/Elenantilope.html

Falconer, Bruce (2009) . Israeli Army Deploys Antelope In Battle

Against Hezbollah. January 27, 2009.

www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/01/israeli-army-deploys-antelopebattle-against-hezbollah

Giant Eland. www.waza.org/virtualzoo/factsheet.php?id=119-009-

006-001&view=Antelopes

Giant Eland. www.cogsci.indiana.edu/farg/harry/bio/zoo/elandg.htm

Harry (2009). IDF recruits antelope to guard northern border. January

88


28, 2009. http://israelity.com/2009/01/28/idf-recruits-antelope-to-guardnorthern-border/

IEA (Institute of Applied Ecology) 1998. Taurotragus derbianus. In

African Mammals Databank - A Databank for the Conservation and

Management of the African Mammals Vol 1 and 2. Bruxelles: European

Commission Directorate. Available online at:

http://gorilla.bio.uniroma1.it/amd/amd333b.htm

Khalaf-von Palästina, Norman Ali Bassam (1988). The Arabian Oryx

(Oryx leucoryx) in Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Number

17, Sixth Year, Ramadan 1408 AH, Mai 1988 AD. pp. 1-8.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1992). An Introduction to the

Animal Life in Palestine. Gazelle. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number

30, Tenth Year, October 1992. pp. 1-7. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (1994). An Introduction to the

Animal Life in Palestine. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n (Anemone coronaria). A

Quarterly Magazine Issued by the Program EAI (Education for

Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental Education / Children

for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of General and Higher

Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan (June) 1994. pp. 16-

21. (in Arabic).

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Extinct and Endangered

Animals in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin

Home Page. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). Threatened Mammals. In: Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Extinct and Endangered

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Mesopotamian or Persian

Fallow Deer. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin

Homepage. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). Gazelle: Das Palästinensische

Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palästina, Arabien

und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between

1983 – 2004. Erste Auflage, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten. Zweite erweiterte

Auflage, August 2004: 460 Seiten. Norman Ali Khalaf, Bonn-Bad

Godesberg, Germany.

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www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gazelle_Bulletin.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali (2005, 2006). Chapter 3: Geography, Flora and

Fauna. Pages 33-39. in: Palestine: A Guide. By Mariam Shahin,

Photography by George Azar. Northampton, Massachusetts: Interlink

Publishing Group, 2005, 2006. xi + 471 pages. Appendices to page 500.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Mammalia

Palaestina: The Mammals of Palestine. / Die Säugetiere Palästinas.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, Twenty-fourth

Year, July 2006, Jumada Al-Thania 1427. pp. 1-46. Sharjah, United

Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina1.html (Part1) &

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina2.html (Part2) &

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina3.html(References).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Mammalia Arabica. Eine

Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-

2006. / Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia

and Europe between 1980-2006. Erste Auflage, Juli 2006, 484 pp.

Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Deutschland & Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Arabica.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Eine Persönlichkeit aus

Jaffa, Palästina / A Personality from Jaffa, Palestine: Bassam Ali Taher

Khalaf (Abu Ali) (1938-2006). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth Year, August 2006. pp. 8-19.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Bassam_Khalaf.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Haywanat Filistin (Fauna of Palestine). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-

Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 69, September 2007, Sha‘ban 1428 AH. pp.

1-4. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%A7%

D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%

D9%8A%D9%86 Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Zoologist, Ecologist and Geologist: The Scientific

References (1980-2008).

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Khalaf_References.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2009). Israel uses the Eland Antelope (Taurotragus oryx) as a new

front line force to protect the Israeli-Lebanese border. Gazelle: The

90


Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 87, March 2009, Rabi‘e Al awal

1430 AH, pp. 1-8. http://eland-antelope-israel.webs.com/

Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.

Academic Press, London and New York: NaturalWorld.

McElroy, Damien (2009). Israel uses antelope to protect against attack.

Telegraph. 27 Jan 2009.

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/4359787/Israeluses-antelope-to-protect-against-attack.html

Shachtman, Noah. Israel Unleashes the Antelope of War. January 26,

2009. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/01/israel-unleash.html

South Africa Wildlife: The Eland {Taurotragus Oryx}.

www.savenues.com/wildlife/wildlife_eland.htm

Taurotragus oryx Common eland.

www.ultimateungulate.com/Artiodactyla/Taurotragus_oryx.html

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Tragelaphus oryx.

www.iucnredlist.org/details/22055

Wikipedia. Common Eland.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Eland

Wikipedia. Elenantilope. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elenantilope

Wikipedia. Giant Eland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Eland

Seven different kinds of antelopes: the gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), the

impala (Aepyceros melampus), Thomson‘s gazelle (Gazella thomsonii),

the common eland (Taurotragus oryx), the saiga (Saiga tatarica), the

suni (Neotragus moschatus), and the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra).

http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/91/91391-034-

B55DF442.jpg

91


Distribution Map of the Eland Antelope (Tragelaphus oryx).

www.iucnredlist.org/details/22055/rangemap

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93


The Mediterranean Monk Seal

(Monachus monachus, Hermann

1779) in Palestinian,

Mediterranean and Atlantic

Waters

By: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Taxonomy

Scientific name: Monachus monachus Hermann, 1779.

Common names: Engl.: Mediterranean Monk Seal; Arab.: Fuqma,

Faqma; Russ.: Tyulen'; Turk.: Akdeniz foku; Ger.: Mittelmeer-

Mönchsrobbe.

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Suborder: Pinnipedia

Family: Phocidae

Subfamily: Monachinae

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Genus: Monachus

Species: Monachus monachus

Natural History

The Mediterranean monk seal averages 2.4 m in length (nose to tail) and

is believed to weigh 250-300 kg. Females are only slightly smaller than

males.

Adult males are black with a white belly patch; adult females are

generally brown or grey with a lighter belly colouration. Other irregular

light patches are not unusual, mainly on the throats of males and on the

backs of females; this is often due to scarring sustained in social and

mating interactions.

Adult Monachus monachus are robust, with short flippers, a long

fusiform body, and a proportionally small head. The head is wide and

somewhat flat, with the eyes spaced fairly widely. The muzzle is

particularly wide, but compressed from top to bottom. The nostrils are

situated at the top of the muzzle. The vibrissae are smooth, females have

4 retractable teats. Coloration varies in low isolated sub populations.

Most of the animals are dark, brown. Some of the animals have a large

white belly patch.

When born, pups measure 88-103 cm in length and weigh 15-20 kg.

Unlike the now extinct Caribbean monk seal and the Hawaiian monk

seal, Mediterranean monk seal pups are born with a white belly patch on

the otherwise black to dark chocolate, woolly coat.

Extirpated from much of its original habitat by human persecution and

disturbance, females now tend to give birth only in caves in remote

areas, often along desolate, cliff-bound coasts.

Males and females are thought to reach sexual maturity between 5 and 6

years, although some females may mature as early as 4 years. Although

pups may be born during any part of the year, over most of the species‘

current distribution range, pupping takes place in summer or autumn.

Observations suggest that whelping is asynchronous in this species and

may take place year round. Gestation considered being 11 months.

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Monk seal pups can swim and dive with ease by the time they are about

two weeks old and are weaned at about 16-17 weeks. Monk seals are

mainly thought to feed in shallow coastal waters for fishes like Sea

Bream, Sea bass, Mullet, Bonito and cephalopods, such as octopus and

squid. Individuals are believed to live up to 20-30 years in the wild.

Status

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the

world‘s most endangered marine mammals, with fewer than 500

individuals currently surviving.

The species is described as ‖critically endangered‖ by the World

Conservation Union (IUCN) and is listed on Appendix I of the

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Other international legal mechanisms which recognise and attempt to

address the monk seal‘s critically endangered status include the Bonn

Convention (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of

Wild Animals), the Bern Convention (Convention on the Conservation

of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats), the Convention on

Biological Diversity and the EU Habitats Directive.

History and Exploitation

In ancient Greece, Nature was safeguarded by deep religious faith, not

legislation. Earth was venerated as the ‗oldest of the gods‘, Gaia, the

mother of all. Monk seals were placed under the protection of Poseidon

and Apollo because they showed a great love for sea and sun, and the

killing of a seal or dolphin was often regarded as a sacrilege. One of the

first coins, minted around 500 BC, depicted the head of a monk seal, and

the creatures were immortalized in the writings of Homer, Plutarch and

Aristotle. To fishermen and seafarers, catching sight of the animals

frolicking in the waves or loafing on the beaches was considered to be

an omen of good fortune.

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Detail from a Caeretan hydria (water jug), c. 520-510 BC.

For the following two thousand years the monk seal had the protection

of no god or human law. The seals lived in large herds, throughout the

Mediterranean, the Marmara and Black seas, as well as the north-west

Atlantic coast of Africa. From prehistoric times until the early 19th

century, humans hunted seals for the basic necessities of their own

survival – fur, oil and meat – but did not kill them in large enough

numbers to endanger their existence as a species. The pelts were used to

make boats and tents and were said to give protection against Nature‘s

more hostile elements, especially lightning. The skins were also made

into shoes and clothing, and the fat used for oil lamps and tallow

candles, and the fat was also used to treat wounds and contusions in both

humans and domestic animals. Because the animal was known to sleep

so soundly, the right flipper of a seal, placed under the pillow, was

thought to cure insomnia.

Evidence suggests that the species was severely depleted during the

Roman era. Following the fall of the empire, a reduction in demand may

have allowed the monk seal to stage a temporary recovery, but not to

earlier population levels. Commercial exploitation peaked again in

certain areas during the Middle Ages, effectively wiping out the largest

surviving colonies. Increasingly, survivors no longer congregated on

open beaches and headlong rocks, but sought refuge along inaccessible

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cliff-bound coasts and in caves (often with underwater entrances). By

the 19th century, however, the seal slaughter had become a commercial

enterprise verging on genocide, and numerous colonies were becoming

extinct. Because of their trusting nature they were easy prey. Tens of

thousands were bludgeoned to death, their skins put on sale in the

fashionable capitals of Europe. Although hunting of the creatures on this

scale rapidly became unfeasible, they never recovered. The massive

disruption of two world wars, the industrial revolution, a boom in

tourism and the onset of industrial fishing all contributed to the

Mediterranean monk seal‘s decline. Their numbers may have been

reduced by go per cent in the last seventy years and the species will be

virtually extinct by 2010 if nothing is done to save them.

A Renaissance woodcut of a Mediterranean monk seal (from Guillaume

Rondelet, 1554).

As the fishing grounds begin to collapse under fierce commercial

competition, the seals are faced with a scarcity of food. The hungry

animals then tear their way into fishing nets to obtain their meal. In this

vicious circle, fishermen have come to regard the seal as an enemy

which destroys their nets and steals their fish. Although the seals often

get trapped in the nets and drown, the fishermen usually don‘t hesitate to

kill the creature when the opportunity presents itself. Depressingly

frequent reports have revealed that the seals are often the victims of

deliberate cruelty, unjustly held responsible for a sea which is rapidly

becoming exhausted by human greed. Kicked, stoned, shot and

dynamited, this is the price that the monk seal has to pay for our own

ecological ignorance.

The centuries of persecution have also had a profound psychological

effect upon the seals, and they are now literally terrified of human

disturbance. Only in Mauritania have the seals managed to retain their

frolicsome nature and their innocent curiosity towards the few human

98


eings who venture into their peaceful refuge of sandy beaches and

arching caves. Here, undisturbed, the seals have formed their largest

colonies, numbering up to sixty individuals.

Mauritania may represent one of the last truly natural habitats of the

monk seal, where the animals can still be seen basking in the sun or

playing with their pups in the gentle surf. But in the Mediterranean,

mass tourism and urbanization have driven the seals away from the

beaches to inhabit rocky and desolate coastlines. With a boom in

pleasure-boating, even these areas are now coming under threat,

particularly as the seals give birth between May and November, during

the height of the tourist season. The killing of a monk seal may be illegal

on paper, but the animals are still the target of sports hunters and even

tourists with spear-guns. The last seals of Tunisia, in the Galite

archipelago, disappeared in 1985. Two were reportedly captured for an

Italian travelling circus, and another speared by a snorkeling Italian

tourist.

Fisherman mending his seal-damaged nets on Leros

Once renowned for their friendly and confiding nature, the seals have

now been forced to hide and give birth in dismal caves as a last refuge

for their lives. It is doubtful that this will help them survive. Autumn and

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winter storms often cause breakers to surge into the caves, washing the

weaning pups out into the sea where they drown. Human disturbance

can also break the fragile mother-pup bond during the 16-week weaning

period, leaving the infant seal to perish, unable to fend for itself. There

has even been evidence of mothers aborting their young, apparently

because of the fright and panic inspired by their only predator, Homo

sapiens.

Today, no more than 350-500 seals have managed to survive this

relentless persecution, and the species has disappeared from most of its

former range. Scattered colonies, often numbering no more than two or

three individuals, are now found along the coasts of Madeira, Spain,

Morocco, Algeria, Sardinia and ex-Yugoslavia. But almost threequarters

of the entire remaining monk seal population has found its last

refuge in the Aegean, especially on the Greek and Turkish borders, a

tense military zone.

Military exercises with warships, fighter planes, tanks and artillery, the

sowing of minefields along beaches, the relentless growth of habitatdevouring

military installations – all of these have a silent but insidious

bearing on Mediterranean wildlife. And the military threat to the seals is

not only apparent in the eastern Aegean, but also in Spain and

Mauritania. Each summer, 1,500 Spanish soldiers invade the tiny island

of Cabrera, just off the coast of Majorca, to practice artillery and small

arms fire. By the early 1960s, the last two monk seals of the island had

disappeared; the maneuvers had either driven them away or they had

perished during target practice. On the coast, entire caves had been sunk

and demolished with artillery shells. Other endangered species had also

been killed under the direct impact of cannon fire. The osprey,

Eleonora‘s falcon and Audouin‘s gull, the rarest seagull in the world –

their bodies littered the island.

A monk seal colony north of Mauritania‘s border with the Sahara has

also suffered the casualties of war. The territory has been proclaimed as

the Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara by Polisario (Frente

Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el Hamra y Río de Oro) guerrillas

who are waging a bitter war against Morocco. Although Mauritania

reached an accord with the Polisario in 1980, travel north of the border

is still considered dangerous, due in part to the guerrillas‘ own triggerhappiness.

Bored soldiers on both sides of the border have been taking

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pot shots at the seals and, despite the area‘s remoteness; several seal

deaths have been recorded.

The precise origins of the monk seal‘s name have long been lost to

obscurity and the flow of time. In Greek mythology the seal was

represented as the god Phokos, son of Poseidon. Several towns and

villages were named after the seal god, and even today the Greek word

for seal continues to be phokia. Pliny the elder, ancient Rome‘s

renowned scholar of natural history, knew the animals as sea-calves and

remarked that they ‗could be taught to salute the public with their voice,

and when called by name to reply with a harsh roar.‘ Rather more

mystically, he added that at night ‗their eyes change frequently into a

thousand colours.‘ But it was not until 1779 that the German naturalist

Johann Hermann officially christened the species Monachus. The choice

may have been inspired by Hermann‘s belief in the animal‘s innate

reclusiveness following his discovery of a lone seal on the Dalmatian

coast. On the other hand, some naturalists believe that Hermann merely

adopted a traditional name for the seal from certain local fishing

communities on the shores of the Mediterranean which knew the

creature as ‗monk‘ because of the colour of its fur. Indeed, many

centuries earlier, Pliny too thought that the rows of seals he observed

stretched out on the sands bore a striking resemblance to a congregation

of hooded humans. Sometimes, the darker fur around the head of the

seal lends weight to this impression.

In Italy, monk seals were once numerous along the coasts of Sicily,

Sardinia Tuscany and the Adriatic. The Roman Emperor Octavius

Augustus kept seals as exotic pets in 29 BC, just as the empire was

razing forests for its fleets of warships and devastating almost every wild

species it came across. Two thousand years later, in 1951, the London

Times reported that passers-by were astonished to see a seal swimming

in Rome‘s Piazza da Trevi fountain. ‗The animal was the property of

two Roman journalists,‘ the Times reported, ‗who had brought it back

from Sardinia and who apparently thought it suitable that the seal should

have a swim in such famous surroundings. A literal-minded policeman

fined them for contravening a by-law which prohibits the throwing of

anything but money in the fountain, and they and the seal then departed

in a motor-car.‘

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Today it is estimated that only two seals live around the shores of

Sardinia, in the east coast‘s Golfo d‘Oresei. They may share the tragedy

of being the only surviving members of their species in the whole of

Italy. With tens of thousands of holiday-makers visiting the island every

summer and a boom in pleasure-boating and spear-fishing, the last seals

of Italy could literally become extinct at any moment. The coasts of

Sicily and Tuscany probably lost their last seals more than ten years ago.

In 1978, another pair of seals was regularly observed around the island

of Montecristo, but once again, government protection, in the form of a

marine sanctuary, came too late to save them. The tragedy illustrates the

archetypal reaction of bureaucracies to the plight of the monk seal, that

of reluctantly taking measures which are habitually too little, too late.

A neonate monk seal pup photographed in a cave

in the Golfo d‘Orosei in Sardinia in 1971.

In a similar bureaucratic blunder, Corsica‘s last pair of seals was killed

by fishermen in 1976, just eight weeks before the inaugural ceremonies

of a marine sanctuary designed to protect the animals. The last seals of

greater France died on the Isles d‘Hyeres in 1935, and today the only

trace of the monk seal is its depiction in the prehistoric cave paintings

found in the Pyrenees. The seal became extinct in Palestine, Libya, Syria

and Lebanon in the 1950s, helped on its way by war. Up to fifty seals

may survive along the coasts of Algeria, in part because Moslem

fishermen still believe the killing of the animals to be a sin. Further west,

small groups of seals are still found along the shores of Morocco and the

nearby Chafarinas Islands which belong to Spain. Of the Atlantic monk

seals, which may differ genetically from their Mediterranean cousins,

the wounded seal that was captured on one of the Lanzarote Islands in

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1983 probably spelled the extinction of the species in the Canary

Islands.

Monk seals were abundant around the precipitous and volcanic

coastlines of Madeira during the last centuries, but human pressure has

driven them away to the desolate and uninhabited Desertas islands lying

off the southern tip of Madeira. Here, no more than six individuals have

managed to retain a precarious hold on life. The Desertas also lie in

traditional fishing grounds where fishermen often lose their nets to the

rocky seabed. Because these are now made of synthetic materials, they

then become what are known as ‗ghost nets‘, trapping and killing marine

wildlife almost forever. As young seals play with the debris, the net

fragments can become entwined about their throats and gradually, over

many months as the seal grows, the animal is choked to death in agony.

On the Dalmatian coast of ex-Yugoslavia and its scattering of offshore

islands, no more than twenty seals have managed to survive the

onslaughts of mass tourism. Little is known of the Russian seals,

inhabiting the waters of the Crimea, but they are reliably believed to be

extinct. Further west, however, some individuals may still survive in the

ex-Soviet waters of the Black sea, if only because on the Turkish side,

up to thirty animals are thought to be still alive.

Since the monk seal has become so shy and retiring, only one thing can

be said with certainty, and that is that the war against the species and its

habitat rages unabated, and all in the name of progress. As for the

sanctuaries that benevolent humankind is willing to provide for the

creature, they are few and far between. Ironically, it was one of the

poorest Third World countries, Mauritania, which first opened a refuge

for the seals. There are two more in Turkey and one perennially due to

open in the Northern Sporades islands of Greece, far away from the

eastern Aegean but an important colony, perhaps holding up to thirty

individuals. Other parks are planned for Madeira‘s Desertas islands, for

the Chafarinas of Spain and the Golfo d‘Oresei in Sardinia. But

bureaucracy being what it is, some of these may well open to protect no

more than a desolate memory, their last seals killed before the

departments and committees and conferences have written and sifted

through their mountains of paperwork.

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It became obvious that saving the monk seal would be one of the most

formidable tasks ever undertaken by the conservation movement. So

numerous, so diverse and so critical were the problems facing this

persecuted animal that only a holistic campaign would have any chance

of success. And it would be a fight against time. For decades, its plight

had aroused little more than reluctant platitudes of concern. The monk

seal was perhaps one of the most forgotten endangered species in the

entire world. While Europeans were waging a bitter struggle against the

slaughter of harp seal pups on Canada‘s distant, blood-stained ice-floes,

their own monk seals were being allowed to perish in total obscurity.

There was no public outcry, no great media extravaganza, no one willing

to risk their reputation let alone their life for the species.

What then is the cause of this neglect? One reason is the virtually secret

triage strategy which has been adopted by the world‘s most influential

conservationists. Swamped by a seemingly endless series of ecological

catastrophes, and facing the extinction of up to a million animal and

plant species by the year 2010, the movement, rather than reform itself,

is now faced with the hideous dilemma of salvaging whatever life it can

from the holocaust and leaving the rest to perish. It borrowed the triage

strategy from the Allied commanders of the First World War who,

during the hellish nightmares of trench warfare, were forced to divide

the wounded into three separate groups; those that would be left to die

since they were not worth squandering precious medicines upon, those

that would hopefully survive without any medical attention at all, and

finally, those that were deemed worthy of help. The decisions were

pitiless, devoid of sentiment or favouritism. Even the best of friends

could be left to die in slow agony. But in today‘s triage, it is often the

demigods in the hierarchies of the world‘s conservation organizations, in

their plush offices, Hotels and conference rooms, who are deciding

which species to rescue and which will be left to die. More often than

not, the decision is entirely subjective and may be based on no more

than pettiness and personal prejudice. Each conservationist may have

their own favourite and so a species may also be sacrificed by whoever

happens to be gaining the upper hand in a particular internal feud. This

is how Homo sapiens play God in the 21st century.

The harp seal slaughter had all the ingredients of media sensation: the

evil hunters, the fluffy white pups, innocent and vulnerable, the

crusaders who put their own bodies between seal and club. No issue

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could be more clear-cut, and so the triage made another of its expedient

decisions. It didn‘t matter that there were literally hundreds of thousands

of seals on the ice, or that they are not strictly considered to be an

endangered species.

But the very foundations of triage are rooted in division, something that

the conservation movement is no stranger to. It was not until years later

that it was realized why triage had sacrificed the monk seal. The answer

lay in the complex and interrelated factors which were killing off the

species. For the realists who control most of the world‘s conservation

organizations, the monk seal presented no easy and mediacommunicable

solutions.

Many of those attending the Rhodes monk seal conference in May 1978,

had been scientists whose professional interests lay primarily in

research, not conservation. This was a distinction not altogether clear at

first, since almost every working paper was concluded with a list of

desirable protective measures. But who was to implement those

measures? The gulf between ecology in theory and conservation in

practice, like so many others in our fragmented society, is a limbo of

confusion. Furthermore, it is the research, the conferences, the Paper

Mountains of ecological bureaucracy which bleed and starve meaningful

conservation of its resources, talent and ingenuity.

A detailed and ambitious project plan was written on Samos. A holistic

project was needed, not only to assure the survival of the monk seal, but

also to carve out viable alternatives for the islands, suffering the same

onslaughts of mass tourism, urbanization and pollution.

The first priority would be the creation of a network of twenty or more

biogenetic reserves in the eastern Aegean. Since the seal colonies were

so small and scattered, the ‗one reserve at a time‘ mentality, often taking

up to a decade to accomplish, would have to be replaced with a decisive

policy of isolating all the most important whelping sites from human

disturbance. As a temporary measure, it was suggested that this could be

achieved by semi-unilateral action, though with the support of the

government. The fishermen would be paid to stay out of the most critical

areas, and appoint Greek observers to monitor the whelping sites. At the

same time, pressure would be brought to bear on the government to have

the areas declared strictly protected by law.

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The biogenetic reserves, being in remote areas, would also protect other

endangered species and could also incorporate reforestation

Programmes, helping to sustain the ecological equilibrium of the entire

island. In the buffer zones to the reserves, it was proposed that pesticide

use should be banned and that a sub-project on biodynamic farming be

established. Tackling the over fishing crisis of the islands, it was hoped

that the undisturbed reserves would also act as fish breeding grounds,

but a pilot project was also advocated in small-scale aquaculture, in

which a family or group of families could raise fish for their own

consumption or for the marketplace. This might allow other important

fishing grounds around the islands to recover.

It was hoped that alternative energy sources might also be utilized in

these sub-projects, and perhaps even in the exhibition centers which was

envisaged would be built in the buffer zones to the reserves. The use of

sun, wind and water energy might show how individual families could

lessen their dependence on the polluting and oil-burning generators of

the islands.

We would get the message across to the local population with

educational Programmes in schools, with concerts and exhibitions. We

would thus try to point out the links between the cultural decline of the

islands, the dying villages and crafts, and the dying forests, sea and

seals. Only when these links could be clearly perceived would

alternatives be embraced voluntarily by the people. By restoring

traditions and local crafts, for instance, and by portraying their island as

a friend of Nature, an alternative and dignified kind of tourism might

develop in harmony with a fragile culture and environment.

We would also need to establish a bond of trust with the traditional

subsistence fishermen of the islands who feel most threatened by the

monk seal. We would have to convince them that the seal has become

little more than a convenient scapegoat, eclipsing the culpability of the

commercial fisheries which are poaching and exhausting their fishing

grounds. Although the larger open-sea trawlers are not permitted to

lower their nets within 3 kilometers of the coast, they regularly flout the

law, taking advantage of the fishery authority‘s lack of staff end patrol

boats. The end result is that the traditional fishermen are left with

dwindling catches, and prompted by hunger; the seals then attack their

nets to obtain the food that they and their pups need to survive. It is a

106


vicious circle, and one largely ignored by the government because only

the commercial fisheries have lobbying power in the city.

There is a government-run Hydrobiological Station on Rhodes, the

aquarium there, had over the years, tried to rear a number of monk seals

in captivity. The facilities in the aquarium are shabby and primitive. It

was wondered how on earth any scientist worthy of the name could

expect a monk seal to thrive under such deplorable conditions, the filthy

concrete pools, the squalid hutches meant to simulate the protection of

their caves, the rusty railings behind which goggling visitors could

observe the most endangered seal species in the world. And indeed

every seal that had been brought into captivity here had perished; a total

of eight individuals between 1960 and 1980. On one occasion,

apparently desperate for seals, fishermen had been asked to bring to the

aquarium any that they happened to find wounded, orphaned or

abandoned. Not surprisingly, some fishermen promptly wounded a

number of seals and dutifully brought them to the aquarium. But still this

did not quench the vain curiosities of Science, all cloaked in the glowing

altruism of conservation. One over-zealous employee of the aquarium

had even barged into the nearest seal cave and virtually snatched a pup

from its mother. Bringing it back to these concrete pools, the creature

perished after only 40 days, and perhaps predictably, Science was unable

to determine the cause of death, since to its clinical mind the pup could

not possibly have succumbed to something as simple as loneliness and a

broken heart.

Another seal, an adult, had been brought to the aquarium by a fisherman

who had captured it by clubbing it over the head with a piece of wood.

Although it survived for a remarkable ten years after this event, the seal

remained antagonistic to humans until its last breath, bitterly resenting

its captivity.

Snatched from the wild, most monk seals promptly begin to starve

themselves – often to death. The pups that were brought to the Rhodes

aquarium were therefore force-fed with a pair of wooden pincers, or

sometimes through a syringe delivering a bizarre mixture of Ovaltine

and sugar. None of the seals ever accepted their captivity and all but one

died within a few weeks. They would tremble violently in their concrete

habitat and were often heard to cry out in anguish (William Johnson in:

The Monk Seal Conspiracy).

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Habitat

Mediterranean monk seals mostly seek refuge in inaccessible caves,

often along remote, cliff-bound coasts. Such caves may have underwater

entrances, not visible from the water line.

Known to inhabit open sandy beaches and shoreline rocks in ancient

times, the occupation of such marginal habitat is believed to be a

relatively recent adaptation in response to human pressures – hunting,

pest eradication by fishermen, coastal urbanisation, and tourism.

Distribution

At one time, the Mediterranean monk seal occupied a wide geographical

range. Colonies were found throughout the Mediterranean, the Marmara

and Black Seas. The species also frequented the Atlantic coast of Africa,

as far south as Mauritania, Senegal and the Gambia, as well as the

Atlantic islands of Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Madeira and the

Azores.

In 1978, the distribution of the Mediterranean monk seal was described

as follows: "The main center of population of the species is the Aegean

Sea, especially its southern and eastern part, in the Dodecanese Islands

of Greece and adjacent coasts of Turkey. This distribution extends in

lesser numbers of animals north to the Cyclades, the Northern Sporades

and the Sea of Marmara, west towards Crete, the Peloponnesus and the

Ionian Sea, and east along the western part of the southern coast of

Turkey. The second, lesser concentration within the Mediterranean Sea

lies along the southern coasts of the western basin, from the

Mediterranean coast of Morocco along the Algerian coast to Tunisia. A

few animals remain at the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, the Tyrrhenian Sea

and Sicily, but the species is extinct or nearly so at Corsica. A third,

minor concentration exists in the eastern Mediterranean in south-central

Turkey, around the coasts of Cyprus, and on the Lebanese coast. The

Atlantic population exists in discrete, widely separated populations at

the Desertas Islands, rarely at the main island of Madeira, and in

southern Spanish Sahara [Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara].

There are a few recent records from the Azores" (Sergeant et al. 1978).

108


More recently, however, the species has disappeared from most of its

former range, with the most severe contraction and fragmentation

occurring during the 20th century. Nations and island groups where the

monk seal has been extirpated during the past century include France

and Corsica, Spain and the Balearic Islands, Italy and Sicily, Egypt,

Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. More recently, the species is also thought

to have become extinct in the Black Sea. Despite sporadic sightings –

possibly of stragglers from other regions – Monachus monachus may

also be regarded as effectively extinct in Sardinia, the Adriatic coasts

and islands of Croatia, and the Sea of Marmara. Reports also suggest

that the monk seal may have been eradicated from Tunisia. Similarly,

only a handful of individuals reportedly survive along the Mediterranean

coast of Morocco.

In 1997, a severe mass mortality affected the Cap Blanc Mediterranean

monk seal colony off the coast of Mauritania. The exact cause is

unknown, but a viral epidemic and poisoning by toxic algae are the most

likely candidates. The Cap Blanc colony was the largest population of

Mediterranean monk seals (Macdonald, 2001).

The Mediterranean monk seal is now restricted to a handful of small and

scattered colonies in the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the southern coast

of Turkey in the Mediterranean, as well as scattered populations in

northwest Africa on the coasts of Western Sahara (Arab Democratic

109


Republic of the Sahara) and Mauritania, and the Desertas Islands,

Madeira. It is thought that just two of these populations are viable, in

Greece and northwest Africa (Arkive, 2006).

As a result of this range contraction, the monk seal has been virtually

reduced to two populations, one in the northeastern Mediterranean and

the other in the northeast Atlantic, off the coast of northwest Africa.

Interchange between the two populations is thought improbable given

the great distances separating them.

Confusion over Palestinian stranding

Debate – and lingering confusion – continues amongst scientists

regarding the identity of a seal washed ashore on ―Dolphinarium Beach‖

in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Occupied Palestine, on 27 January 2004.

According to an announcement by Dan Kerem and Oz Goffman of

IMMRAC (Israel Marine Mammal Research & Assistance Center), the

decaying body was discovered partly buried on the beach. It was

subsequently moved to the Maritime School in Mikhmoret for further

inspection.

Kerem and Goffman reported that ―the body was recognized as that of a

seal, most likely a female, but was already in an advanced state of

decomposition and disintegration. The caudal remains were no more

than the skin of the belly, to which were attached the tail and remnants

of the hind flippers. By a process of elimination, we believe that the

body is that of a Mediterranean Monk seal (Monachus monachus),

although the lack of the nose, vibrissae, front of the upper jaw and ilea,

as well as a worn out, faded and peeling fur, have prevented us from

making a definite identification.‖

―As best we could judge,‖ they continued, ―the body length (tip of snout

to tip of tail) was ca. 120 cm, which if indeed a monk seal, would make

the individual a few months old pup. On the one hand, this finding is

exciting, considering that the last time a monk seal pup was observed in

this area was in the mid 1930‘s. On the other hand, it is obvious that

there are no active breeding caves anywhere near the beaching point.

The decomposed state of the body, the low water temperature and the

110


ough winter storms support the assumption that the body may have

drifted a long distance.‖

The authors went on to postulate that the animal – if indeed it was a

monk seal – may have drifted towards Palestine from the Cilician Basin

in Turkey, Cyprus or even Cyrenaica in Libya.

Following preliminary examination of the photographic evidence, other

experts also voiced the opinion that the dead animal was almost certainly

a monk seal. According to others, however, the seal‘s anatomical

remains invited a different conclusion. Faxed drawings of the skull,

compared with specimens held in the Zoological Museum in Cambridge

in the UK, led Prof. Yoram Yom-Tov of Tel Aviv University to voice

his opinion that the animal was not a monk but a young Caspian seal

(Pusa [Phoca] caspica, Gmelin 1788).

―I have no idea where it came from,‖ he admitted, ―and can only guess

that it was discarded by some zoo. However, as far as I know there were

(and are) no Caspian seals in Israeli zoos, so it must have come from

another country.‖

Other experts have meanwhile reiterated their faith in the monk seal

hypothesis.

A DNA analysis has yet to be conducted (The Monachus Guardian).

Threats

The main threats arrayed against the Mediterranean monk seal include:

1- Habitat deterioration and loss by coastal development, including

disturbance by tourism and pleasure boating;

2- Deliberate killing by fishermen and fish farm operators, who consider

the animal a pest that damages their nets and ‗steals‘ their fish,

particularly in depleted coastal fishing grounds;

3- Accidental entanglement in fishing gear leading to death by

drowning;

4- Decreased food availability due to over-fishing pressures;

5- Stochastic events, such as disease outbreaks.

111


19th century seal hunt in Tunisia

The Mediterranean monk seal is particularly sensitive to human

disturbance, with coastal development and tourism pressures driving the

species to inhabit increasingly marginal and unsuitable habitat. In some

pupping caves, pups are vulnerable to storm surges and may be washed

away and drowned.

Unforeseen or stochastic events, such as disease epidemics, toxic algae

or oil spills may also threaten the survival of the monk seal. In the

summer of 1997, two thirds of the largest surviving population of

Mediterranean monk seals was wiped out within the space of two

months at Cabo Blanco (the Côte des Phoques) in the Western Sahara

(Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara). While opinions on the

precise causes of this epidemic remain sharply divided, the mass die-off

emphasized the precarious status of a species already regarded as

critically endangered throughout its range.

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Vital statistics (all figures are

averages)

Monachus

monachus

Adult

male

Adult

female

Pup

Status:

Habitat:

Length:

Weight:

Colour:

Length:

Weight:

Colour:

Length:

Weight:

Colour:

Critically endangered.

Sea caves along remote cliff-bound coasts for

resting and giving birth; originally congregated

on open beaches and shoreline rocks. Feeds in

coastal waters.

2.4 meters (nose to tail).

250-300 kg (estimate only).

Predominantly black with a white belly patch,

but several variations exist.

Slightly smaller than male (2.4 m).

250-300 kg (estimate only).

Predominantly grayish, with several variations.

94 cm (nose to tail).

15-20 kg.

Soft woolly hair, black to chocolate, with

distinctive white belly patch.

Conservation

Conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal has been underway since

the late 1970s but, given the species‘ obscurity among the general public

and the forces arrayed against it, progress has generally been patchy and

slow. Chronic deficiencies in funding, both from state and private

sources, have compounded the problem.

In situ conservation efforts focus on the establishment of marine

protected areas, no-fishing zones, rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned

and wounded seals, education and public awareness. Scientific research,

113


while gaining additional insights into little understood aspects of the

monk seal‘s biology and behaviour, can also play a key role in furthering

in situ conservation aims.

To date, marine protected areas for the species have been established in

only a fraction of the areas scientific opinion deems necessary: in the

Desertas Islands of Madeira; in the Northern Sporades Islands and

northern Karpathos in Greece; on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts

of Turkey, and along the Côte des Phoques (Cabo Blanco) in the

Western Sahara (Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara).

Taking into consideration the feeding and breeding movements of monk

seals between remnant colonies, a consensus of scientific opinion

believes that a network of well-managed and guarded reserves are

essential for the survival of the species.

Although proposed on a number of occasions, ex situ conservation

measures – such as captive breeding and translocation – have been

abandoned in the face of concerted opposition from the international

monk seal scientific and conservation communities. So sensitive is the

monk seal to human disturbance that ex situ schemes of this kind are

viewed in some quarters as an additional threat to the species. Monachus

monachus has never been known to breed successfully in captivity.

Scientists also question whether there is any single colony large enough

to withstand the removal of donor animals for the purposes of

translocation or captive breeding without jeopardising its own viability.

Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus Hermann, 1779).

http://www.grid.unep.ch/bsein/redbook/txt/monach.htm

114


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D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%

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Reise in Palaestina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 2005-2008. First

Edition, September 2008, Ramadan 1429 AH. 396 pps. Publisher: Dr.

Norman Ali Khalaf, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates & Rilchingen-

Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. ISBN 978-9948-03-459-9.

(In Arabic, English and German).

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Carnivora_Arabica.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Cetacea Palaestina: The Whales and Dolphins in Palestinian

Waters. Cetacean Species Guide for Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 83, November 2008, Thu Al-Qi‘ada 1429

AH. pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

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Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2008).

Amphibia Palaestina: The Amphibians of Palestine. Gazelle: The

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 84, December 2008, Thu Al-

Hijja 1429 AH. pp. 1-18. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Amphibia_Palaestina.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2009).

The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus, Hermann 1779) in

Palestinian, Mediterranean and Atlantic Waters. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 85, January 2009, Muharram 1430 AH. pp.

1-20. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mediterranean_Monk_Seal.html

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121


Carnivora Palaestina

The Carnivores of Palestine

Die Raubtiere Palästinas

لواحن

‏)ضواري(‏

فلسطين

By: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Order: CARNIVORA (Carnivores):

Family: Canidae (Dogs, Jackals, Wolves, Foxes):

1. Palestine Golden Jackal (Canis aureus palaestina, Khalaf 2008)

[Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008,

Rajab / Sha‘ban 1429 AH. pp. 1-13. Type from Rafah and Al-Bureij

Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine]:

Description: The Palestinian Golden Jackal subspecies (canis aureus

palaestina) is morphologically and geographically distinct from the

other three Jackal subspecies living in the area around Palestine: The

Syrian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus Hemprich and Ehrenberg,

1833), The Egyptian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster Hemprich

and Ehrenberg, 1833) and the Arabian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus

hadramauticus Noack, 1896).

The Palestinian Jackal is a small race of the Golden or Asiatic Jackal. It

is smaller than a wolf, with relatively shorter legs and tail. It is larger

than a fox and can be distinguished by its relatively smaller, rufous ears

and shorter, black-tipped tail. It is similar to a small dog in appearance.

The fur is rather short and coarse. The dorsal colour is usually variable

black, yellowish-gray or brown-yellowish tinged with rufous, grayer on

the back, which is grizzled with varying amounts of black. A dark band

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uns along the back from the nose to the tip of the tail. This mane

becomes wider on the back, extending into the lateral surfaces. There are

two dark bands across the lower throat and upper breast. There is also a

reddish phase. The under parts are almost white or yellowish-brown.

The winter coat is longer and grayer. The tail is relatively short, usually

with a black tip. The size of the Palestinian Jackal is moderate if

compared with the larger Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) and

the smaller Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus) (Khalaf,

2008).

Size: Head and body 600-900 mm., female smaller than male; ear 70-89

mm.; hind foot 140-162 mm.; tail 200-300 mm; skull length 148-180

mm; weight 5-12 kg.

Ecology: The Palestine Golden Jackal lives in hills, plains, around

orange groves, in forests and on the outskirts of towns and villages.

Distribution: Canis aureus palaestina is common throughout the

northern half of Palestine and Israel to just south of Gaza Strip and Beer

Al-Saba‘ (Beersheba) (Khalaf, 2008).

2. Syrian Golden Jackal, Syrian Asiatic Jackal (Canis aureus

syriacus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833):

The Golden Jackal is distributed in southern Europe, North Africa,

Egypt, Asia Minor, Arabia, to India and the Indochinese Peninsula. The

subspecies Canis aureus syriacus is common throughout the northern

half of Palestine to just south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), but does

not penetrate the desert.

3. Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster, Hemprich and Ehrenberg

1833):

The Egyptian Jackal is a valid subspecies, and is distributed in Egypt

and perhaps Sinai and the Naqab Desert. The Egyptian subspecies was

quoted from Palestine by Flower (1932).

4. Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus,

Noack 1896):

The Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal is distributed in southern Arabia. In

Palestine, jackals found near the Dead Sea (Ein Fashkhah and Neot

Hakikar) probably belong to this subspecies.

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A sleeping Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs) at the Arabia's Wildlife Centre,

Desert Park, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Foto: Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf-von

Jaffa, with a Motorola SLVR Mobile Camera, 16.08.2008.

www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/1213259/display/13914492

5. Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs, Pocock 1934):

The Arabian Wolf is distributed in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait (where

it may intergrade with the Indian subspecies), and Egypt (the southern

and eastern Sinai desert). In Palestine, Canis lupus arabs inhabits the

southern Wadi Araba and appears to intergrade with the Indian

subspecies in the northern Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.

6. Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes, Sykes 1831):

The Indian Wolf is widespread from northern India to Sind, south to

Dharwat, Baluchistan, southern Iraq, Kuwait, northern Arabia, Syria,

Lebanon and Palestine, where the subspecies Canis lupus pallipes is

extirpated from the coastal plain, but still occurs in the Judean hills, and

is an intruder in the Huleh Valley from the occupied Golan Heights. A

slightly smaller and paler population appears to inhabit the northern

Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.

7. Egyptian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus, Sonnini

1816) and (Vulpes vulpes niloticus, Geoffroy 1803):

The Egyptian Red Fox is known from Libya and Egypt. It may be the

race that inhabits the mountains of the Naqab and Sinai Deserts.

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8. Arabian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica, Thomas 1902):

The Arabian Red Fox is distributed in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and

Palestine, where the subspecies Vulpes vulpes arabica is found in the

southern half of the country, in the stony desert hills and wadis of the

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba,

9. Palestine Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes palaestina, Thomas

1920) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 5: 122. Type from Ramleh, near

Jaffa, Palestine. Synonym of Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus]:

The Palestine Red Fox is distinguished by its gray colour, particularly

along its sides, with a nearly complete suppression of rufous, except the

face. The forelegs are grayish-rufous or fulvous. The underparts are

whitish or black. The upper tail is buffy, washed with black.

Measurements: Head and body 455-625 mm.; ear 83-105 mm.; hind foot

121-148 mm.; tail 305-412 mm.

The Palestinian subspecies Vulpes vulpes palaestina is known from

Lebanon and Palestine, where it is common along the coastal plain and

as far south as Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).

10. Mountain Common Red Fox, Tawny Fox (Vulpes vulpes

flavescens, Gray 1843):

The Mountain Fox is distributed in northern Iran, Kurdistan and Iraq.

Vulpes vulpes flavescens may be the subspecies found in the northern,

more mountainous regions of Palestine.

11. Rüppell’s Sand Fox (Vulpes rueppelli, Schinz 1825) and (Vulpes

rueppelli sabaea, Pocock 1934):

Rüppell‘s Sand Fox is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria, Libya

and Egypt, south to Sudan, Somaliland and Asben, Iran and

Afghanistan. The subspecies Vulpes rueppelli sabaea is known from

Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Palestine, where it inhabits the western

side of the Dead Sea, and Wadi Araba. It may intergrade with the

African subspecies Vulpes rueppelli rueppelli in the Naqab and Sinai

Deserts where intermediate forms occur.

12. Afghan Fox, Blanford’s Fox (Vulpes cana, Blanford 1877):

The Afghan Fox is distributed in Uzbek, southern Turkman, Russia,

Afghanistan, Iran, northwestern Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United

Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine and Sinai. In Palestine, it was

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discovered by G. Ilani, where it is known from the western side of the

Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), and south to Eilat.

13. Fennec Fox (Vulpes [Fennecus] zerda, Zimmerman 1780):

The Fennec Fox is almost certain to be found in sandy desert areas in the

Naqab and in eastern Jordan, because it was reported in similar habitats

in Kuwait, Egypt and western Sinai (Harrison, 1968; Khalaf, 1984;

Qumsiyeh, 1996). There is a record of an Epipaleolithic Fennec Fox

from Qasr Al Kharana in Jordan (Hatough-Bouran and Disi, 1991).

Family: Felidae (Cats):

14. Palestine Wild Cat, Bush Cat (Felis silvestris tristrami, Pocock

1944) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 11, 11: 125. Type from Ghor Seisaban,

Moab, Jordan (collected by Tristram). Perhaps a valid subspecies: Felis

silvestris tristrami]:

The Wild Cat is widespread in Europe, Asia, Arabia and Africa. The

Palestinian subspecies Felis Silvestris tristrami is found in Lebanon,

Syria, Jordan and Palestine, where it is fairly common throughout most

of the country.

15. Iraqi or Mesopotamian Wild Cat, Desert Wild Cat (Felis

silvestris iraki, Cheesman 1920):

The Iraqi Wild Cat Felis silvestris iraki was described from Kuwait and

northeast Arabia. In Palestine, a specimen fitting the description of this

race, which had been killed by a car, was found by Walter W. Ferguson

on the western side of the Dead Sea between Ein Zohar and Ein Boqek.

16. Sand Cat (Felis margarita, Loche 1858) and the Arabian Sand

Cat (Felis margarita harrisoni, Hemmer, Grubb and Groves 1976):

The Sand Cat is distributed in North Africa, Egypt (Sinai), Russian

Turkestan and Arabia. In Palestine, it is confined to the Wadi Araba

(Hatseva).

17. Palestine Jungle Cat, Swamp Cat (Felis chaus furax, de Winton

1898) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 6, 2: 293. Type from Areeha (Jericho),

Palestine (based on a specimen collected by Tristram). Valid subspecies]

and (Lyncus chrysomelanotis, Nehring 1902) [Schriften Berl. Ges.

Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1902: 145. Type from near the Jordan River. Synonym

of Felis chaus furax]:

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The Jungle Cat is distributed in Asia, from the Caucasus and Turkestan

to India and the Indochinese Peninsula, and Egypt. The Palestinian

subspecies Felis chaus furax is known from Iraq, Jordan and Palestine,

where it is found in the Huleh and Jordan Valleys, Galilee, the coastal

plain, reaching just north of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), Areeha

(Jericho), and the southern end of the Dead Sea.

18. Arabian Caracal Lynx, Desert Lynx (Felis [Caracal] caracal

schmitzi, Matschie 1912) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1912:

64. Type from ―Wadis opening to the Dead Sea‖. Type specimen at the

Berlin Zoological Museum is from Ain ed Dachubeijir, Jordan. Valid

subspecies] :

The Caracal Lynx is distributed in northern Africa, Arabia, the Near East

and India. The Arabian subspecies Caracal caracal schmitzi is known

from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and

Oman. In Palestine, it has been found in the occupied Golan Heights,

Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley, Mount Carmel, near the Dead Sea, in

the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.

19. Arabian Leopard, Nimer or Nimr (Panthera [Felis] pardus nimr,

Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Sinai Leopard (Panthera

[Felis] pardus jarvisi, Pocock 1932):

Many literary sources, chiefly the Bible, note the presence of leopards

all over Palestine (except for sandy regions). Ancient Near Eastern

sources, including the Gilgamesh epic and Akkadian lists, indicate that

leopards lived throughout the region (the Caucasus, Turkey, Syria,

Palestine, Iraq, Sinai and Arabia).

Their existence in any region depended then - and still depends today -

on the availability of the three basic conditions essential for leopards:

suitable cover, to enable successful hunting; varied prey, to provide

food; and minimal involvement with man and his economy.

Over the centuries, areas with these conditions gradually shrank. Woods

and thickets were cleared and settled by man and his domestic animals;

potential leopard prey was hunted down; and the leopards had no choice

but to prey on domestic stock.

At the turn of the 20th century, leopards lived in all the wooded and hilly

regions of Palestine, including Mount Carmel and the Judean Hills.

However, by mid-century their distribution had declined drastically, and

their populations were confined to two areas. One was the forested,

deeply fissured regions of Galilee (Al-Galeel). The second area

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comprised the Judean Desert and the Naqab (Negev) highlands,

particularly the steep cleft landscapes that lie east of the watershed line.

The only ecosystem in Palestine that remains fully undisturbed is a

stretch of mountains and cliffs over the Dead Sea. All of the fauna and

flora components of this ecosystem are still there, except for the recent

extinction of the lammergeier. Not only that, the ecosystem is also

complete in the original food chain, the energy flow from primary

production up to the highest trophic level, with leopards, wolves, and,

may be, additional carnivores on top of the food chain. The leopard

population there is considered to belong to the subspecies known as the

Sinai leopard Panthera pardus jarvisi. But our males weigh up to 40 kg,

quite unlike the subspecies type, and our females are 25-26 kg, which

agrees closely with the size and standards of the Arabian leopard

Panthera pardus nimr. It is a question if there will be time to study the

subspecific position of this population (Ilani 1989/90).

The Dead Sea Mountains is the habitat of the Palestinian Leopard.

Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine

Wildlife Society.

Leopards occurred on a surprisingly large number of occasions in

Palestine, even in recent years when the human population has greatly

increased. Harrison (1968) mention that it has repeatedly appeared in

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Galilee, particularly near the Lebanese frontier. Hardy (1947) notes that

in 1939 a female was shot near Safad, and the Beth Gordon settlement

possesses a skin of one killed about 1938 near Elon, a locality where

leopards appeared again in 1942 and 1943. According to Hardy, Aharoni

obtained a specimen from Mount Carmel and it has occurred in the

Jerusalem area, also on Mount Tabor and in Wadi Araba south of the

Dead Sea. Von Lehmann (1965) knew of one killed in Wadi Daraja, on

the west coast of the Dead Sea. A specimen from Bethoren, killed in

1910 was in the Schmitz collection (Anon 1946). Tristram (1866) knew

of its occurrence in the Dead Sea Region, Mount Carmel, Gilead and

Bashan. A specimen in the Tel Aviv University was obtained at Hanita

in 1925, as well as another in 1952, one caught near Pekin in 1948,

another near Kfar Aramu in 1952 and another near Ashona in 1956. It is

remarkable how many of these records originate from quite a small area

in the hills of Galilee; the area has evidently been visited by leopards for

a long time, since it was recorded that during the earthquake at Safad in

1834 leopards entered the wrecked village from the hills. It has been

supposed that they periodically enter northern Palestine from the

mountains of south Lebanon and Mount Hermon. If this is the case it is

curious that there are no reports of the animal yet available from those

regions (Harrison 1968).

One specimen was obtained by P. E. Schmitz from El-Ammur, 20 km

from Jerusalem; it was for a female obtained in 1911, and it is in the

Zoological Museum of Berlin. This specimen was described as

(Panthera pardus tulliana). Blake (1966, 1967) noted one killed near Ain

Turabi, north-west of the Dead Sea.

In 1965 a leopard attacked a Beduin shepherd in Upper Galilee; the

animal was stabbed by the wounded shepherd, and they were both found

lying side by side, alive but unable to move. The shepherd was fortunate

indeed to survive this attack. A leopard cub captured in the same region

in 1940 (Anon 1946) was taken to Safad, where the half-grown cub was

eating 15-20 pounds of meat a day. Subsequently named Tedi, he was

moved to Tel Aviv Zoo,where he grew into a fine and powerful adult

described by Hardy (1947) as more heavily built than Indian leopards.

Attempts to mate Tedi at first failed, indeed his courtship with a

promising young female Indian panther proved fatal, for Tedi killed her

with his strong paws (Harrison 1968, Khalaf 1983, 2005).

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A Leopard (Panthera pardus) at the Kuwait Zoo, Kuwait, State of Kuwait.

Foto: Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa, with a Motorola SLVR Mobile

Camera, 06.01.2007.

Three different leopard subspecies live in Palestine:

Palestine's northern leopards, the Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus

tulliana) are larger and darker in colour than the desert Arabian or Nimr

leopard (Panthera pardus nimr), which is smaller, and lighter in both

weight and colour. The Arabian leopard is the smallest race of leopard,

and one of the most beautiful: dark spots are scattered on almost white

fur. The leopards of the north had almost completely disappeared by the

1960s. The occasional reports of sightings are not always reliable.

However, in recent years a few leopards (four) were reported in the

north of Palestine.

The conditions are not suitable for the survival and development of the

northern population. Although there is enough plant cover, and sufficient

animals for prey (gazelle, hyrax, jackal, wild boar and porcupine), man

and his activities may be a disturbing factor.

The leopards of Palestine's southern regions were totally unknown

between the 1930s and 1964. In April of the latter year, however, an

adult female leopard was killed by a Beduin in Wadi Tze'elim; the

Beduin reported that her two cubs had fled the scene. In early 1967

Beduins again killed a young male leopard at Einot Qaneh (the West

Bank of Jordan River).

A third subspecies, the Sinai or Jarvisi Leopard (Panthera pardus

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jarvisi) lives in the Judean Desert in Palestine. This subspecies was

described by Pocock in 1932. The type specimen is in the British

Museum collection, and it was obtained in Sinai, and presented by Col.

C. S. Jarvis.

In the end of 1984, 25 adults were known to live in an area of 2,000 sq

km, which was declared a nature reserve in 1973.

Palestine‘s leopards appear to be making a dramatic increase and

expanding into formerly unoccupied territories.

Leopards have penetrated much of the southern half of Palestine, from

the Ein Gedi region near the Dead Sea, all the way down to the Elat

Mountains. They are also seen on the Egyptian Sinai border in the Wadi

Paran region.

Many recent sightings have been made in regions not considered

preferred habitats for leopards, and we can only surmise that these big

cats seen in such diverse regions is a result of effective conservation of

ibex and other prey animals (Ilani and Shalmon 1985, Khalaf 1987,

2005).

20. Anatolian Leopard (Panthera [Felis] pardus tulliana,

Valenciennes 1856):

The Leopard is widespread from South Africa to Arabia, Iran and Asia,

as far east as Japan. The Anatolian subspecies Panthera pardus tulliana

is known from Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been

recorded from Upper Galilee, formerly Mount Carmel, and the Judean

hills (near Al-Quds [Jerusalem]).The Anatolian Leopard is a valid

subspecies in northern Palestine.

21. Asiatic or Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Griffith

1821):

The Asiatic cheetah once ranged from Arabia to India, through Arabia,

Iran, central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, particularly in Iran

and the Indian subcontinent, it was numerous. Cheetahs were easy to

train, and rulers kept huge numbers for hunting gazelles. The Moghul

Emperor of India, Akbar, is said to have had 1,000 at a time. It appears

in many Persian and Indian miniature paintings. But by 1900 it was

already headed for extinction in many areas. The last physical evidence

of cheetahs in India was three shot (with two bullets) by the Maharajah

of Surguja in 1947 in eastern Madhya Pradesh. In Palestine, it was

scarce by 1884, though more common east of the Jordan River. By 1930,

it was rare, but still common in the southern steppe. The last Palestinian

131


cheetah was seen in the Naqab Desert (near Yotvata) in 1959. By 1990,

Asiatic cheetahs are apparently extirpated except from Iran, and possibly

Pakistan and Afghanistan. Estimated to number over 200 during the

1970s in Iran, current estimates by Iranian biologist Hormoz Asadi put

the number at 50 to 100 (Jackson, 1998).

A Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) at the Arabia's Wildlife Centre, Desert Park,

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Foto: Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa, with a

Motorola SLVR Mobile Camera, 16.08.2008.

22. Asiatic or Persian Lion (Panthera [Felis] leo persica, Meyer

1826):

"Then what is wrong with them that they turn away from receiving

admonition. As if they were frightened wild donkeys. Fleeing from a

lion (Qaswara)." (The Holy Qur‘an, Suret Al-Muddather, Aya 49-51).

Lions are the most powerful of all carnivorous animals. Although not

now found in Palestine, they must have been in ancient times very

numerous there. They had their lairs in the forests (The Bible: Jeremiah

5:6; Jeremiah 12:8; Amos 3:4), in the caves of the mountains (Song of

Solomon 4:8; Nahum 2:12), and in the canebrakes on the banks of the

Jordan (Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44; Zechariah 11:3).

The Asiatic or Persian Lion (Felis leo persica), this proud symbol of

strength and courage, must have been abundant in Biblical times.

According to the Bible, in which it appears under several different

names, the lion must have been quite common at that time. The species

132


appears often on mosaics from the Roman and Byzantine periods. The

thickets of the Jordan River were a preferred habitat. It became extinct

after the time of the Crusaders. The last mention of them being by Arab

writers of the 13th, 14th century, and the 17th century, when lions still

existed near Samaria, the Jordan River area, and other areas. One

specimen has been hunted at Lejun, near Megiddo, in the thirteenth

century. Alfaras Bin Shawer, Wali of Ramla, wrote that he saw eleven

dead lions after heavy rain in Ramla and the area of Nahr (River) Al-

Auja in 1294. Sanqarshah Almansouri, Naib of Safad (1304-1307),

killed in the coastal forests 15 lions; and according to Palestinian sources

from Deir Hijlah, they reported the appearance of a lion in 1630 near the

Jordan River.

At this time, lions certainly roamed over parts of Syria and Arabia and

along the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, where in ancient times

lions figured prominently in the great royal hunts in Assyria. It is clear

that lions survived in Mesopotamia until the nineteenth century, and

there are several references to them by travellers of that period. The

Persian Lion has not been reported from Iran since 1942. However, it is

possible that it still exists there.

The last remnant of the Asiatic Lion, which in historical times ranged

from Greece to India through Iran (Persia), lives in the Gir Forest

National Park of western India. About 300 lions live in a 1,412 km² (558

square miles) sanctuary in the state of Gujarat. In 1907 there were only

13 lions left in the Gir, when the Nawab of Junagadh gave complete

protection to them.

Unlike the tiger, which prefers dense forests with adequate cover, the

lion inhabits the scrub-type deciduous forests. Compared to its African

counterpart, the Indian lion has a scantier mane. The lion seldom comes

into contact with the tiger which also lives in India, but not in the Gir

region as this forest is hotter and more arid than the habitat preferred by

the tiger.

In Al-Jaleel (Galilee) there is a hill called Tel el Assad (Lion Hill in

Arabic), and there is a village nearby called Deir el Assad (Monastery of

the Lion), that may refer to a quite late occurrence of this species. Bie‘r

Al-Sabe‘e (Well of the Lion) is a famous Palestinian city in the Naqab

(Negev) desert (Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006).

133


The Jordan River was the last habitat of the Palestinian Lion.

Photograph by Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine

Wildlife Society. Picture taken in 2012.

Family: Herpestidae or Viverridae (Genets, Mongooses

and Civets):

23. Palestine Genet (Genetta genetta terraesanctae, Neumann 1902)

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 183. Type from Mount Carmel

area, Palestine]:

The Palestine Genet was recorded from the Mount Carmel area by

Tristram (1866). Unspecified additional specimens were reported from

Sejera (Schedschera) and Wadi Fauar near the Dead Sea by Aharoni

(1930).

24. Egyptian Mongoose, Ichneumon (Herpestes ichneumon,

Linnaeus 1758):

The Egyptian Mongoose is distributed in southern Spain, North, East

and Southwest Africa, Asia Minor, Turkey and Palestine, where it is

common in the northern half of the country, in the Huleh Valley, along

the coastal plain, with several isolated populations near the Dead Sea

and the Wadi Araba.

134


Family: Hyaenidae (Hyaenas and Aardwolves):

25. Syrian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena syriaca, Matschie 1900):

The Striped Hyaena is distributed in North and East Africa, Egypt and

Sinai, through Asia Minor, southern Russia, Iran, Arabia, Lebanon,

Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq to Nepal and India. The Syrian subspecies

Hyaena hyaena syriaca is known from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and

Palestine, where it has disappeared from the coastal plain and is

becoming rare in the Huleh Valley, Upper Galilee, Mount Carmel and

the Judean hills, south to the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba.

26. Arabian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena sultana, Pocock 1934):

The Arabian Striped Hyaena is known from southern Arabia. In

Palestine, it occurs near the southern end of the Dead Sea (Neot

Hakikar). A specimen in the collection of the Hebrew University of

Jerusalem constitutes the first geographical record for Palestine. It may

be that the Arabian race intergrades with the Syrian subspecies in the

northern part of its range.

27. Dubbah, Sudan Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena dubbah, Meyer

1793):

The Dubbah is a valid subspecies and perhaps enters Palestine from the

Sinai.

Family: Mustelidae (Weasels, Polecats, Martens, Badgers,

Otters & Skunks):

28. Common Weasel, Least Weasel, Snow Weasel (Mustela nivalis,

Linnaeus 1766) and the Egyptian Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis

subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Mediterranean

Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein 1800):

The common Weasel is the smallest carnivore in the region. It is

distinguished by its slender body; long neck; low, rounded ears; short

limbs; and tail which is less than a quarter of the length of the head and

body. In the summer, the upper parts are a uniform brown, and the under

parts are white, sharply demarcated along the flanks. The dorsal surface

of the forefeet is white. The tail is brown, becoming darker towards the

tip. The winter coat is presumably all white, as in the colder parts of its

range. Measurements: Head and body 160-290 mm; hind foot 20.5-30.5

mm; tail 40-70 mm. (Ferguson, 2002).

135


The common Weasel is active day and night. It inhabits holes, often the

burrows of rodents and hollow trees, among boulders and rock crevices.

It lives also in mountains, as high as the sub-alpine zone. In Egypt, this

species appeared to be more commensal than feral and was mostly

obtained around human habitations and near cultivated areas (Setzer,

1958). Flower (1932) remarked that in Egypt, these animals frequented

clubs, restaurants, homes, and other buildings. Such habitat choice was

not seen in Egypt later by Osborn and Helmy (1980).

The Common Weasel feeds on insects, small rodents, birds, lizards,

amphibians, fish and occasionally larger animals. Gestation period is 34-

37 days; and in Armenia, it usually produces 3-9 young in the late spring

and summer (Dahl, 1954); and in Egypt, a litter of five was noted born

in December (Flower, 1932).

The Common Weasel is widespread in Europe eastwards through

Russia, Asia Minor, Iran, northern Arabia, Afghanistan, Mongolia,

Korea, China, Japan and North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and

North America.

Considered by some authors a definite Pleistocene rodent specialist, the

Common Weasel seems to have made its first appearance in Europe

during the Mindel glacial episode (about 400,000 years ago) and is

commonly found in cave deposits from the beginning of the Late

Pleistocene. It represents a Palaearctic species of the Euro-Siberian

Region, widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North Africa (Masseti,

1995).

In the Mediterranean region, the Common Weasel occurs today in

northern Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), in most of southern

Europe and in Anatolia. In the Levant its distribution is restricted to the

northern areas of the region, including Lebanon (Harrison and Bates,

1991) and northern Syria. In the northern Arabian Peninsula, it has not

been reported since the Early Bronze Age (Dayan and Tchernov, 1988).

In fact, in Palestine, the species does not exist at present (Dayan and

Tchernov, 1988; Dayan, 1989). Beyond this distribution gap in

Palestine, the Common Weasel occurs again in Egypt, along the Nile

delta and valley, with a population characterized by large body size. This

Egyptian population is almost completely commensal with man (Osborn

and Helmy, 1980) and has been occasionally considered either a Roman

introduction or a glacial relic. Even if they do not reach the size of the

Egyptian Weasel, The Mediterranean Weasels are all characterized by a

very large body size (King, 1989; Masseti, 1995).

136


The subspecies found in Lebanon is the Mediterranean Mustela nivalis

boccamela, and is smaller than the Egyptian subspecies Mustela nivalis

subpalmata.

The status of the weasel in Palestine is not clear. Two Common Weasel

subspecies may occur in Palestine: The Egyptian Common Weasel

(Mustela nivalis subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the

Mediterranean Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein

1800). Zoologists (Aharoni, 1930; Bodenheimer, 1958) of the first half

of last century failed to confirm Tristram‘s listing of this species (as

Mustela boccamela) as a member of the Palestinian fauna, from the

vicinity of Mount Tabor. The common Weasel is reported from

Holocene fossils (11,000 to about 5000 years before present) from

Areeha (Jericho), Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba), and the Galilee

(Tchernov, 1988). It probably became extirpated in Palestine due to

increasing aridity. However, relict populations survived around the Nile

Valley in northern Egypt (Osborn and Helmy, 1980), and two specimens

are known from Lebanon (Harrison and Lewis, 1964). Thus, a

population perhaps still survives in the Holy Land. Indeed, Harrison and

Lewis (1964) reported undocumented skins in the collection of Salah

(Selah) Merrill, who made most of this collection, while an American

Consul in Jerusalem between 1882-1907 (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

The word Mustela is Latin for weasel; and the name nivalis is derived

from nix, Latin, genitive nivis, snow. Hence, also, the common name

Snow Weasel (Qumsiyeh, 1996; Khalaf-von Jaffa, 2006); and I would

like to mention that the Weasel Tribe are common in Palestine.

29. Syrian Stone Marten, Rock Marten, Beech Marten (Martes foina

syriaca, Nehring 1902) [Type from Wadi Sir or Syr, Jordan (specimen

is at the Zoological Museum in Berlin). Valid subspecies]:

The Stone Marten is widespread across Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.

The Syrian subspecies Martes foina syriaca occurs in Iraq, Syria,

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was formerly common in the

Judean hills and was extirpated on Mount Carmel. It has recently

appeared at Ramat Shaul and Kiryat Shprinzak. It is now rare in the

Galilee and the occupied Golan Heights, but has increased in the Hula

Valley near Kibbutz Dan.

30. Syrian Marbled Poleacat (Vormela peregusna syriaca, Pocock

1936) [Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1936: 720. Type from near Lake

Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), Palestine]:

137


The Marbled Polecat ranges from southeastern Europe and southwestern

Asia, Russia into Mongolia. The Syrian subspecies Vormela peregusna

syriaca is found in Syria, western and northern Iraq, and Palestine,

where it is fairly common in the northern half of the country up to the

edge of the desert.

31. Persian Honey Badger or Ratel (Mellivora capensis wilsoni,

Cheesman 1920):

The Honey Badger is widespread in most of Africa, Arabia to Russian

Turkestan, east to Nepal and India. The Persian subspecies Mellivora

capensis wilsoni is known from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, southern

Arabia and Palestine, where it is rare but widespread from Upper Galilee

(Umm Falik) to the Judean hills and the Naqab Desert (Ein Hussub). It

has also been recorded from Gaza.

32. Persian Common Badger, Old World Badger, Eurasian Badger

(Meles meles canescens, Blanford 1875):

The Common Badger is the only species of its genus, and it is

widespread throughout Europe and Asia, Tibet, northern Burma and

southern China. The Persian race Meles meles canescens occurs in Iran,

Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is uncommon but has been

recorded in Upper Galilee, Jezreel Valley, upper Jordan Valley and the

coastal plain.

Common Badger at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2012. Photograph by Mr.

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.

138


33. Persian Common River Otter (Lutra lutra seistanica, Birula

1912):

The Common River Otter is widespread across Europe and Asia, from

England to Japan, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. In Palestine, the

Persian subspecies Lutra lutra seistanica is widespread, though

uncommon, in the northern half of the country, from the Huleh Valley to

the mouth of the Jordan River at the Dead Sea, and the coastal plain.

Family: Ursidae (Bears):

34. Syrian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos syriacus, Hemprich and

Ehrenberg 1828) [Type from near Bischerre, Mount Makmel, Lebanon]

and the Hermon Brown Bear (Ursus arctos schmitzi, Matschi 1917)

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 33. Type from Mount Hermon,

Palestine. Synonym]:

The Brown Bear ranges widely across the northern parts of the New and

Old Worlds.

The Syrian subspecies Ursus arctos syriacus is known from Asia Minor,

Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it formerly

occurred in Galilee and the Judean hills during Biblical times. Prophet

David boasts of having strangled a bear, which had attacked his herd,

and two bears killed the 42 boys, who scoffed at the Prophet Elisha. In

the nineteenth century it was observed in a ravine near Tiberias, near

Beisan and in the Golan Heights. The last wild Syrian Bear was killed

near Majdal Shams in the southern Mount Hermon in 1917. They were

140 cm in height and dark brown. It has not been a menace to flocks of

sheep and goats for a long time, but occasional visits to vine-yards and

fruit-groves are still reported from Syria. The Bear is extinct on the

Hermon and Anti-Lebanon, mainly because it was so drastically hunted

by German officers during the war (Khalaf, 1983, 2001). Today, it exists

in Palestine only in zoos.

139


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Palestine and the Book ―Mammalia Arabica‖.

http://gazelle.8m.net/catalog.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam (2001). The Common Weasel. In: Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2004). Gazelle: Das Palaestinensische

Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palaestina,

Arabien und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and

Europe between 1983 – 2004. Erste Auflage, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten.

Zweite erweiterte Auflage, August 2004: 460 Seiten. Norman Ali

Khalaf, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gazelle_Bulletin.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Leopards of Palestine.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. Number 41, Twenty-third Year, May 2005. pp. 1-9.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Leopard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Der Arabische Leopard, Panthera

pardus nimr. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates. Number 42. Twenty-third Year. June 2005. pp. 1-

146


8. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Arabischer_Leopard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Mammals in Dubai Zoo,

Dubai City, United Arab Emirates. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

bulletin. Number 45, Twenty-third Year, September 2005, Sha‘ban

1426. pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Rafah Zoo in the Rafah

Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine : A Story of Destruction by the

Israeli Occupation Army. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 46, Twenty-third Year, October 2005, Ramadan 1426. pp. 1-11.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (2005). The Qalqilia Zoo and the

Natural History Museum in the City of Qalqilia, West Bank, Occupied

Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47,

Twenty-third Year, November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 1-10. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (Member of PALESTA) (2005).

Palestinian Scientists and Technologists Abroad (PALESTA). Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47, Twenty-third Year,

November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 11-12. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Arabian Carnivores in the

Arabia‘s Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Desert Park, United Arab Emirates.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 48, Twenty-third

Year, December 2005, Thu Alqi‘da 1426. pp. 1-9. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. (in Arabic).

Khalaf, Norman Ali (2005, 2006). Chapter 3: Geography, Flora and

Fauna. Pages 33-39. in: Palestine: A Guide. By Mariam Shahin,

Photography by George Azar. Northampton, Massachusetts: Interlink

Publishing Group, 2005, 2006. xi + 471 pages. Appendices to page 500.

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Der Asiatische oder Persische

Loewe (Panthera leo persica). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 49, Twenty-fourth

Year, January 2006, Thu Alhijja 1426. pp. 1-5.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Loewe.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Felidae Palaestina: The Wild Cats

of Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 52,

Twenty-fourth Year, April 2006, Rabie‘ Althani 1427. pp. 1-15. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Felidae_Palaestina.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Der Asiatische oder Iranische

147


Gepard (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 53, Twenty-fourth Year, May 2006, Rabie‘

Althani 1427. pp. 1-7. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Gepard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Die Rohrkatze (Felis chaus).

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 54, Twenty-fourth

Year, June 2006, Jumada Al-Ulla 1427. pp. 1-8. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Rohrkatze.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Mammalia

Palaestina: The Mammals of Palestine. / Die Saeugetiere Palaestinas.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, Twenty-fourth

Year, July 2006, Jumada Al-Thania 1427. pp. 1-46. Sharjah, United

Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina1.html (Part 1) &

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina2.html (Part 2)

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Palaestina3.html (References).

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Mammalia Arabica. Eine

Zoologische Reise in Palaestina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-

2006. / Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia

and Europe between 1980-2006. Erste Auflage, Juli 2006, 484 pp.

Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Deutschland & Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_Arabica.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Asiatic or

Persian Lion (Panthera leo persica) in Palestine. In: Mammalia Arabica.

A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980-

2006. Erste Auflage, Juli 2006. Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-

Hanweiler, Deutschland und Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. pp. 147-

149. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Lion_Palestine.html

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Eine Persönlichkeit aus

Jaffa, Palästina / A Personality from Jaffa, Palestine: Bassam Ali Taher

Khalaf (Abu Ali) (1938-2006). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth Year, August 2006. pp. 8-19.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Bassam_Khalaf.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Common

Weasel (Mustela nivalis, Linnaeus 1766) in Palestine and the East

Mediterranean Region. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 57, Twenty-fourth Year, September 2006. pp. 1-7. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

148


www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Weasel_Palestine.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Asiatic or

Persian Lion (Panthera leo persica, Meyer 1826) in Palestine and the

Arabian and Islamic Region. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 58, October 2006, Ramadan 1427 H. pp. 1-13.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatic_Lion.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Ein

Besuch im Neunkircher Zoo, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Deutschland / A

Visit to Neunkirchen Zoo, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Germany. Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 59, November 2006. pp. 1-

25. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabisch / Arabic).

http://khalaf.homepage24.de/Ein%20Besuch%20im%20Neunkircher%2

0Zoo-%20Neunkirchen-%20Saarland-%20Deutschland

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The

Chinese Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis, Gray 1862) in

Neunkirchen Zoo, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Germany / Der Chinesische

Leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis, Gray 1862) im Neunkircher Zoo,

Neunkirchen, Saarland, Deutschland. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 60, December 2006. pp. 1-10. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Chinese_Leopard.html

Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Mustelids

of Palestine. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Mustelid.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Behavioural Observations on the Arabian Leopard (Panthera pardus

nimr, Hemprich & Ehrenberg 1833) in the Arabia‘s Wildlife Centre,

Desert Park, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 61, January 2007, Thu Al-Hijja 1427 AH.

pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Article in Arabic; References

in English and German).

http://khalaf.homepage24.de/Behavioural%20Observations%20on%20th

e%20Arabian%20Leopard%20in%20the%20Arabias%20Wildlife%20Centre-%20Sharjah-%20UAE

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Zum 1. Todestag : Eine

Persönlichkeit aus Jaffa, Palästina / The First Death Anniversary : A

Personality from Jaffa, Palestine : Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf (Abu Ali)

(1938-2006). Gazelle: Das Palaestinensische Biologische Bulletin.

Nummer 62, Februar 2007, Muharram 1428 AH. Seite 11. Sharjah,

Vereinigte Arabische Emirate.

149


www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Bassam_Khalaf.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). A

Recent Record of the Arabian Sand Cat (Felis margarita harrisoni,

Hemmer, Grubb and Groves 1976) from the Kuwaiti Desert, State of

Kuwait. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 64, April

2007, Rabi‘e Al-Awal 1428 AH. pp. 1-20. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. (Article in Arabic; Abstract in English, Kurzfassung in

Deutsch; References in English, German and Arabic).

http://khalaf.homepage24.de/A%20Recent%20Record%20of%20the%2

0Arabian%20Sand%20Cat%20from%20the%20Kuwaiti%20Desert-

%20State%20of%20Kuwait

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Qit

Sahrawi (Desert Cat or Sand Cat). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a

Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 64, April 2007, Rabi'e Al-Awal 1428 AH. p. 21.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%82%D8%B7_%D8%B5%D8%AD%

D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%8A

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). The

First Sight Record of the Arabian Sand Cat (Felis margarita harrisoni,

Hemmer, Grubb and Groves 1976) from the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 65, May 2007,

Rabi‘e Al-Akher 1428 AH. pp. 1-19. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

(Article in English; Abstract in English and Arabic, Kurzfassung in

Deutsch; References in English, German and Arabic).

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gaza_Sand_Cat.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). The

Presence of the Arabian Sand Cat (Felis margarita harrisoni) in the

State of Qatar. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 65,

May 2007, Rabi‘e Al-Akher 1428 AH. p. 20. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Qatar_Sand_Cat.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Die

Sandkatze oder Wüstenkatze (Felis margarita, Loche 1858). Gazelle:

Das Palaestinensische Biologische Bulletin. Nummer 66, Juni 2007,

Jamada Al-Ulla 1428 AH. Seiten 1-13. Sharjah, Vereinigte Arabische

Emirate. (Article in German; References in English, German and

Arabic). http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Sandkatze.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Mus

musculus gazaensis Khalaf, 2007: A New House Mouse Subspecies

from the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

150


Bulletin. Number 66, June 2007, Jamada Al-Ulla 1428 AH. pp. 14-24.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Abstract in English).

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gaza_House_Mouse.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Der

Karakal oder Wuestenluchs (Caracal caracal, von Schreber 1776).

Gazelle: Das Palaestinensische Biologische Bulletin. Nummer 67, Juli

2007, Jamada Al-Akhera 1428 AH. Seiten 1-12. Sharjah, Vereinigte

Arabische Emirate. (Article in German; References in English, German

and Arabic). http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Karakal.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Felidae Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe

between 1980-2007 / Felidae Arabica. Eine Zoologische Reise in

Palaestina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-2007. Erste Auflage

(First Edition), Juli 2007, 300 pp. Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-

Hanweiler, Deutschland & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic,

German and English).

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Felidae_Arabica.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Fa‘r

Ghaza Al-Manzeli (Gaza House Mouse or Palestine House Mouse). In:

Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia).

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 68, August 2007,

Rajab 1428 AH. p. 1. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%81%D8%A3%D8%B1_%D8%BA%

D8%B2%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%86%D8%B2%D

9%84%D9%8A

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Haywanat Filistin (Fauna of Palestine). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-

Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 69, September 2007, Sha‘ban 1428 AH. pp.

1-4. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%A7%

D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%

D9%8A%D9%86

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Sanuriyat (Family Felidae). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a Al-Hurra

(The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 70, October 2007. pp. 1-2. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%B3%D9%86%D9%88%D8%B1%D9

%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA

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Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Nimer A‘rabi (The Arabian Leopard). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-

Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 70, October 2007. pp. 3-4. (Article in

Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%86%D9%85%D8%B1_%D8%B9%D

8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007).

Fahed A‘rabi (Arabian Cheetah). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a Al-

Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 70, October 2007. pp. 5-6. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%81%D9%87%D8%AF_%D8%B9%

D8%B1%D8%A8%D9%8A

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Qit

Al-Adghal (Jungle Cat). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a Al-Hurra

(The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 70, October 2007. pp. 7. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%82%D8%B7_%D8%A7%D9%84%

D8%A3%D8%AF%D8%BA%D8%A7%D9%84

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2007). Um

Rishat (Caracal or Desert Lynx). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a Al-

Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 70, October 2007. pp. 8. (Article in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%A3%D9%85_%D8%B1%D9%8A%

D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%AA

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). The Story of Sabrina, the Gaza Zoo Lioness. Gazelle: The

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 73, January 2008. pp. 1-20.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gaza_Lioness_Sabrina.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). The Zanzibar Leopard (Panthera pardus adersi, Pocock 1932).

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 74, February

2008. pp. 1-13. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Zanzibar_Leopard.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Nimer Zanjibar (Zanzibar Leopard). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-

Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 74, February 2008. Page 14. Sharjah,

United Arab Emirates. (Article in Arabic).

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9%86%D8%AC%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1

Khalaf, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2008). Zum 2. Todestag

: Eine Persönlichkeit aus Jaffa, Palästina / The Second Death

Anniversary : A Personality from Jaffa, Palestine : Bassam Ali Taher

Khalaf (Abu Ali) (1938-2006). Gazelle: Das Palaestinensische

Biologische Bulletin. Nummer 74, Februar 2008, Muharram 1429 AH.

Seite 15. Sharjah, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate.

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Bassam_Khalaf.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Leopard Stamps from Zanzibar and Tanzania. Gazelle: The

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 75, March 2008. pp. 1-4.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). The Sri Lanka leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya, Deraniyagala

1956). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 76, April

2008. pp. 1-17. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Sri_Lanka_Leopard.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Nimer Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka leopard). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-

Mawsu'a Al-Hurra (The Free Encyclopedia). Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 76, April 2008. Page 18. Sharjah, United

Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%86%D9%85%D8%B1_%D8%B3%D

8%B1%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%83%D8%A7

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). The Persian or Iranian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor,

Pocock 1927). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 77,

May 2008. pp. 1-15. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Persian_Leopard.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Royal White Tigers (Panthera tigris, Linnaeus 1758) at Zoo

d'Amnéville (Amneville Zoo), Amneville, Lorraine, France. Gazelle:

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 78, June 2008. pp. 1-26.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/White_Tiger_Amneville.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). The Jaguarundi (Puma yaguarondi, Lacépède 1809) at Parc

Merveilleux, Bettembourg, Luxembourg. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 79, July 2008. pp. 1-3. Sharjah, United

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Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Jaguarundi_Merveilleux.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008: A New Golden Jackal

Subspecies from the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian

Biological Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008, Rajab / Sha‘ban 1429

AH. pp. 1-13. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (Abstract in English).

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Golden_Jackal.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Taxon Profile: Subspecies: Palestine Golden Jackal Canis

aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008. BioLib.

http://www.biolib.cz/en/taxon/id540278/

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Taxon Profile: Subspecies: Palestine Golden Jackal Canis

aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological

Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008, Rajab / Sha‘ban 1429 AH. pp. 19.

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Profil Taxonu: Poddruh: Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008.

BioLib. http://www.biolib.cz/cz/taxon/id540278/

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Profil Taxonu: Poddruh: Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008.

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008,

Rajab / Sha‘ban 1429 AH. pp. 20. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Iben Awa Al-Filistini (Palestine Golden Jackal). In: Wikipedia-

Arabic. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 81,

September 2008, Ramadan 1429 AH. pp. 1-2. Sharjah, United Arab

Emirates. (in Arabic).

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%A7%D8%A8%D9%86_%D8%A2%

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8%B7%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%8A

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Carnivora Palaestina: The Carnivores of Palestine / Die

Raubtiere Palästinas. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.

Number 82, October 2008, Shawal 1429 AH. pp. 1-25. Sharjah, United

Arab Emirates.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Carnivora_Palaestina.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(2008). Nimer Farisi (Persian leopard). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-

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8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%8A

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2008).

Carnivora Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and

Europe between 2005-2008. / Carnivora Arabica. Eine Zoologische

Reise in Palaestina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 2005-2008. ISBN

978-9948-03-459-9. Book in preparation, September 2008. In Arabic,

English and German.

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Carnivora_Arabica.html

Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa, Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher

(Text) and Nora Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf (Drawings) (2008). Qisset

Al-Labu‘a Sabrina fi Hadiqet Haywanat Ghaza / The Story of Sabrina,

the Gaza Zoo Lioness. First Edition. Dr. Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa,

Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Germany & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

(Publication in Summer 2008, in Arabic and English). ISBN 978-9948-

03-603-6. English article Website:

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gaza_Lioness_Sabrina.html &

Arabic Story Website:

http://khalaf.homepage24.de/The%20Story%20of%20Sabrina,%20the%

20Gaza%20Zoo%20Lioness

Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa,

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158


Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf,

2008 : A New Golden Jackal

Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,

Palestine

By: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Abstract: A new subspecies of Golden Jackal of the genus Canis

(Carnivora: Canidae) from the Gaza Strip, Palestine is described. This

subspecies is distinguished from the other three subspecies of Canis

aureus living around Palestine, by its distinctive colouration on the fur

and the moderate size. It is morphologically and geographically distinct

from the other subspecies. The new subspecies was named Canis aureus

palaestina Khalaf, 2008.

On 10.07.2008, I received an e-mail (with attached photos) from

Assistant Professor Dr. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from the

Biology Department, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine.

The first photo showed three Golden Jackals in an enclosure at Rafah

Zoo, Al-Brazil Suburb, Rafah City, Gaza Strip, Palestine. The second

photo showed two Golden Jackals in an enclosure at Al-Wasat Zoo, Al-

Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine.

Description and Distinctive Features:

From the given photos, I began comparing with the other Golden Jackal

subspecies. There are three Jackal subspecies living in the area around

Palestine: The Syrian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus Hemprich

and Ehrenberg, 1833), The Egyptian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus

lupaster Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833) and the Arabian Golden Jackal

(Canis aureus hadramauticus Noack, 1896).

159


The Palestinian Golden Jackal subspecies is morphologically and

geographically distinct from these three subspecies. The Palestinian

Jackal is a small race of the Golden or Asiatic Jackal. It is smaller than a

wolf, with relatively shorter legs and tail. It is larger than a fox and can

be distinguished by its relatively smaller, rufous ears and shorter, blacktipped

tail. It is similar to a small dog in appearance. The fur is rather

short and coarse. The dorsal colour is usually variable black, yellowishgray

or brown-yellowish tinged with rufous, grayer on the back, which is

grizzled with varying amounts of black. A dark band runs along the back

from the nose to the tip of the tail. This mane becomes wider on the

back, extending into the lateral surfaces. There are two dark bands

across the lower throat and upper breast. There is also a reddish phase.

The under parts are almost white or yellowish-brown. The winter coat is

longer and grayer. The tail is relatively short, usually with a black tip.

The size of the Palestinian Jackal is moderate if compared with the

larger Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) and the smaller Arabian

Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus).

Head and body 600-900 mm., female smaller than male; ear 70-89 mm.;

hind foot 140-162 mm.; tail 200-300 mm; skull length 148-180 mm;

weight 5-12 kg.

The New Palestinian Golden Jackal Subspecies Canis aureus palaestina

Khalaf, 2008, at Rafah Zoo, Al-Brazil Suburb, Rafah City, Gaza Strip,

Palestine. Foto: Dr. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2008.

160


Habitat:

The Palestine Golden Jackal lives in hills, plains, around orange groves,

in forests and on the outskirts of towns and villages.

Distribution:

Canis aureus palaestina is common throughout the northern half of

Palestine and Israel to just south of Gaza Strip and Beer Al-Saba‘

(Beersheba).

Conclusion:

After comparing the different jackal subspecies, and examining the two

photos, and referring to many zoological references, and searching the

Internet, I came finally to a conclusion that we are in front of a new

subspecies of the Golden Jackal from the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

I gave it the scientific name Canis aureus palaestina, new subspecies.

The subspecies name ―palaestina‖ is Latin for ―Palestine‖.

Canis aureus palaestina, new subspecies:

Scientific trinomial name: Canis aureus palaestina Khalaf, 2008.

Common Name: Palestine Golden Jackal.

Location: Rafah and Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip,

Palestine.

Date of capture: 2008.

Acknowledgment: A Special thanks is due to the Palestinian

Zoologist Assistant Professor Dr. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from

the Biology Department, Islamic University of Gaza, who sent the

Golden Jackal photos, and gave me the opportunity to discover a new

Palestinian Golden Jackal Subspecies.

161


The New Palestinian Golden Jackal Subspecies Canis aureus palaestina

Khalaf, 2008, at Al-Wasat Zoo, Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip,

Palestine. Foto: Dr. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2008.

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168


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Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Rafah Zoo in the Rafah Refugee

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Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (2005). The Qalqilia Zoo and the

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Twenty-third Year, November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 1-10. Sharjah,

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Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam (Member of PALESTA) (2005).

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Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Arabian Carnivores in the

Arabia‘s Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Desert Park, United Arab Emirates.

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Year, December 2005, Thu Alqi‘da 1426. pp. 1-9. Sharjah, United Arab

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169


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176


Rodentia Palaestina :

The Rodents of Palestine

قوارض فلسطين

By: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Order: RODENTIA (Rodents or Gnawing Mammals):

Family: Sciuridae (Squirrels and Marmots):

1. Syrian Squirrel, Persian Squirrel, Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus

anomalus syriacus, Ehrenberg 1828) [Type from Lebanon Mountains.

Valid subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus in southern Turkey, Syria,

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine]:

The Caucasian Squirrel is widespread in Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.

The Syrian subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus is known from

southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was

found in northern Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century, and was

thought to be extirpated, but in 1967, it was rediscovered in Wadi Assal,

several kilometers from Dan at the foot of Mount Hermon. It is also

known from the occupied Golan Heights.

Family: Hystricidae (Porcupines):

2. Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica, Kerr 1792) and the

Palestine Crested Porcupine (Hystrix hirsutirostris aharonii, Müller

1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 123. Type from

Emmaus, Palestine. Synonym] and (Hystrix hirsutirostris schmidtzi,

Müller 1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 126. Type from

Ain Dschuheijir, northwestern Dead Sea, Palestine. Synonym]:

The Indian Crested Porcupine is distributed in India, Iran, Iraq, Syria

and southern Arabia. In Palestine, it is fairly common throughout the

country.

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Family: Capromyidae (Coypus):

3. Nutria or Coypu (Myocastor coypus, Molina 1782):

The Nutria or Coypu is a large rodent, with partially webbed hind feet

and a rather bare cylindrical tail. It is amphibious and inhabits marshes,

ponds and rivers. A native of central and southern South America, it was

introduced into Palestine, for the purpose of fur farming, but some

escaped or were set free, and are now feral in the Huleh and Beit Shean

Valleys, coastal plain (Ma‘agan Michael, Ma‘ayan Zvi, Alexander

River) and in the Naqab Desert (Ein Yahav) (Ferguson, 2002).

Family: Cricetidae (Hamsters):

4. Syrian Gray Hamster (Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens, Wagner

1848):

The Gray Hamster is distributed in Greece, eastwards through Asia

Minor, Arabia, southern Russia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus,

Transcaucasia, Russian Turkestan, Chinese Turkestan, Iran,

Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and southwest Siberia. The Syrian

subspecies Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens is known from Syria,

Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, where it reaches the southern limit of its

range in the northern half of the country, on Mount Hermon, the

occupied Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and the Mediterranean region.

5. Syrian Hamster, Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus, Waterhouse

1839) [Type from Aleppo, Syria]:

The Syrian Hamster is distributed in Rumania and Bulgaria,

southwestern republics of the U.S.S.R., Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon

and Palestine. Tristram (1884) reported seeing this species in northern

Palestine. Aharoni (1930) reported that this species is known from

Metullah, and later (1932) listed three specimens collected by Siehe at

Mersina (southern Lebanon). A specimen at the Hebrew University of

Jerusalem is from Qiryat Saide (Qumsiyeh, 1996).

Family: Arvicolidae (Voles, Lemmings and Muskrats):

6. Syrian Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris hintoni, Aharoni 1932):

The Water Vole is distributed in Eurasia, Asia Minor and northern

Arabia. The Syrian subspecies Arvicola terrestris hintoni is known from

Asia Minor, Turkey (Lake Antioch). In Palestine, its presence is a

178


mystery. It has been reported as common near the Banias, but the only

specimens known are skulls found in owl pellets in the vicinity of Lake

Huleh at Yessod Hama‘ale and near Melaha.

7. Hermon Snow Vole (Microtus nivalis hermonis, Miller 1908) [Ann.

Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 1: 103. Type from Mount Hermon, Palestine.

Valid subspecies].

The Snow Vole is distributed in Europe, southwestern Turkestan, Iran,

Asia Minor and northwestern Arabia. The Hermon subspecies Microtus

nivalis hermonis is known from Lebanon and Palestine, where it is

found on Mount Hermon from 1,650 m. to just under 2,000 m. above sea

level.

8. Mediterranean Vole, Günther‘s Social Vole, Levant Vole (Microtus

socialis guentheri, Danford and Alston 1880) and the Philistine Vole

(Microtus philistinus, Thomas 1917) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 19:

450. Type from Ekron, Palestine. Synonym of Microtus guentheri]:

The Mediterranean Vole is distributed in Greece, Asia Minor to northern

Arabia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Libya. The subspecies Microtus

socialis guentheri is found in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine,

where it is widespread throughout the northern half of the country, south

to Mishmar HaNegev.

The occurrence of Günther‘s Social Vole in Palestine was first

discovered not in Palestine, but in the British Museum in London, when

a specimen of the snake Caelepeltis lacertina, collected by Tristram in

1863 on the Plain of Gennesaret, was found to contain a perfect

specimen of Günther‘s Social Vole in its stomach.

Family: Spalacidae (Blind Mole Rats):

9. Palestine or Jaffa Mole Rat, Greater Mole Rat, Blind Mole Rat

(Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) or (Spalax leucodon

ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., (for

1897), p. 178, pl. 2. Type from Jaffa, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Greater Mole Rat is distributed in Libya, Egypt and Sinai, eastern

Europe, Asia Minor, southern Russia and Arabia. The Palestinian

subspecies Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi is known from Iraq,

Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread on Mount

Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights, from the Galilee to the northern

179


Naqab Desert. Four sibling species (chromosomal forms) interbreed and

hybridize in Palestine.

Family: Gerbillidae (Gerbils, Jirds and Sand Rats):

10. Arabian Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani arduus, Cheesman

and Hinton 1924) and Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani, Thomas

1919):

The Cheesman‘s Gerbil is distributed in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and

Iran. Qumsiyeh (1996) collected four specimens of Cheesman‘s Gerbil

from near Disi in Wadi Rum, Jordan. The species is known from 30 km.

west of Badanah, and 5 km. west of Turaif, both in northern Saudi

Arabia, close to the Jordanian border. The species may occur in the

Naqab Desert.

11. Wagner‘s Gerbil, Rough-tailed Dipodil (Gerbillus dasyurus, Wagner

1842) and (Gerbillus dasyurus dasyuroides, Nehring 1901) [Type from

the mountains of Moab, Jordan. Perhaps a valid subspecies]:

The Wagner‘s Gerbil is distributed in Arabia, Egypt (Sinai) and possibly

Africa. It is known from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine,

where it is found in the southern half of the country, from the northwest

end of the Dead Sea and south from Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).

12. Lehmann‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus dasyurus leosollicitus, von Lehmann

1966):

The Lehmann‘s Gerbil is known from Syria and probably Lebanon. In

Palestine, it is found in the northern half of the country, from Upper

Galilee (Rosh Hanikra), Mount Carmel (Haifa), the coastal plain (Wadi

Ara), and the Judean Hills (Jerusalem).

13. Lesser Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus, Olivier 1801) and the

Asyut Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis, Setzer 1960):

The Lesser Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in Africa, from Egypt

eastwards to Iraq and Iran, south through the Arabian Peninsula and

Sinai (Nabeq). The Asyut subspecies Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis is

known from Upper Egypt (southeast of Asyut, Eastern Desert). In

Palestine, it has been recorded from the northwestern Naqab Desert, and

is slightly larger in Wadi Araba.

180


14. Greater Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus pyramidum, E. Geoffroy St.-

Hilaire 1803) and (Gerbillus pyramidum floweri, Thomas 1919) [Type

from Wadi Hareidin, South of Al Arish, northern Sinai. Valid subspecies

in Palestine]:

The Greater Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in North Africa, from

Morocco eastwards to Egypt, and southwards to Asben and Sudan, and

northwestern Arabia. The subspecies Gerbillus pyramidum floweri is

known from the northern Sinai Desert (south of Al Arish) and Palestine,

where there is a morphologically indistinguishable chromosomal cline

from the northern Naqab Desert, up the coastal plain to Holon. An

allopatric population is found as far north as Akka (Acre).

15. Baluchistan Gerbil (Gerbillus nanus arabium, Thomas 1918):

The Baluchistan Gerbil is distributed in Baluchistan, Arabia and Egypt.

The subspecies Gerbillus nanus arabium is known from northwestern

Arabia, southwestern Iraq, Oman, South Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,

Egypt (Sinai), Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread in the Naqab

Desert, from the southern end of the Dead Sea (Sdom), south through

Wadi Araba to Eilat.

16. Pygmy Dipodil, Henley‘s Gerbil, Pygmy Gerbil (Gerbillus henleyi,

de Winton 1903) and (Gerbillus henleyi mariae, Bonhote 1909):

The Pygmy Gerbil is distributed in the North African Sahara, from

Algeria through Libya, Egypt and northwestern Arabia. The subspecies

Gerbillus henleyi mariae is known from Sinai, Jordan and Palestine,

where it has been found in the northern and central Naqab Desert,

practically to Eilat.

17. Anderson‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni, de Winton 1902) and

(Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei, Thomas 1919):

The Anderson‘s Gerbil is distributed in Libya, Egypt, Jordan and

Palestine. The subspecies Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei is found in the

northern coastal plain of Sinai, Jordan and Palestine, where it occurs in

the southern coastal plain and northwestern Naqab Desert. It intergrades

with Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi between Ashkelon and Kerem

Shalom.

18. Allenby‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi, Thomas 1918) [Ann.

Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 9, 2: 146. Type from Rehobot, near Jaffa, Palestine.

Valid subspecies]:

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The Allenby‘s Gerbil is endemic in Palestine, where it is confirmed to

the narrow littoral zone of the Mediterranean, from Haifa south to

Ashkelon, where it intergrades with the more richly coloured Gerbillus

andersoni bonhotei.

19. Bushy-tailed Jird (Sekeetamys [Meriones] calurus, Thomas 1892):

The Bushy-tailed Jird is distributed in eastern Egypt, Sinai, Jordan and

Palestine, where it inhabits the western side of the Dead Sea, south

through the eastern and southern Naqab Desert, as far as Eilat.

20. Tristram‘s Jird (Meriones tristrami, Thomas 1892) [Ann. Mag. Nat.

Hist. ser. 6, 9: 148. Type from the Dead Sea region, Palestine]:

The Tristram‘s Jird is distributed in Asia Minor, Iran, Iraq, Syria,

Turkey, Lebanon, Sinai (Al Arish), and Palestine, where the subspecies

Meriones tristrami tristrami is common in the north in the valleys, and

less common on the mountains and the coastal plain.

21. Tristram‘s Syrian Jird (Meriones tristrami bodenheimeri, Aharoni

1932): The Tristram‘s Syrian Jird is known from Syria, Lebanon and

Palestine, where it is found on the occupied Golan Heights.

22. Tristram‘s Desert Jird (Meriones tristrami deserti):

The Tristram‘s Desert Jird is a previously unrecognized subspecies of

Tristram‘s Jird, and inhabits the northern Naqab Desert, and the northern

coast of the Sinai Desert. The Type locality is 5 km. south of Bi‘er Al-

Sabe‘e (Beersheba). It was deposited in the Zoological Museum of Tel

Aviv University. Body Measurements: Head and body 107-138 mm.; tail

98-138 mm.; hind foot 29-30 mm.; ear 17-18 mm.; length of skull 39+

mm.; tympanic bullae 12.5-14 mm. The upper parts are pale sandy-fawn

with little red or black; the under parts are white. The tail has a blackish

tip.

23. Vinogradov's Jird (Meriones vinogradovi, Heptner 1931):

The Vinogradov's Jird was recorded from Gaza, Palestine.

24. Libyan Jird (Meriones libycus, Lichtenstein 1823) and (Meriones

libycus syrius, Thomas 1919):

The Libyan Jird ranges from Libya, Egypt, Arabia, and southwestern

Asia to Azerbaijan SSR and Pakistan. It has been reported from areas

east of the Rift Valley in Jordan. The species was first reported from

182


Beersheba and Nahr Al Rubin (near Jaffa) (Aharoni, 1932). However,

these records actually belong to Meriones sacramenti (Zahavi and

Wahrman, 1957). The species was also reported from northern Sinai at

Bir Lehfan (14 km. south of Al Arish) (Wassif, 1954).

25. Sundevall‘s Jird, Silky Jird, Sand Jird, Gentle Jird (Meriones

crassus, Sundevall 1843):

The Sundevall‘s Jird is distributed in North Africa from Morocco, east

to Egypt and south to Asben and Sudan, throughout Arabia, Iran,

southern Russian Turkestan, Afghanistan and Waziristan. The typical

subspecies Meriones crassus crassus is known from Egypt (Sinai),

Palestine, Jordan, northern and central Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and

Oman. In Palestine, it is found in the southern half of the country, in the

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.

26. Buxton‘s Jird, Palestine or Naqab (Negev) Jird (Meriones

sacramenti, Thomas 1922) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 10: 552. Type

from 10 miles south of Bir As Seba (Beersheba), Palestine] and

(Meriones erythrourus legeri, Aharoni 1932) [Z. Saeugetierkd., 7: 202.

Type from Wadi el Abiad, southwest of Bir As Seba (Beersheba),

Palestine. Synonym]:

The Naqab (Negev) Jird is confined to Palestine, where there are two

populations, a slightly larger one in the coastal plain as far north as the

Yarkon River, and the other population is from the Naqab Desert (area

of Beersheba).

27. Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus, Cretzschmar 1828) and the

Palestine Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus terraesanctae, Thomas

1902) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 7, 9: 363. Type from the Dead Sea

region, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Fat Sand Rat is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria to Egypt,

south to Sudan and east across Arabia. The Palestinian subspecies

Psammomys obesus terraesanctae occurs in Sinai, Syria, Jordan and

Palestine, where it is found north and west of the Dead Sea, the central

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, from south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e

(Beersheba) to Yotvata.

183


Family: Dipodidae (Jerboas, Birch Mice, Jumping Mice):

28. Greater Egyptian Jerboa, Oriental Jerboa (Jaculus orientalis,

Erxleben 1777):

The Greater Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in North Africa, Algeria,

Tunis, Libya, Egypt and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the

northern Naqab Desert (northeast of Beersheba) and western Judean

Desert (Arad).

29. Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Thomas‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Muscat

Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus vocator, Thomas 1921):

The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in southwestern Iran, Arabian

Peninsula, North Africa and the Sinai Desert. The Muscat subspecies

Jaculus jaculus vocator occurs in southeastern Syria, eastern Jordan,

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Palestine, where it occurs in Wadi Araba and

may penetrate the southern Jordan Valley.

30. Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Sinai Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus

jaculus macrotarsus, Wagner 1843):

The Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern

Iran, Arabia, North Africa, Sinai and Palestine, where the Sinai

subspecies Jaculus jaculus macrotarsus is found in the northwestern

Naqab Desert.

31. Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Palestine or Jaffa Lesser

Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus schlueteri, Nehring 1901) [Schriften Berl. Ges.

Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 163. Type from the coastal region south of Jaffa,

Palestine. Valid subspecies]:

The Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern

Iran, Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. The Palestinian or the Jaffa

subspecies Jaculus jaculus schlueteri is found along the southern coast

of Palestine, as far north as Jaffa. It may intergrade with Jaculus jaculus

macrotarsus in the northwestern Naqab and Sinai Deserts.

Family: Gliridae (Dormice):

32. Sinai Dormouse, Levant Garden Dormouse, Southwest Asian

Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus melanurus, Wagner 1839):

The Levant Garden Dormouse lives in Europe and Asia. The Sinai

subspecies Eliomys quercinus melanurus is known from Asia Minor,

184


Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Sinai and perhaps Africa. In Palestine, it

occurs on Mount Hermon, the Huleh Valley (Dan) and the Naqab Desert

(Wadi Naphekh).

33. Golan Dormouse, Sooty Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus

fuscus).The Sooty Garden Dormouse lives in the occupied Golan

Heights and Jordan. The Holotype is deposited at the Zoological

Museum of Tel Aviv University. Type locality is Bab El Hawa, Golan

Heights. It was named after its sooty colour.

34. Turkish Forest Dormouse (Dryomys nitedula phrygius, Thomas

1907):

The Forest Dormouse is widespread across southeast Europe, Asia

Minor, and Arabia and as far east as India. The Turkish subspecies

Dryomys nitedula phrygius is known from Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine

and probably Lebanon. In Palestine, it occurs only in Upper Galilee.

Family: Muridae (Rats and Mice):

35. Broad-toothed Field Mouse, Big Levantine Field Mouse, Rock

Mouse (Apodemus mystacinus, Danford and Alston 1877):

The Rock Mouse is distributed in Greece, Yugoslavia, Crete, Iraq,

Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, where the Turkish subspecies Apodemus

mystacinus mystacinus is found in the northernmost part of the country

on Mount Hermon, in Upper Galilee, the Huleh Valley, an allopatric

population on Mount Carmel, and south to the Judean hills (Jerusalem).

36. Wood Mouse, Common Field Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis,

Melchior 1834) and the Persian Wood Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis

arianus, Blanford 1881) and the Hermon Wood Mouse (Apodemus

flavicollis hermonensis, Filippucci, Simson and Nevo 1989):

The Wood Mouse lives in most of the western Palearctic region

including all of Europe. The species was reported from the ―plains of

Palestine‖ (Tristram, 1884). No specific localities were given by

Tristram or subsequently by Bodenheimer (1935, 1958). Specimens at

the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are from Masada North, Moza,

Sasa, and Horshat Ha‘arbaim (Horshat Tel). Specimens at the Museum

of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (Cambridge,

Massachusetts) were obtained from Shiba, Rasheya, and Ain Hersha in

185


southern Lebanon (Allen, 1915). Filippucci, Simson and Nevo (1989)

reported on populations in Galilee, Mount Hermon, and Tel Arad.

37. Mount Hermon Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus iconicus, Heptner

1952):

The species is distributed in Iceland, Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and

North Africa. The Mount Hermon subspecies Apodemus sylvaticus

iconicus occurs in Asia Minor, northern Iraq, northwest Syria, Lebanon

and Palestine, where it is found in the northern part of the country, at the

base of Mount Hermon, Upper Galilee and Mount Carmel.

38. Yellow-necked Field Mouse, Long-tailed Field Mouse (Apodemus

flavicollis argyropuloi, Heptner 1948):

The species lives in Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and Asia. The

Armenian subspecies Apodemus flavicollis argyropuloi is known from

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is found only in the north,

on Mount Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights and Mount Carmel.

39. Alpine Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus chorassanicus, Goodwin 1940):

The Alpine Field Mouse lives in the western Palearctic region, Iceland,

Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. The Apodemus sylvaticus

chorassanicus is a pale coloured form, inhabiting rocky mountain slopes

above the tree line. There is no reason to consider the alpine form on

Mount Hermon as different from the alpine form in Iran, unless the two

are shown to be different (Ferguson, 2002).

40. House Mouse (Mus musculus, Linnaeus 1758) and the Syrian House

Mouse (Mus musculus praetextus, Brants 1827):

The House Mouse is Cosmopolitan. The Syrian subspecies Mus

musculus praetextus is known from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan,

Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Sinai). In Palestine, it is found mostly in

cities and settlements throughout the country.

41. Gaza or Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus gazaensis Khalaf,

2007) [The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 66, June 2007,

Jamada Al-Ulla 1428 AH. pp. 14-24. Type from Beit Lahia, North Gaza

Strip, Palestine].

The Gaza House Mouse or Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus

gazaensis) is a house mouse subspecies, which was discovered in 2005

in an agricultural field in Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip, Palestine.

186


The new subspecies was named "Mus musculus gazaensis" in June 2007

by the Palestinian-German zoologist Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali

Taher Khalaf-Sakerfalke von Jaffa. The subspecies name "gazaensis" is

Latin for "Gaza".

Description: The Gaza House Mouse is distinguished from the other

subspecies of

Mus by its light and dark brown colouration with white big patches on

the fur.

Distribution: Endemic to the Gaza Strip, Palestine (Khalaf-Sakerfalke

von Jaffa, August 2007).

The New Palestinian House Mouse Subspecies Mus musculus gazaensis

Khalaf, 2007 from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip. Foto: Dr. Abdel Fattah

Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2005.

42. Egyptian House Mouse (Mus musculus gentilis, Brants 1827):

The Egyptian House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the

Naqab Desert.

43. Oriental House Mouse (Mus musculus orientalis, Cretzschmar

1826):

The Oriental House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the

Naqab Desert.

44. Macedonian Common Mouse, Wild Mouse, Short-tailed Mouse

(Mus macedonicus, Petrov and Ruzic 1983):

The Macedonian Common Mouse is distributed in Yugoslavia, Greece,

Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus and Palestine, where it is found in the

Mediterranean Zone.

45. Porcupine Mouse, Common Spiny Mouse, Egyptian Spiny Mouse,

Cairo Spiny Mouse, Sinai Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus,

Cretzschmar 1826-1827):

187


The Porcupine Mouse ranges from southern Iran, southern Asia Minor

and Cyprus, Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, southern Algeria, south to

Tanzania, and west to Niger. In Palestine, the Sinai subspecies Acomys

cahirinus dimidiatus is widespread from Galilee to the coastal plain,

Mount Carmel, the southern Judean hills (around Jerusalem), near the

Dead Sea, and the Naqab Desert.

46. Southern Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus homericus, Thomas

1923):

The Southern Spiny Mouse occurs mainly in southern Arabia and Oman,

but apparently is distributed in a kind of mosaic, influenced by the dark

substrate of soil and rocks. In Palestine, it is found on the occupied

Golan Heights (near Kibbutz Sneer).

47. Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus, Wagner 1840) and the

Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus harrisoni, Atallah

1970) [Univ. Conn. Occas. Pap. Biol. Sci. Ser., 1(4): 202. Type from

half a km south of Qumran Caves, near Ain Faschkha, West Bank of

Jordan, Palestine. Perhaps a valid subspecies] and the Jordanian Golden

Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus lewisi, Atallah 1967) [J. Mammal., 48:

258. Type from 3 km northwest of Azraq Shishan, Jordan. Valid

subspecies]:

The Golden Spiny Mouse is distributed in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia,

Yemen and Palestine, where the Sinai subspecies Acomys russatus

russatus is found from the western side of the Dead Sea (Ain Faschkha),

south through the Naqab Desert to Eilat. The Palestinian subspecies

Acomys russatus harrisoni was described by the Palestinian Zoologist

Dr. Sana Issa Atallah (1970) from the western shore of the Dead Sea.

Harrison (1972) notes that ―the status of the population on the west

shore of the Dead Sea in Israel is uncertain, possibly representing

Acomys russatus harrisoni.‖ He also states that ―the material available is

scarcely adequate to assess the full degree of individual variation in the

species.‖ The distinctive characters of Acomys russatus harrisoni, of

smaller size and paler colour, are based on only two specimens. Atallah

(1970) found the Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse on steep rock slides in

semi-arid areas near the Dead Sea at Ain Faschkha, where it is strictly

diurnal, with peaks of activity in the morning and evening. Acomys

russatus lewisi was found along the edge of the basalt desert, where it

adjoins a rocky limestone plateau, as well as in gardens around human

habitations (Atallah, 1967). The Jordanian Golden Spiny Mouse occurs

188


northwest of Azraq Shishan in the Syrian Desert, and was also noted by

Atallah (1967) from Azraq ed Druz. Body Measurements: Head and

body 100-115 mm.; ear 13-18 mm.; hind foot 15-19 mm.; tail 57-75

mm. (Ferguson, 2002).

48. Common Rat, House Rat, Black Rat, Ship Rat (Rattus rattus,

Linnaeus 1758) and the Alexandrian House Rat (Rattus rattus

alexandrinus, E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1803) and the Arabian House Rat

(Rattus rattus flaviventris, Brants 1827):

The Common Rat originates from Asia Minor and the Orient; it has

spread throughout the World, and is most common in warm countries.

The subspecies Rattus rattus rattus is found in Lebanon, Palestine,

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain. In Palestine, it occurs

throughout the country, wherever there is human habitation.

49. Brown Rat, Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus, Berkenhaut 1769) and

the Egyptian Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus maniculatus, Wagner 1848):

The Brown Rat originates from Japan and the Far East, and it has spread

throughout the World. The typical race is found in Iraq, Lebanon,

Bahrain and Palestine, where it has established itself in the port cities,

from Haifa and Jaffa to Eilat.

50. Palestine Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat (Nesokia indica bacheri,

Nehring 1897) [Zool. Anz., 547: 503. Type from Ghor es Safi, Holy

Land. Valid subspecies]:

The Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat is distributed in Egypt, Syria, northern

Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, western Pakistan, northern India,

Russian and Chinese Turkestan. The Palestinian subspecies Nesokia

indica bacheri is known only from Jordan (southeast of the Dead Sea),

and from Palestine, where it occurs in Sdom and Ein Bedda, the Naqab

Desert (Ein Avdat), Wadi Araba (Ein Yahav) to Eilat.

Introduced and Domesticated Mammals:

51. Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus, Linnaeus 1758):

Guinea pigs are South American rodents that were domesticated for

meat and pelts at least 3000 years ago. Unlike the nutria, the time since

domestication and the way guinea pigs are reared in captivity would

probably prevent any establishment of feral populations. Guinea pigs

give birth to one to four young following a gestation period of about 2

189


months. They have been known to live 8 years in captivity. Domestic

guinea pigs have been used for research since the 18 th century

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).

My Daughter Nora with our Siberian Dwarf Hamster ―Lucy‖. Foto: Ola

Mostafa Khalaf, Sharjah, U.A.E., 21.08.2008.

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205


Mus musculus gazaensis Khalaf,

2007 : A New House Mouse

Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,

Palestine

By: Dr. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-Sakerfalke

von Jaffa

Abstract: A new subspecies of house mouse of the genus Mus

(Rodentia: Murinae) from the Gaza Strip, Palestine is described. This

subspecies is distinguished from the other subspecies of Mus by its light

and dark brown colouration with white big patches on the fur. The new

subspecies was named Mus musculus gazaensis Khalaf, 2007.

On 29.05.2007 I received an e-mail (with attached photos) from Dr.

Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from the Biology Department, Islamic

University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine.

The 2 photos showed a live ―small rodent‖ from the Gaza Strip,

Palestine. Dr. Abd Rabou asked me ―for classification‖. He wrote that

these photos which were taken by him show a ―small rodent having

white spots on its back‖.

Later on 06.06.2007 Dr. Abd Rabou wrote that this ―patched species was

caught in Beit Lahia, North Gaza in an agricultural field in 2005.‖

My first impression when I saw the photos, was that of a spiny mouse

(Acomys spp.), because it seemed like it was having the stiff guard hairs

on its coat; but this assumption proved to be wrong. I also thought that it

could be a hybrid or a mutant rodent.

The most distinctive feature of this rodent is the light and dark brown

colouration with white big patches on the fur.

Dr. Abd Rabou sent the photos also to Prof. Yoram Yom-Tov from the

Zoology Department, Tel Aviv University for Identification. Prof. Yom-

206


Tov wrote that this rodent ―is a mutant (partial albino) of house mouse

(Mus musculus).‖

After examining the photos, and referring to many zoological references,

and Middle Eastern zoologists and wildlife experts, and searching the

Internet, I came finally to a conclusion that we are in front of a new

subspecies of house mouse from the Gaza Strip, Palestine.

I gave it the scientific name Mus musculus gazaensis, new subspecies.

The subspecies name ―gazaensis‖ is Latin for ―Gaza‖.

Mus musculus gazaensis, new subspecies:

Scientific trinomial name: Mus musculus gazaensis Khalaf, 2007.

Common Name: Gaza House Mouse, Palestine House Mouse.

Location: Agricultural Field, Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip,

Palestine.

Date of capture: 2005.

Distinctive Features: The most distinctive feature is the light and dark

brown colouration with white big patches on the fur. No measurements

are available.

The New Palestinian House Mouse Subspecies Mus musculus gazaensis

Khalaf, 2007 from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip. Foto: Dr. Abdel Fattah

Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2005.

207


The New Palestinian House Mouse Subspecies Mus musculus gazaensis

Khalaf, 2007 from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip. Foto: Dr. Abdel Fattah

Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2005.

Acknowledgments: Special thanks are due to the Palestinian

Zoologist Dr. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from the Biology

Department, Islamic University of Gaza, who sent the rodent photos for

identification, and gave me the opportunity to discover a new Palestinian

house mouse subspecies; and my thanks are also due to the Kuwaiti

wildlife expert Eng. Abd Al-Rahman Abd Allah Al-Sirhan Al-A‘try, the

webmaster of the website Wildlife of Kuwait, and to Prof. Yoram Yom-

Tov from the Zoology Department, Tel Aviv University, for their

valuable comments on the photos.

208


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220


Cetacea Palaestina : The Whales

and Dolphins in Palestinian

Waters.

Cetacean Species Guide for

Palestine

قياطس فلسطين

By: Dr. Sc. Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher Khalaf-

Sakerfalke von Jaffa

Cetacea Palaestina: Applies to species, individuals of which have either

been sighted offshore or have beached in an apparently good nutritional

status.

Cetaceans of the Mediterranean continental shelf (presented in

descending order of body size):

1. Sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus

2. Minke whale Balaenoptera acutorostrata

3. Cuvier's beaked whale Ziphius cavirostris

4. False killer whale Pseudorca crassidens

5. Risso's dolphin Grampus griseus

6. Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncates

7. Rough-toothed dolphin Steno bredanensis

8. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin Sousa chinensis

9. Short-beaked Common dolphin Delphinus delphis

10. Striped dolphin Stenella coeruleoalba

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Cetaceans of the Gulf of Aqaba / Eilat (absent from the Mediterranean):

11. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus

12. Arabian Common Dolphin Delphinus tropicalis

13. Pantropical spotted dolphin Stenella attenuata

14. Long-snouted spinner dolphin Stenella longirostris

1. Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus):

Meaning of species name is "big head".

Cosmopolitan, the largest toothed-whale and record holder of both dive

depth (2 km) and dive duration (2 h) among marine mammals.

At sea identification: The largest regional cetacean and the only one

demonstrating marked sexual bimorphism, males reaching 18 m and

females only 11 m. The crate-shaped head is disproportionately large,

especially in the mature male, where it comprises a third of the body

length. Unlike other cetaceans, the skin is wrinkled. Pectoral fins are

very small relative to body size and the dorsal fin is essentially lacking,

being replaced by an inconspicuous hump, and trailed by a series of

small ridges. Color ranges from dark grey to brown, the under part of the

head showing lighter coloration. The blow is very prominent and

distinctly diagonal, aimed forward and leftward. Uses a "fluke-up" dive

when sounding (tailstock exposed vertically, with the under part of the

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flukes visible). Sperm whales dive very deep and long, up to an hour or

more. Lives above the slope, but may approach close to shore over

undersea canyons and cliffs. Swim speed usually 3 knots, may increase

to 12.

Identifying marks on land: No room for error. Lower jaw is very

narrow, with two rows of 20-25 teeth. Teeth in the upper jaw do not

erupt.

The Mediterranean population is probably endemic but its social

structure (especially of males) is largely unknown. The pattern of mature

males roving between groups of females with calves probably holds. In

other parts of the world, male calves leave the maternal pod at the age of

six to form bachelor groups and may only reach physical and sexual

maturity at the age of 20, at which time they may become solitary. Feeds

on squid and octopus and very rarely on cartilaginous fish. Females give

birth every 4-6 years after an 18 month long pregnancy. Calves may

suckle for several years.

Has been acoustically spotted on June of 2005 off Isdud/Ashdod and a

near-term or newborn calf has beached on El-Khdera/Hadera Port on

August of 2005. Several unauthenticated but apparently credible

sightings of sperm whale by fishermen and divers exist in the ―Israel

Marine Mammals Research & Assistance Center‖ (IMMRAC) records.

Additional facts:

Weight: 57 tons for males and 24 tons for females.

Newborn length is 4 meters and weight is 1 ton.

Life expectancy: 70 years.

2. Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata):

Meaning of species name is "sharp/pointed

snout".

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Smallest and most abundant of the rorquals ("red-throats", named after

the pinkish tint of their vascularized ventral grooves). Cosmopolitan.

At sea identification: Mature animals are 8 m in length, black or dark

grey in color, with a light underside. Small, sickle-shaped dorsal fin at

the front of the posterior 1/3 of the back. Seen from above, the head

looks flat, V-shaped, with a single central ridge. Exposes little of its

body when surfacing to breath and has an inconspicuous blow. Travels

solitary, in pairs, or in small groups, it is rather inquisitive and tends to

approach vessels

Identifying marks on land: Baleen plates, double blow hole and

flashing white strip in the middle of the pectoral fins (also noticeable at

sea when at close range).

Feeds on schooling pelagic fish and shrimps and is preyed upon by killer

whale. Pregnancy lasts 10 months and calves are born every second year

during the cold season. Rare in the Mediterranean, genetically related to

the North Atlantic population. Individuals (including mother-lactating

calf pairs) apparently venture seasonally into the region during late

winter and spring.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 9 tons.

Newborn length is 2.8 meters and weight is 320 kg.

Sexual maturity: 6-7 years.

Life expectancy: 50 years.

3. Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris):

Meaning of species name is "hollow/cavitated snout", on account of the

distinct concavity in the skull, in the region of the melon.

Cosmopolitan in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate waters, the most

abundant and widespread of the beaked whales.

At sea identification: Adult body length is 5.5-7 m, coloration variable

from brown to purplish-black, lightens with age, occasionally with

round, white spotting/scarring on flanks and anal area. Does not show

counter-shading (dark above, light below) but mostly the opposite.

Frequently bears long sinuous white double tooth rakes, caused by the

single pair of teeth in the lower jaw of mature males of its own species.

Robust and fusiformed body with a small head, goose-like beak, small

pectoral fins and small dorsal fin in front of the posterior 1/3 of the back.

Very wide tale flooks, up to a 1/4 of body length. Lurches through

water, exposing head when swimming fast. Dives deep and long for up

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to 40 minutes. Lives in water 1,500-3,000 m deep, solitary or in small

groups of up to 7 individuals. Rather boat-shy.

Identifying marks on land: Mouth line is a "grinning" S shaped.

Toothless except the two front teeth that erupt in 5-6 year old males. A

V-shaped throat groove is a feature common to all beaked whales and a

distinctive indentation behind the blow hole may help differentiate

Cuvier's from other beaked whales.

Feeds on deep benthic squid which are located by sonar echoes and are

sucked into the beak. Apparently by mistaken identification this species

accumulates large quantities of plastic debris (up to 13 kg have been

recorded) in its fore stomach. The vulnerability of beaked whales to low

frequency active sonar used during Naval maneuvers (which causes

mass strandings) has recently spurred intensive research on this least

known of the toothed whale families.

Widespread in the Mediterranean, Cuvier's beaked whale has never been

sighted in our region. Yet several well-nourished individuals have

stranded along the beach, more so on the northern part of Palestine.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 2.5 tons (females somewhat heavier)

Newborn length is 2.7 meters and weight is 300 kg

Sexual maturity: 6-7 years.

Life expectancy: At least 40 years and up to 60 years and more.

4. False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens):

Meaning of species name is "thick-toothed". Circum-global in deep

warm waters. Total world population estimated at 80,000.

At sea identification:

Adult length is 5-6 meters, uniform black color. It has a lithe

hydrodynamic body with a long and slender beakless head, oval-shaped

from above and conic from the side. Large prominent concave dorsal fin

at mid-length. Short and narrow pectoral fins with an "elbow". Sociable,

readily approaches boats to bow-ride (the only black whale to do so).

Lives in water deeper than 1,000 meters, active and acrobatic. Travels in

groups of 10-20.

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Identifying marks on land: Unmistaken head shape. Eight to twelve

very large conical teeth in each half jaw.

Feeds on large fish and squid and occasionally on small cetaceans. Interbirth

period may extend to 6 years, pregnancy may last up to 16 months

and lactation up to 2 years. Rare in the Mediterranean (though common

in the Red Sea). Single sighting of a large group in our region.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 1.2 tons.

Newborn length is 1.9 meters and weight is 80 kg.

Sexual maturity: 8-14 years.

Life expectancy: 60 years.

5. Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus):

Meaning of species name is "grey". World-wide distribution, similar to

the false killer whale.

At sea identification: Adult body length is 4 meters, at the upper range

of the "dolphin" terminology. Grey color than brightens with age,

mainly on account of scarring by conspecific tooth rakes and octopus

arm suckers, to the point of looking white. Round, beakless head with a

distinct central fold from blow-hole to upper lip. Marked difference

between the broad and stout front and the slender rear of body. Very

prominent and tall triangular dorsal fin (up to 50 cm), possibly with the

highest ratio to body length of all cetaceans. Usually sighted over steep

shelf slopes, at depths of 300-1,000 m, in groups of tens. Not too

sociable, but allows close approach. When approaching vessels, will

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swim alongside, rather than bow-ride. May dive up to 30 min, but usual

dive time is 2 min, with up to 10 inter-dive ventilations.

Identifying marks on land: Apart from the above, adults lack teeth in

the upper jaw and bear 1-7 teeth on each half of the lower.

Nocturnal feeders, mainly on vertically migrating squid. Common in the

Mediterranean and in our region (sightings of large groups with calves

as well as strandings of live calves), more so in the north of Palestine.

Very common in the gulf of Aqaba/Eilat.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 400 Kg.

Newborn length is 1.5 meters.

Life expectancy: Over 30 years.

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6. Common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates):

Species name refers to the short, truncated beak. Circum-global in cold

temperate to tropical waters

At sea identification: Mean adult body length in our region is 2.5 m,

occasionally reaching to 3m. This is in line with a slimmer and shorter

near-shore morph, which in other world locations is genetically distinct

from a larger (up to 4 m long) off-shore morph. Short, thick, cylindrical

beak, well separated from the melon by a sharp crease. Robust body

with grey to brown uniform coloration and a light belly. Variable shape

of dorsal fin (aids in individual identification). Seen close to shore in

groups of 5-6 (average) females and calves or juveniles, very fluid in

number and composition. Adult males travel solitary or in pairs,

occasionally joining encountered groups. Sociable and inquisitive, likes

to bow-ride. Trails bottom trawlers, diving for 2-4 minutes and coming

up for 4-5 breaths between dives.

Identifying marks on land: The shape of the beak is characteristic. Up

to 24 large, smooth and conical teeth in each half jaw. The majority of

Palestinian strandings are of this species.

Common in the Mediterranean, but in a declining trend, with fragmented

populations. The only truly inshore species in our region. An extremely

versatile forager, feeding on a variety of bottom and shallow water

schooling fish. Natural predators are large sharks. Most solitary sociable

dolphins are of this species, yet they are strong, wild animals and should

be thus treated. Breads year round, pregnancy lasting 12 months and

calves are usually weaned at 20 months but stay with their mother at

least until the next birth.

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Additional facts (local population):

Adult weight: Up to 300 Kg.

Newborn length is 1.1 meters and weight is 20 kg.

Oldest individual: 30 years.

7. Rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis):

Species name after the artist Van Breda. Circum-global in deep warm

waters.

At sea identification: Mean adult body length is 2.5 m, dark coloration

with a white to pinkish belly. Creamy or pinkish white blotches and

spots on lower parts of flanks. Relatively long pectoral fins and tall

triangular dorsal fin. Up close, identification is certain, on account of it

being the only dolphin with the melon smoothly sloping into the beak,

with no hint of a crease or change in angle. Usually sighted over deep

waters, in groups of 10-20 with very tight formation and synchronous

movement. Tends to swim near the surface with its dorsal fin exposed

(could be confused with a shark). Rather boat-shy and not acrobatic.

May dive up to 15 min.

Identifying marks on land: Apart from the front of the head, the

distinct mark is the longitudinal grooved or furrows on the teeth, that can

be seen or felt. Relatively large eyes.

Little is known about this dolphin. Feeds on a large variety of fish (of all

sizes) and squid. Considered rare in the Mediterranean, but in our region

strands regularly in late winter-spring and a large group entered Haifa

Harbor on March 2005.

229


Additional facts:

Adult weight: 160 Kg.

Newborn length is 1 m

Life expectancy: Over 30 years.

8. Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis):

Meaning of species name "Chinese". Coastal, from the Cape of Good

Hope to China and south to both sides of northern Australia.

At sea identification: Mean adult body length is 2.4 m. Coloration

ranges from grey, bluish grey, tan to pink and even white (in China),

either uniform or with dark cape and tip of dorsal fin. Robust body, long

and slender, separated beak, broad pectoral fins with rounded tips. The

distinct mark of the western Indian Ocean and Red Sea population is the

mid-back hump from which rises the dorsal fin (causing the exposed

back to look like a 3-staired pyramid). Rarely seen in water deeper than

20 m. Solitary, in pairs or small groups, seemingly unsegregated by age

or sex. Unsocial and non-acrobatic. Typically exposes beak prior to

blow-hole upon surfacing. Also tends to expose head and a single

pectoral fin when resting or milling. Flukes surface before sounding.

Most dives are less than a minute. Especially when foraging, mat be

found in mixed groups with bottlenose dolphins.

Identifying marks on land: Hump and pectorals. 30-38 teeth in each

half jaw.

Feeds on a wide variety of shallow water fish. Sexual maturity at 10

years for both sexes, pregnancy lasts 10-12 months, calving peaks in

spring and summer. Calf is weaned by 2, mother-calf bond lasts 3-4

years. Occurs in the Red Sea, up to the tip of the Gulf of Suez and the

Bitter Lakes. Occasional Lessepsian migrant to the Mediterranean. A

single sighting of one individual along the Palestinian coast, traveling

and foraging in mid winter from Atlit to Isdud/Ashdod.

Additional facts:

Adult weight: 150-280 Kg.

Newborn length is 1 m and weight is 25 kg

Life expectancy: Probably 30-40 years.

9. Short-beaked Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis):

Identification: The common dolphin is a medium sized dolphin, smaller

than the more popular bottlenose dolphin. Adults range between 1.6 to

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2.7 meters long, and can weigh between 70 and 235 kilograms. The

colour pattern on the body is unusual. The back is dark and the belly is

white, while on each side is an hourglass pattern colored light grey,

yellow or gold in front and dirty grey in back. It has a long, thin rostrum

with up to 50-60 small, sharp, interlocking teeth on each side of each

jaw.

Distribution: The common dolphin is widely distributed in temperate,

sub-tropical and tropical waters throughout the world in a band roughly

spanning 40 degrees south to 50 degrees north. The species typically

prefer enclosed bodies of water such as the Red and Mediterranean Seas.

Deep off-shore waters and to a lesser extent over continental shelves are

preferred to shallow waters. Some populations may be present all year

round; others appear to move in a migratory pattern. Preferred surface

water temperature is 10-28 degrees Celsius. The sum population is

unknown but numbers in the hundreds of thousands.

Behaviour: Common dolphins travel in groups of around 10-50 in

number and frequently gather into schools numbering 100 to 2000

individuals. These schools are generally very active - groups often

surface, jump and splash together. Typical behaviour includes breaching,

tail-slapping, chin-slapping, bow-riding and porpoising. Common

dolphins are among the fastest swimming cetaceans, possibly reaching

speeds of over 40 kph.

The dolphins have been seen to mix with other cetaceans such as other

dolphins in the Yellowfin tuna grounds of the eastern Pacific and also

schools of Pilot Whales. An intriguing theory suggests that dolphins

'bow-riding' on very large whales was the origin of bow-riding on boats.

The gestation period is about 11 months and the calving period is

between one and three years. Sexual maturation occurs at five years and

longevity is twenty to twenty-five years. These figures are subject to

large variation across different populations.

10. Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba):

Meaning of species name is "blue-white". Circum-global in deep warm

waters.

At sea identification: Mature animals are 2 m in length, Similar in form

to the common dolphin and only identified by the distinct coloration of a

dark blue back, white belly, grey flanks with a broad finger-shaped

marking invading the dark mantle below the dorsal fin. Three dark

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stripes extend from the eye: to anus, to pectoral fin and a thin short one

in between. Pellagic, over water deeper than 1,000 m. Acrobatic but

boat-shy. In the Mediterranean, group size is 7-25.

Identifying marks on land: If coloration pattern is not preserved, one

should verify the lack of palate grooves, to differentiate from common

dolphin.

Feeds on mesopellagic (in the mid water column) squid and fish (more

on the former), at depths between 200-700 m. Females in the

Mediterranean reach maturity at 12 y, calves staying in their maternal

group till 4 y before forming bachelor pods. The most abundant cetacean

in the Mediterranean, with an endemic population of 100,000. In

Palestine known solely from beachings (second most common).

Additional facts:

Adult weight: Up to 150 Kg.

Newborn length is 0.9 m and weight is 10 kg

Life expectancy: Up to 60 years.

11. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus

Distribution roughly overlies that of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin.

All wild bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Aqaba belong to this species,

which is genetically closer to Stenella species and to the common

dolphin than to the common bottlenose dolphin.

At sea identification: Mature animals are 2-2.5 m in length, smaller and

slimmer than the common bottlenose dolphin and with a more slender

beak. Sexually mature animals acquire dark spots on the light under