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

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<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong><br />

<strong>Part</strong> Three / Teil <strong>Dr</strong>ei<br />

1


Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine<br />

Tel. 00972-23400<strong>35</strong><br />

info@aljundi.biz<br />

www.aljundi.biz<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> – <strong>Part</strong> Three.<br />

Zoological Studies in Palestine between 2005 – 2012<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> – Teil <strong>Dr</strong>ei.<br />

Zoologische Studien in Palästina zwischen 2005 – 2012<br />

<strong>by</strong>: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

First Edition / Erste Auflage . July <strong>2013</strong><br />

<strong>ISBN</strong> <strong>978</strong> – <strong>9950</strong> – <strong>383</strong> – <strong>35</strong> - 7<br />

All Rights Reserved / Alle Rechte vorbehalten<br />

Copyright © <strong>2013</strong> <strong>by</strong> Al Jundi Publishing House. Jerusalem, Palestine<br />

Website of the Book:<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> – <strong>Part</strong> Three. Zoological Studies in Palestine between<br />

2005 – 2012 (<strong>ISBN</strong> <strong>978</strong>-<strong>9950</strong>-<strong>383</strong>-<strong>35</strong>-7):<br />

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

E-mail of the Author: <strong>Jaffa</strong>city@yahoo.de<br />

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

2011. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the<br />

Palestine Wildlife Society, Beit Sahour, State of Palestine.<br />

Cover Design / Umschlaggestaltung: Mrs. Ola Mostafa <strong>Khalaf</strong>. Dubai,<br />

United Arab Emirates.<br />

Printed and bound in Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine.<br />

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<strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong><br />

<strong>Part</strong> Three / Teil <strong>Dr</strong>ei<br />

Zoological Studies in Palestine<br />

between 2005 – 2012<br />

Zoologische Studien in Palästina<br />

zwischen 2005 – 2012<br />

Al Quds (Jerusalem), State of Palestine<br />

<strong>2013</strong><br />

3


4


Contents<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> –<strong>Part</strong> Three<br />

English / German Articles<br />

1. Preface..................................................................... 7<br />

2. About the Author: A Palestinian-German<br />

Zoologist.................................................................. 9<br />

3. Mammalia <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Mammals of Palestine /<br />

Die Säugetiere Palästine…...................................... 11<br />

4. Israel uses the Eland Antelope (Taurotragus oryx)<br />

as a new front line force to protect the Israeli-<br />

Lebanese border....................................................... 82<br />

5. The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus<br />

monachus, Hermann 1779) in Palestinian,<br />

Mediterranean and Atlantic Waters......................... 94<br />

6. Carnivora <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Carnivores of Palestine<br />

/ Die Raubtiere Palästinas……................................ 122<br />

7. Canis aureus palaestina <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008: A New<br />

Golden Jackal Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine................................................................... 159<br />

8. Rodentia <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Rodents of Palestine........ 177<br />

9. Mus musculus gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007: A New<br />

House Mouse Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine................................................................... 206<br />

10. Cetacea <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Whales and Dolphins in<br />

Palestinian Waters. Cetacean Species Guide for<br />

Palestine................................................................... 221<br />

11. Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus Lilljeborg,<br />

1861) sighted off the Mediterranean Coast of<br />

Palestine................................................................... 241<br />

12. The Story of Prophet Yunus (Jonah) and the<br />

Whale....................................................................... 249<br />

13. The Andromeda Sea Monster of <strong>Jaffa</strong> .................... 257<br />

14. The Story of Prophet Musa (Moses) and the Fish... 260<br />

15. An Ocean Sunfish or Common Mola (Mola mola,<br />

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Linnaeus 1758) caught off the coast of Gaza: The<br />

First Record from Palestine, East Mediterranean<br />

Sea........................................................................... 265<br />

16. Samak Al-Luchs (Al-Hamoor) or the Orange-<br />

Spotted Grouper (Epinephelus coioides) in<br />

Palestine (Mediterranean Sea) and the United Arab<br />

Emirates (Arabian Gulf).......................................... 287<br />

17 Amphibia <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Amphibians of Palestine 295<br />

18 The Palestinian Frogs and Toads............................. 317<br />

19 The Extinction of the Palestinian or Hula Painted<br />

Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer, Mendelssohn and<br />

Steinitz 1943): The Result of Israeli <strong>Dr</strong>ainage of<br />

the Lake Hula.......................................................... 320<br />

20 Das Aussterben der Palästinensischer<br />

Scheibenzüngler oder Hulesee- Scheibenzüngler<br />

(Discoglossus nigriventer, Mendelssohn and<br />

Steinitz 1943): Das Resultat der Israelischen<br />

Trockenlegung des Hulesees...................................<br />

331<br />

21 The Re-Discovery of the Palestinian or Hula<br />

Painted Frog (Discoglossus nigriventer,<br />

Mendelssohn and Steinitz 1943) in Palestine.......... 344<br />

6


IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST GRACIOUS, MOST MERCIFUL<br />

PREFACE<br />

Packed into Palestine's small area are snow-covered mountains, parched<br />

deserts, fertile fields, lush woodlands and long stretches of sand dunes.<br />

No less than four different geographical zones are included in Palestine,<br />

and the country's climate ranges from semi-arid to temperate to<br />

subtropical.<br />

All of this makes Palestine home to a stunning variety of plants and<br />

animals. Some 47,000 living species have been identified in Palestine,<br />

with another 4,000 assumed to exist. There are 116 species of mammals<br />

native to Palestine, 511 kinds of birds, 97 types of reptiles and nine types<br />

of amphibians. Some 2,780 types of plants grow countrywide, from<br />

Alpine flowers on northern mountain slopes to bright red coral peonies<br />

and desert papyrus reeds in the south.<br />

My first published scientific article goes back to January 1980, when I<br />

was still a student in the Zoology Department at Kuwait University,<br />

State of Kuwait. The article was about "The Colouration of Animals".<br />

I was especially interested in the Arabian Wildlife, and in particular, in<br />

my Homeland Palestine. My first zoological article about the Palestinian<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> dates back to February 1983. The article was entitled "The<br />

Badger in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula", and was published<br />

in the Palestinian "Al Khalisah" Bulletin, Kuwait University.<br />

Since that time, I had published many scientific articles in different<br />

scientific books, magazines and bulletins, and established my own<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. In July 1983, "Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin" was created. It was the First Palestinian Scientific<br />

Journal Worldwide (ISSN 0178 – 6288).<br />

My first zoological article in "Gazelle" was about "Order Lagomorpha<br />

in Palestine". Till now 100 "Gazelle" Issues were published; and many<br />

of my articles were about Palestinian Animals.<br />

Finally, and after more than 34 years in Zoological research and studies,<br />

in Palestine and many Arabic and European countries, and after<br />

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publishing many scientific articles in different scientific books,<br />

magazines and bulletins, especially the "Gazelle Bulletin", and after<br />

publishing many articles in the Gazelle Bulletin Web Site, since 2001<br />

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

on the internet under (www.webs.com), and after publishing my<br />

zoological books: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin in July<br />

2004, Aquatica Arabica in August 2005, Mammalia Arabica in July<br />

2006, Felidae Arabica in July 2007, Carnivora Arabica in September<br />

2008, <strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> – <strong>Part</strong> One in September 2009, <strong>Fauna</strong><br />

Emiratus – <strong>Part</strong> One in November 2010, and my eighth book <strong>Fauna</strong><br />

<strong>Palaestina</strong> – <strong>Part</strong> Two which was published <strong>by</strong> Dar Al Jundi Publishing<br />

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

decided to publish my newest scientific book in the Holy City of<br />

Jerusalem, Palestine, containing selected "Palestinian" research and<br />

articles which were published between 2005 - 2012.<br />

It is hard to be optimistic about the future of Wildlife in Palestine. But<br />

recent years have shown the development of official and public interest,<br />

and efforts to conserve the Palestinian <strong>Fauna</strong>. Palestinian animals lived<br />

with humans for thousands of years. There are a lot of stories concerning<br />

Prophets with Palestinian animals, which were mentioned in the Holy<br />

Quran, Bible and Torah.<br />

I hope that I can participate with my new book to our knowledge about<br />

"<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong>", and to help and to be part in protecting the<br />

endangered Palestinian and Arabian <strong>Fauna</strong>.<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>.<br />

Al Quds (Jerusalem), the Capital of the State of Palestine and the Capital<br />

of Arab Culture.<br />

05 th July <strong>2013</strong> (My 51 th Birthday).<br />

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About the Author<br />

A Palestinian-German Zoologist<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong><br />

<strong>Jaffa</strong> is a Palestinian-German Zoologist, Ecologist and Geologist.<br />

Born in Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany in 1962. His family<br />

originally comes from Al Eizariya (Bethany), east of Al Quds<br />

(Jerusalem), Palestine. The family then moved to the city of <strong>Jaffa</strong>,<br />

Palestine before 1948. Finished School in Kuwait. Studied<br />

Zoology, Geology and Ecology for the Bachelor, Master and<br />

Doctorate degrees at the Universities of Kuwait, Durham<br />

(England) and Ashwood (USA). Specialised in Animal Behaviour<br />

and Ecology. Done a lot of work and research in the Universities<br />

of Kuwait, Durham and Saarbrücken; and in the Zoos, Wild Parks<br />

and Field Studies in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq,<br />

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Turkey,<br />

Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Holland, Belgium,<br />

Luxembourg, England, Scotland, Jersey Island, France, Austria,<br />

Switzerland and Germany.<br />

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He is the author and publisher of "Gazelle : The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin" (ISSN 0178-6288), the first Palestinian<br />

scientific journal worldwide (since 1983); and the author of nine<br />

books: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin (2004),<br />

Aquatica Arabica (2005), Mammalia Arabica (2006), Felidae<br />

Arabica (2007), Carnivora Arabica (2008), <strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> –<br />

<strong>Part</strong> One (2009), <strong>Fauna</strong> Emiratus – <strong>Part</strong> One (2010), <strong>Fauna</strong><br />

<strong>Palaestina</strong> – <strong>Part</strong> Two (2012), <strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> – <strong>Part</strong> Three<br />

(<strong>2013</strong>), and the co-author of the book "Palestine: A Guide"<br />

(2005/2006).<br />

He discovered and scientifically named five new animal<br />

subspecies. Two Palestinian mammal subspecies from the Gaza<br />

Strip: The Gaza or Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus<br />

gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007) and the Palestine Golden Jackal (Canis<br />

aureus palaestina <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008); and two Emirati freshwater fish<br />

subspecies: The Emirati or Wadi Al Wurayah Blind Cave Fish<br />

(Garra barreimiae wurayahi <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2009) and the Emirati or<br />

<strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>'s Tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus<br />

bassamkhalafi <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2009) from the Emirate of Fujairah, United<br />

Arab Emirates; and the Arabian or Emirati Four-Tusked Elephant<br />

Fossil († Stegotetrabelodon syrticus emiratus <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2010) from<br />

the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.<br />

He is working now as a free Scientific Researcher, Publisher and<br />

Tourist Guide in the United Arab Emirates. He is married to Ola<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong> and has one daughter, Nora (14 <strong>Year</strong>s).<br />

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Mammalia <strong>Palaestina</strong><br />

The Mammals of Palestine<br />

Die Säugetiere Palästinas<br />

ثدييات فلسطين<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Despite its small area, Palestine has a relatively rich fauna, due to its<br />

location at the crossroads of three continents, and because of the large<br />

variety of habitats and climates.<br />

More than 110 species of mammals have roamed the ancient forests,<br />

mountains and deserts of the Holy Land. Their interaction with humans<br />

is documented in the cave drawings of early Neanderthal inhabitants,<br />

and in the writings of all Near Eastern civilizations and Religions<br />

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

and encroachment into fragile ecosystems in recent centuries has<br />

resulted in the extinction of several species: aurochs (wild ox), Syrian<br />

Onager (wild ass), roebuck (roe deer), fallow deer, red deer, Arabian<br />

oryx, Syrian brown bear, Asiatic cheetah and the Asiatic lion.<br />

Today, the largest Palestinian land animals are Arabian mountain<br />

gazelles, wild boar, foxes, jungle cats, Sinai ibex and the rarely seen<br />

leopards, hyenas, jackals and wolves. In all, there are 116 different<br />

species of land animals in Palestine, compared with 140 in the whole of<br />

Europe, which is 300 times larger. This is an impressive figure for a<br />

small country, but the numbers of animals within each species is<br />

shrinking.<br />

Since the 1960s, the Israeli Nature Reserves Authority has been<br />

reintroducing populations of animals which were native to the area in<br />

biblical times, under a program known as Hai-Bar. Breeding centers for<br />

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Mediterranean animals (in the Carmel) and desert animals (at Yotvata in<br />

the Wadi Araba) have been set up, and five species were selected for the<br />

first stage: ostriches, roe deer, Asiatic wild asses, Persian fallow deer<br />

and the white oryx. All except the roe deer are globally endangered. The<br />

founder animals for each species came from both zoos and the wild,<br />

around the world. Successful reintroductions into the wild have already<br />

been implemented for the Asiatic wild ass (starting in 1982), the fallow<br />

deer (since 1996) and the white oryx (since 1997).<br />

Most of the Wildlife in Palestine is legally protected <strong>by</strong> the Israeli Wild<br />

Animals Protection Law, enacted in l954. This law also protected all<br />

carnivores, except the Syrian jackal (Canis aureus syriacus), which was<br />

only later declared a protected species. The Wildlife in Palestine is also<br />

legally protected <strong>by</strong> the Palestinian Environment Law no. 7, enacted in<br />

1999. The legal protection of carnivores in Palestine is reasonably well<br />

enforced. Cases of intentional killing of carnivores, mainly <strong>by</strong> shooting,<br />

are rare and carried out only <strong>by</strong> the Arabs and <strong>Dr</strong>use, with whom the<br />

traditional animosity towards carnivores is still prevalent. There are,<br />

however, occasional cases of mortality caused <strong>by</strong> pesticides, mainly<br />

secondary poisoning from feeding on poisoned pest rodents. Mortality of<br />

carnivores caused <strong>by</strong> humans in Palestine is mainly through road<br />

accidents, which, however, do not appear to endanger any species, as<br />

shown <strong>by</strong> the hyaena (Hyaena hyaena). This species has a small<br />

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

accidents, with about 20 animals being killed in this way every year.<br />

However, the population seems to be slowly increasing. One advantage<br />

of road deaths is that they provide documentation on the distribution of<br />

the carnivores concerned. For example, the recent spread of the stone<br />

marten (Martes foina) is well-documented <strong>by</strong> road deaths (<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong><br />

<strong>Jaffa</strong>, 2006).<br />

Conservation efforts in occupied Palestine are needed to ensure the<br />

continued survival of the Arabian leopard, Arabian caracal, Palestine<br />

wild cat, Palestine jungle cat, Arabian wolf, Palestine fox, Afghan fox,<br />

Sinai ibex and the desert gazelles, and to prevent the continued habitat<br />

destruction that takes its toll on smaller mammals.<br />

In this study which was relied mainly on the book ―Mammals of the<br />

Holy Land‖ (1996) <strong>by</strong> the Palestinian Scientist Prof. <strong>Dr</strong>. Mazin B.<br />

Qumsiyeh, I would like to list the Palestinian mammals living in the<br />

―Land of Milk and Honey‖ or the ―Land of the Gazelle‖.<br />

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Order: INSECTIVORA (Insectivores: Hedgehogs and Shrews):<br />

Family: Erinaceidae (Hedgehogs):<br />

1. East European Hedgehog, Common Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus<br />

concolor, Martin 1918) and the Palestine Hedgehog (Erinaceus<br />

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

Type from near Jerusalem, Palestine. Perhaps a valid subspecies:<br />

Erinaceus concolor sacer]:<br />

This is the largest of the three species of hedgehogs in Palestine. Head<br />

and body length ranges from 200 to 260 mm. in adults with a skull<br />

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

generally larger than females. The East European Hedgehog is<br />

distributed in Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.<br />

It is common in the northern half of Palestine, in the Judean hills<br />

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

Ruhama. This species is found in the more mesic areas of Palestine.<br />

Records are available from the mountain regions (receiving more than<br />

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

it is common and records from Palestine are abundant. Both Aharoni<br />

(1930) and Bodenheimer (1958) reported common hedgehogs as<br />

abundant in Palestine extending as far south as Ruhama and Gaza. It was<br />

also recorded in and around Jerusalem, Beit Lid (near Natanya), Ti<strong>von</strong>,<br />

Lod, Beit Lahem (Bethlehem) and Beit Sahur.<br />

Hedgehogs are common animals in the folklore of the locals. All<br />

hedgehogs are referred to in Arabic as ―Qunfuth‖ ) ( and rarely as<br />

―Kababet chouk‖ (spiny creature) or ―Khlund‖. They are eaten <strong>by</strong> some<br />

locals, especially among Bedouins. In many areas, elders attribute<br />

medicinal qualities to hedgehog meat (for example, a cure for arthritis<br />

and rheumatism) (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

2. Egyptian Long-eared Hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus aegyptius, E.<br />

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1803) and the Syrian Hedgehog (Erinaceus<br />

syriacus, Wood 1876) [Bible animals, p. 83, from Palestine. Synonym of<br />

aegyptius]; and (Erinaceus brachydactylus, Tristram 1884) [<strong>Fauna</strong> and<br />

flora of Palestine, p. 95]:<br />

The Egyptian Long-eared Hedgehog is distributed in Egypt, Cyrenaica<br />

(East of Li<strong>by</strong>a) and Palestine. In Palestine, it is common in the southern<br />

part of the coastal plain as far north as Qeisariya (Caesarea), and south<br />

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

13<br />

لنفذ


[Beersheba]). This species occupies an area in Palestine that is<br />

intermediate in rainfall (100-400 mm.). It avoids extreme desert<br />

conditions and the northern cold mountain regions. This species is<br />

common along the coastal plains from <strong>Jaffa</strong> southward to Gaza and Al-<br />

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

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

le Zion, Beit Sahur, Bethlehem, Givatayim (near Tel Aviv), Tel Aviv,<br />

Beit Hanan, Herzelia, Kfar Vitkin, Moza, Revivim, Gevim, Shivta,<br />

Zahala and Tel Shoqet (western Arad).<br />

Ethiopian Hedgehog at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2012. Photograph <strong>by</strong><br />

Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife<br />

Society.<br />

3. Ethiopian Hedgehog, Desert Hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus<br />

pectoralis, Heuglin 1861):<br />

This species is intermediate in size between the small Hemiechinus<br />

auritus and the large Erinaceus concolor. Skull length is generally 45-52<br />

mm. It occurs throughout Africa, Sinai, Arabia, the Syrian Desert, the<br />

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

reaches the Jordan Valley. The first specimen from the area is that from<br />

Petra (Jordan) on which the name pectoralis was based. Tristram (1884)<br />

and Bodenheimer (1958) reported that this hedgehog is common in<br />

14


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

(Beersheba), Wadi Araba, Areeha (Jericho), Azraq ed <strong>Dr</strong>uz, Wadi Rum<br />

(at Dieseh), Turabah, Wadi Raman, Revivim, Ein Radian, Rehovot,<br />

Zeelim, Nahal Zin, Jerusalem, Massua, Ain Auja, Ahuzam and Avedat<br />

Horvot.<br />

Family: Soricidae (Shrews):<br />

4. Bicoloured White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura leucodon, Hermann<br />

1780) and the Palestine or Judean Bicoloured White-toothed Shrew<br />

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

3: 32. Type from near Jerusalem, Palestine]:<br />

The distribution of this species is from Western Europe to central and<br />

southern Russia, eastern Turkestan, Asia Minor, northern Iran and the<br />

Arabian Peninsula. In Palestine, It is found in the northern and central<br />

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

Heights.<br />

5. Palestine Lesser White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura suaveolens portali,<br />

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

Palestine. Valid subspecies: Crocidura suaveolens portali] and (Suncus<br />

tristrami, Bodenheimer 19<strong>35</strong>) [Animal life in Palestine, p. 95.<br />

Synonym]:<br />

This Shrew is distributed in Europe and Asia. The subspecies Crocidura<br />

suaveolens portali is known from northern Iraq, Egypt (southern Sinai)<br />

and Palestine, where it has been found in the Huleh Valley (Dan), the<br />

coastal plain (Ramleh) and in the Araba (Arava) Valley (Ein Yahav).<br />

6. Savi's dwarf Shrew, Mediterranean pygmy Shrew, Etruscan Shrew,<br />

Lesser Shrew (Suncus etruscus, Savi 1822) and the Palestine pygmy<br />

Shrew (Sorex pygmaeus, Tristram 1884) [Survey of western Palestine,<br />

fauna and flora of Palestine, p. 24. Type from Dir Mar Saba, Palestine.<br />

Synonym]:<br />

Savi‘s dwarf Shrew is widespread from southern Europe, the<br />

Mediterranean region, the Caucasus, southern Russia, Turkestan, India,<br />

Ceylon, Malaya, Iran, Arabia, North Africa, northern Nigeria, French<br />

Guinea, East and South Africa. In Palestine, it has been recorded from<br />

the northern part of the country as far south as Mar Saba near the Dead<br />

Sea.<br />

15


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

This species is distributed in Turkey, Caucasia, Iran, Lebanon and<br />

Palestine. It has been recorded once from Mount Hermon at 1,200 m.<br />

above sea level.<br />

8. Great White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura russula monacha, Thomas<br />

1906):<br />

This Shrew is widespread in Western Europe, southern Russia,<br />

Transcaucasia, southern Turkestan, Armenia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Iran,<br />

Afghanistan, east to Kashmir, China, Japan and North Africa, from<br />

Morocco to Tunisia, but not Egypt. The subspecies Crocidura russula<br />

monacha is known from Lebanon and Palestine, where it is the most<br />

common shrew from Mount Hermon and the occupied Golan Heights as<br />

far south as Eilat.<br />

9. Ramon White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura ramona, Ivanitskaya<br />

Shenbrot and Nevo 1996): This Shrew is presently known only from<br />

southern Palestine, at the northern edge of the Judean Desert and the<br />

Naqab (Negev) Desert highlands (Mizpe Ramon, Sde Boqer and<br />

Sartaba).<br />

10. Pale Gray Shrew, East Persian White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura<br />

pergrisea, Miller 1913):This Shrew is distributed in Baltisan (Kashmir),<br />

eastern Iran and Palestine, where it has been recorded once on Mount<br />

Hermon at 2,000 m.<br />

Order: CHIROPTERA (Bats):<br />

Family: Pteropodidae (Fruit-eating Bats):<br />

11. Egyptian Fruit Bat, Flying ―Fox‖ (Rousettus aegyptiacus, E.<br />

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1810):<br />

The Egyptian Fruit Bat is distributed in Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon,<br />

Palestine, Egypt, and Ethiopian Africa in part, south to Angola. In<br />

Palestine, It is common in the coastal plain, on Mount Carmel, in the<br />

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

the hills. In Eilat, it probably represents the Arabian subspecies,<br />

Rousettus aegyptiacus arabicus Anderson and de Winton 1902, which is<br />

usually smaller, with a more pointed ear tip.<br />

16


Family: Rhinopomatidae (Mouse-tailed Bats):<br />

12. Arabian Lesser Mouse-tailed Bat, Small Mouse-tailed Bat<br />

(Rhinopoma hardwickei arabium, Thomas 1913) and (Rhinopoma<br />

hardwickei cystops, Thomas 1903):<br />

This Bat is distributed in North and East Africa, the Asben region,<br />

Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, southern to northern Kenya, Arabia, Iran,<br />

Afghanistan, India, Burma and lower Siam. In Palestine, it is found in<br />

the Huleh Valley (Dan), western Galilee (Hanita and Rosh Hanikra), the<br />

western shore of the Sea of Galilee (Wadi Amud), the western shore of<br />

the Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), and the Araba (Arava) Valley (Ein Yahav).<br />

13. Larger Mouse-tailed Bat, Great Rat-tailed Bat, Long-tailed Bat<br />

(Rhinopoma microphyllum, Brünnich 1782):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Northeast Africa, Egypt and Arabia, through<br />

India and Burma. In Palestine, it is fairly common in the Huleh Valley<br />

and rarer in the hills, Jordan Valley, plain of Jericho and the Dead Sea<br />

basin.<br />

Family: Emballonuridae (Sheath-tailed Bats, Ghost Bats, Tomb<br />

Bats):<br />

14. Naked-bellied Tomb Bat, Naked-rumped Bat (Taphozous<br />

nudiventris, Cretzschmar 1830):<br />

This bat is distributed in Egypt, south to northern Kenya, Congo,<br />

southern Iran, Arabia, and east to India, Burma and Malay States. The<br />

subspecies Taphozous nudiventris nudiventris is known from Arabia. In<br />

Palestine, it occurs in the Huleh Valley (Dan), Galilee (Wadi Amud),<br />

southeast of Haifa, near the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.<br />

15. Geoffroy‘s Tomb Bat, Egyptian Tomb Bat (Taphozous perforatus, E.<br />

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1818) and (Taphozous perforatus haedinus,<br />

Thomas 1925):<br />

This Bat is distributed in southwestern Arabia, Egypt, southward and<br />

westward in Africa and India. In Palestine, the subspecies Taphozous<br />

perforatus haedinus has been recorded from west of the Sea of Galilee,<br />

the western shore of the Dead Sea, and the northern Naqab Desert.<br />

Family: Nycteridae (Slit-faced Bats):<br />

17


16. Egyptian Slit-faced Bat (Nycteris thebaica, E. Geoffroy St. Hilaire<br />

1818):<br />

This bat is distributed in Greece (Corfu), Egypt (Sinai), Sudan, Kenya,<br />

Angola and Arabia. In Palestine, it has been recorded in the Jordan<br />

Valley (Beit Shan) and the Araba Valley (Ein Yahav).<br />

Family: Rhinolophidae (Horseshoe Bats, Old World Leaf-nosed<br />

Bats):<br />

17. Greater or Larger Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum,<br />

Schreber 1774):<br />

This Bat is widespread from Europe through Asia, north of the Himalaya<br />

Mountains, as far east as Japan, south through Asia Minor, Syria,<br />

Palestine and Africa. In Palestine, it is common throughout the<br />

Mediterranean coastal region, around the Sea of Galilee and the Judean<br />

hills (Jerusalem).<br />

18. Arabian Horseshoe Bat, Desert or Cretzschmar's Horseshoe Bat<br />

(Rhinolophus clivosus, Cretzschmar 1828):<br />

This Bat is distributed around the Red Sea coasts of Arabia, African<br />

coast of Gulf of Aden, southern Arabia, Eritrea, Egypt, the Sinai and<br />

Sahara Deserts. In Palestine, it may occur in the southern coastal plain<br />

and northern Naqab Desert.<br />

19. Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros, Bechstein 1800)<br />

and (Rhinolophus hipposideros minimus, Heuglin 1861):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Western Europe through to southwestern<br />

Russia, Asia Minor, Arabia, Iran, east to Kashmir and North Africa,<br />

Sudan and Ethiopia. The subspecies Rhinolophus hipposideros minimus<br />

occurs in Lebanon and Arabia. In Palestine, it ranges from the Huleh<br />

Valley, around the Sea of Galilee, Mount Carmel, Judean hills<br />

(Jerusalem), the coastal plain, Naqab Desert and Araba Valley (Ein<br />

Yahav).<br />

20. Peter's Horseshoe Bat, Blasius‘s Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus blasii,<br />

Peters 1857):<br />

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe, Cyprus, Transcaucasia,<br />

southwest Russian Turkestan, Iran, Asia Minor and North Africa. In<br />

Palestine, it is found from the coastal plain (Herzlia) to the Judean hills<br />

(Jerusalem – the Cave of Adullam).<br />

18


21. East Mediterranean Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus euryale, Blasius<br />

1853) and the Palestine or Judean Horseshoe Bat (Euryalus judaicus,<br />

Anderson and Matschie 1904) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1904:<br />

80. From Cave of Adullam, near Jerusalem (= Mogharet Khureitun, 4<br />

km southeast of Beit Sahur, fide Atallah, 1977) Perhaps a valid<br />

subspecies Rhinolophus euryale judaicus]:<br />

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe, Asia Minor, Iran and North<br />

Africa. The subspecies Rhinolophus euryale judaicus occurs in Lebanon,<br />

Jordan and in Palestine, where it is known from the Sea of Galilee, the<br />

coastal plain and the Judean hills.<br />

22. Mehely‘s Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus mehelyi, Matschie 1901):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Transcaucasia, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon and<br />

Palestine, where it has been recorded from the north (Rosh Hanikra), the<br />

coastal plain (Herzlia), Galilee and the Judean hills (Jerusalem).<br />

Family: Hipposideridae (Leaf-nosed Bats):<br />

23. Trident Leaf-nosed Bat (Asellia tridens, E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire<br />

1812):<br />

This Bat is distributed in North Africa, Senegal, Egypt to Zanzibar,<br />

southern Iran, southern Syria, Arabia, eastward to northwestern India. In<br />

Palestine, it is common and widespread from Mount Carmel, the coastal<br />

plain, Jordan Valley, Judean hills to the Araba Valley (north of Eilat).<br />

Family: Molossidae (Free-tailed Bats, Sharp-nosed Bats, Mastiff<br />

Bats):<br />

24. Egyptian Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida aegyptiaca, Geoffroy 1818):<br />

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

greatest length of skull of 20-22 mm. This species is distributed in the<br />

most of Africa, and into Arabia and India. In Palestine, it is not yet<br />

recorded, but doubtless occurs in the Naqab Desert.<br />

25. European Free-tailed Bat (Tadarida teniotis rueppellii, Temminck<br />

1826):<br />

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe, Madeira, and the Canary<br />

Islands, through North Africa to southern China, Taiwan and Japan. The<br />

subspecies Tadarida teniotis rueppellii is known from Egypt, Lebanon,<br />

19


Iraq and Palestine, where it is found on Mount Carmel, the coastal plain,<br />

Jordan Valley, Judean hills and the Naqab Desert, as far south as Eilat.<br />

Family: Vespertilionidae (Plain-nosed Bats, Common Bats)<br />

26. Arabian Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus leucomelas,<br />

Cretzschmar 1826):<br />

The nominate subspecies is found in Europe and Russia. The Arabian<br />

race Barbastella barbastellus leucomelas occurs in the Caucasus,<br />

Transcaucasia, Russian Turkestan, Chinese Turkestan, southern Asia,<br />

Iran, Sinai and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the southern<br />

Wadi Araba (Eilat), but it is very rare.<br />

27. Geoffroy‘s Bat, Notch-eared Bat (Myotis emarginatus, Geoffroy<br />

1806) and (Myotis emarginatus desertorum, Dobson 1875):<br />

This Bat is distributed in southern and Central Europe, from France to<br />

Italy, eastern Iran, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is common on Mount<br />

Carmel and in the coastal plain.<br />

28. Lebanese Greater Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis macrocephalis,<br />

Harrison and Lewis 1961):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Western Europe, south Asia Minor, Russia,<br />

east to Carpathians, Arabia. The subspecies Myotis myotis<br />

macrocephalis is found in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is<br />

fairly common in Upper Galilee.<br />

29. Persian Lesser Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis blythii omari, Thomas<br />

1906):<br />

The Lesser Mouse-eared Bat is distributed in the Mediterranean region<br />

of Europe, southern Russia, and eastwards through southwest Asia, Asia<br />

Minor, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Arabia and North Africa. The Persian<br />

subspecies Myotis blythii omari is known from Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria,<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the Jezreel<br />

Valley (Beit She‘arim).<br />

30. Long-fingered Bat (Myotis capaccinii bureschi, Heinrich 1936):<br />

This Bat is distributed in the Mediterranean region, Spain, southern<br />

France, Italy, Corsica, Switzerland, Sardinia, Transylvania, Yugoslavia,<br />

Greece, Bulgaria, Turkestan, Iran, Arabia, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Morocco<br />

and Algeria. The subspecies Myotis capaccinii bureschi is known from<br />

20


Bulgaria. In Palestine, it has been recorded from around the Sea of<br />

Galilee and Mount Carmel.<br />

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

Säugetierkd., 29: 58. Type from Aqua Bella, near Jerusalem, Palestine.<br />

Synonym of Myotis nattereri] :<br />

The Natterer‘s Bat is distributed in Europe, the Middle East and Far<br />

East. The Palestinian subspecies Myotis nattereri hoveli is known only<br />

from Palestine, where it is common in Galilee, the coastal plain and the<br />

Judean hills, where it was first recorded <strong>by</strong> David L. Harrison in Aqua<br />

Bella, near Jerusalem.<br />

32. Egyptian Pygmy Pipistrelle, Desert Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus ariel,<br />

Thomas 1904):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Eastern Egypt and Sudan; and in Palestine, it is<br />

very rare, but has been recorded southwest of the Dead Sea (Nahal<br />

Ze‘elim) and in the Wadi Araba.<br />

33. Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, Schreber 1774):<br />

The subspecies Pipistrellus pipistrellus pipistrellus is known from<br />

Europe and parts of Asia, Asia Minor, Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine,<br />

where it is very rare on Mount Hermon and the occupied Golan Heights,<br />

and seems to reach the southern limit of its range in Upper Galilee.<br />

34. Kuhl's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii marginatus, Cretzschmar 1830)<br />

and (Pipistrellus kuhlii ikhwanius, Cheesman and Hinton 1924):<br />

The species is widespread from southern Europe, southern Russia,<br />

southwest Asia, Asia Minor, Arabia, northern Sinai and North, East and<br />

South Africa. The subspecies Pipistrellus kuhlii ikhwanius is known<br />

from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Arabia, Sinai and Palestine, where it is the<br />

commonest insectivorous bat and found throughout the north into the<br />

northern Naqab Desert, Judean Desert and around the Dead Sea.<br />

<strong>35</strong>. Savi's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii caucasicus, Satunin 1901):<br />

This Bat is distributed in southern Europe and Russia, Asia Minor,<br />

Lebanon and Palestine east to Siberia and Mongolia, North Africa, but<br />

not Egypt. The subspecies Pipistrellus savii caucasicus is known from<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been recorded from Upper Galilee.<br />

36. Palestine Bodenheimer's Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus savii bodenheimeri,<br />

21


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

(Ein Ghidyan), 40 km north of Eilat, Wadi Araba, Palestine]:<br />

This Bat is distributed in Sinai, Arabian Peninsula, south to Aden. In<br />

Palestine, it is common near the western shore of the Dead Sea and in<br />

the southern Wadi Araba, where it was first recorded <strong>by</strong> David L.<br />

Harrison in Ein Ghidyan (Yotvata).<br />

37. Rüppell‘s Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus rueppelli coxi, Thomas 1919):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, the<br />

Congo, northern and southern Zimbabwe, Nyasaland, Ngamiland,<br />

Bechuanaland, Senegal and Angola. The subspecies Pipistrellus<br />

rueppelli coxi is known from Iraq and Palestine, where it has been<br />

recorded from northernmost Upper Galilee.<br />

38. Lebanese Common Noctule or Great Bat (Nyctalus noctula<br />

lebanoticus, Harrison 1962):<br />

This Bat is widespread in Western Europe, Russia, south to Asia Minor,<br />

eastwards through Iran and Asia. The subspecies Nyctalus noctula<br />

lebanoticus is rare in the region where it is known from Lebanon and<br />

Palestine (near Areeha [Jericho]).<br />

39. Serotine Bat (Eptesicus serotinus, Schreber 1774) and (Eptesicus<br />

serotinus isabellinus, Temminck 1840):<br />

This species has the widest range of all bats – being the only bat<br />

common to both the Old and New Worlds. It is widespread in central<br />

and southern Europe, east toward Asia, North and part of West Africa.<br />

In Palestine, it is found in Upper Galilee, the coastal plain and the<br />

Judean hills.<br />

40. Botta's Serotine Bat, Lesser Serotine Bat (Eptesicus bottae innesi,<br />

Lataste 1887):<br />

This bat is distributed in Egypt and Palestine, where it is very rare but<br />

has been recorded in the Araba Valley (from Ein Gedi and Yotvata).<br />

41. Hemprich's Long-eared Bat (Otonycteris hemprichi jin, Cheesman<br />

and Hinton 1924):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Kashmir, Russian Turkestan through Iran, Iraq<br />

and Palestine, where the subspecies Otonycteris hemprichi jin is known<br />

from the western shore of the Dead Sea, the Naqab Desert and the Wadi<br />

Araba.<br />

22


42. Gray Long-eared Bat (Plecotus austriacus christiei, Gray 1838):<br />

This Bat is distributed in Europe, Asia Minor, Iran, Afghanistan and<br />

Kashmir, Egypt, North and East Africa. The subspecies Plecotus<br />

austriacus christiei apparently occurs in Egypt, Sinai, Syria and<br />

Palestine, where it is widespread in the north, the Judean hills (near<br />

Jerusalem), and south through the Naqab Desert to Eilat.<br />

43. Schreiber's Bat, Long-winged Bat, Bent-winged Bat (Miniopterus<br />

schreibersi, Kuhl 1819) and (Miniopterus schreibersi pallidus, Thomas<br />

1907):<br />

Schreiber‘s Bat is widespread in the Old World, through Europe and<br />

Asia, Asia Minor, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been<br />

recorded from the central coastal plain, south to Lahav.<br />

Order: CARNIVORA (Carnivores):<br />

Family: Canidae (Dogs, Jackals, Wolves, Foxes):<br />

44. Syrian or Asiatic Jackal, Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus,<br />

Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Palestine Golden Jackal (Canis<br />

aureus palaestina, <strong>Khalaf</strong> 2008) [Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

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

Type from Rafah and Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine]:<br />

The Golden Jackal is distributed in southern Europe, North Africa,<br />

Egypt, Asia Minor, Arabia, to India and the Indochinese Peninsula. The<br />

subspecies Canis aureus syriacus is common throughout the northern<br />

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

not penetrate the desert.<br />

45. Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster, Hemprich and Ehrenberg<br />

1833):<br />

The Egyptian Jackal is a valid subspecies, and is distributed in Egypt<br />

and perhaps Sinai and the Naqab Desert. The Egyptian subspecies was<br />

quoted from Palestine <strong>by</strong> Flower (1932).<br />

46. Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus, Noack<br />

1896):<br />

The Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal is distributed in southern Arabia. In<br />

Palestine, jackals found near the Dead Sea (Ein Fashkhah and Neot<br />

Hakikar) probably belong to this subspecies.<br />

23


47. Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes, Sykes 1831):<br />

The Indian Wolf is widespread from northern India to Sind, south to<br />

Dharwat, Baluchistan, southern Iraq, Kuwait, northern Arabia, Syria,<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where the subspecies Canis lupus pallipes is<br />

extirpated from the coastal plain, but still occurs in the Judean hills, and<br />

is an intruder in the Huleh Valley from the occupied Golan Heights. A<br />

slightly smaller and paler population appears to inhabit the northern<br />

Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.<br />

48. Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs, Pocock 1934):<br />

The Arabian Wolf is distributed in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait (where<br />

it may intergrade with the Indian subspecies), and Egypt (the southern<br />

and eastern Sinai desert). In Palestine, Canis lupus arabs inhabits the<br />

southern Wadi Araba and appears to intergrade with the Indian<br />

subspecies in the northern Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.<br />

A Wolf at Qalqilia Zoo, Qalqilia, Palestine in 2011. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr.<br />

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

24


49. Egyptian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus, Sonnini<br />

1816) and (Vulpes vulpes niloticus, Geoffroy 1803):<br />

The Egyptian Red Fox is known from Li<strong>by</strong>a and Egypt. It may be the<br />

race that inhabits the mountains of the Naqab and Sinai Deserts.<br />

50. Arabian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica, Thomas 1902):<br />

The Arabian Red Fox is distributed in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and<br />

Palestine, where the subspecies Vulpes vulpes arabica is found in the<br />

southern half of the country, in the stony desert hills and wadis of the<br />

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba,<br />

51. Palestine Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes palaestina, Thomas<br />

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

<strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palestine. Synonym of Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus]:<br />

The Palestine Red Fox is distinguished <strong>by</strong> its gray colour, particularly<br />

along its sides, with a nearly complete suppression of rufous, except the<br />

face. The forelegs are grayish-rufous or fulvous. The underparts are<br />

whitish or black. The upper tail is buffy, washed with black.<br />

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

121-148 mm.; tail 305-412 mm.<br />

The Palestinian subspecies Vulpes vulpes palaestina is known from<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where it is common along the coastal plain and<br />

as far south as Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).<br />

52. Mountain Common Red Fox, Tawny Fox (Vulpes vulpes flavescens,<br />

Gray 1843):<br />

The Mountain Fox is distributed in northern Iran, Kurdistan and Iraq.<br />

Vulpes vulpes flavescens may be the subspecies found in the northern,<br />

more mountainous regions of Palestine.<br />

53. Rüppell‘s Sand Fox (Vulpes rueppelli, Schinz 1825) and (Vulpes<br />

rueppelli sabaea, Pocock 1934):<br />

Rüppell‘s Sand Fox is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria, Li<strong>by</strong>a<br />

and Egypt, south to Sudan, Somaliland and Asben, Iran and<br />

Afghanistan. The subspecies Vulpes rueppelli sabaea is known from<br />

Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Palestine, where it inhabits the western<br />

side of the Dead Sea, and Wadi Araba. It may intergrade with the<br />

African subspecies Vulpes rueppelli rueppelli in the Naqab and Sinai<br />

Deserts where intermediate forms occur.<br />

25


54. Afghan Fox, Blanford‘s Fox (Vulpes cana, Blanford 1877):<br />

The Afghan Fox is distributed in Uzbek, southern Turkman, Russia,<br />

Afghanistan, Iran, northwestern Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United<br />

Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine and Sinai. In Palestine, it was<br />

discovered <strong>by</strong> G. Ilani, where it is known from the western side of the<br />

Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), and south to Eilat.<br />

55. Fennec Fox (Vulpes [Fennecus] zerda, Zimmerman 1780):<br />

The Fennec Fox is almost certain to be found in sandy desert areas in the<br />

Naqab and in eastern Jordan, because it was reported in similar habitats<br />

in Kuwait, Egypt and western Sinai (Harrison, 1968; <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 1984;<br />

Qumsiyeh, 1996). There is a record of an Epipaleolithic Fennec Fox<br />

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

Family: Felidae (Cats):<br />

56. Palestine Wild Cat, Bush Cat (Felis Silvestris tristrami, Pocock<br />

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

Moab, Jordan (collected <strong>by</strong> Tristram). Perhaps a valid subspecies: Felis<br />

silvestris tristrami] :<br />

The Wild Cat is widespread in Europe, Asia, Arabia and Africa. The<br />

Palestinian subspecies Felis Silvestris tristrami is found in Lebanon,<br />

Syria, Jordan and Palestine, where it is fairly common throughout most<br />

of the country.<br />

57. Iraqi or Mesopotamian Wild Cat, Desert Wild Cat (Felis silvestris<br />

iraki, Cheesman 1920):<br />

The Iraqi Wild Cat Felis silvestris iraki was described from Kuwait and<br />

northeast Arabia. In Palestine, a specimen fitting the description of this<br />

race, which had been killed <strong>by</strong> a car, was found <strong>by</strong> Walter W. Ferguson<br />

on the western side of the Dead Sea between Ein Zohar and Ein Boqek.<br />

58. Sand Cat (Felis margarita, Loche 1858) and the Arabian Sand Cat<br />

(Felis margarita harrisoni, Hemmer, Grubb and Groves 1976):<br />

The Sand Cat is distributed in North Africa, Egypt (Sinai), Russian<br />

Turkestan and Arabia. In Palestine, it is confined to the Wadi Araba<br />

(Hatseva).<br />

59. Palestine Jungle Cat, Swamp Cat (Felis chaus furax, de Winton<br />

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

26


Palestine (based on a specimen collected <strong>by</strong> Tristram). Valid subspecies]<br />

and (Lyncus chrysomelanotis, Nehring 1902) [Schriften Berl. Ges.<br />

Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1902: 145. Type from near the Jordan River. Synonym<br />

of Felis chaus furax] :<br />

The Jungle Cat is distributed in Asia, from the Caucasus and Turkestan<br />

to India and the Indochinese Peninsula, and Egypt. The Palestinian<br />

subspecies Felis chaus furax is known from Iraq, Jordan and Palestine,<br />

where it is found in the Huleh and Jordan Valleys, Galilee, the coastal<br />

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

(Jericho), and the southern end of the Dead Sea.<br />

60. Arabian Caracal Lynx, Desert Lynx (Felis [Caracal] caracal<br />

schmitzi, Matschie 1912) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1912:<br />

64. Type from ―Wadis opening to the Dead Sea‖. Type specimen at the<br />

Berlin Zoological Museum is from Ain ed Dachubeijir, Jordan. Valid<br />

subspecies] :<br />

The Caracal Lynx is distributed in northern Africa, Arabia, the Near East<br />

and India. The Arabian subspecies Caracal caracal schmitzi is known<br />

from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and<br />

Oman. In Palestine, it has been found in the occupied Golan Heights,<br />

Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley, Mount Carmel, near the Dead Sea, in<br />

the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.<br />

61. Anatolian Leopard (Panthera [Felis] pardus tulliana, Valenciennes<br />

1856):<br />

The Leopard is widespread from South Africa to Arabia, Iran and Asia,<br />

as far east as Japan. The Anatolian subspecies Panthera pardus tulliana<br />

is known from Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been<br />

recorded from Upper Galilee, formerly Mount Carmel, and the Judean<br />

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

subspecies in northern Palestine.<br />

62. Arabian Leopard, Nimer or Nimr (Panthera [Felis] pardus nimr,<br />

Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Sinai Leopard (Panthera [Felis]<br />

pardus jarvisi, Pocock 1932):<br />

The Arabian Leopard Panthera pardus nimr occurs in Palestine along<br />

the western side of the Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), the Judean and Naqab<br />

Deserts, south to Eilat and Sinai. It is rare and on the verge of<br />

extirpation. The Arabian Leopard is a valid subspecies in Arabia and<br />

27


southern Palestine; and the Sinai Leopard is a synonym of Panthera<br />

pardus nimr.<br />

63. Asiatic or Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Griffith<br />

1821):<br />

The Asiatic cheetah once ranged from Arabia to India, through Arabia,<br />

Iran, central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, particularly in Iran<br />

and the Indian subcontinent, it was numerous. Cheetahs were easy to<br />

train, and rulers kept huge numbers for hunting gazelles. The Moghul<br />

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

in many Persian and Indian miniature paintings. But <strong>by</strong> 1900 it was<br />

already headed for extinction in many areas. The last physical evidence<br />

of cheetahs in India was three shot (with two bullets) <strong>by</strong> the Maharajah<br />

of Surguja in 1947 in eastern Madhya Pradesh. In Palestine, it was<br />

scarce <strong>by</strong> 1884, though more common east of the Jordan River. By 1930,<br />

it was rare, but still common in the southern steppe. The last Palestinian<br />

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

Asiatic cheetahs are apparently extirpated except from Iran, and possibly<br />

Pakistan and Afghanistan. Estimated to number over 200 during the<br />

1970s in Iran, current estimates <strong>by</strong> Iranian biologist Hormoz Asadi put<br />

the number at 50 to 100 (Jackson, 1998).<br />

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

The Asiatic or Persian Lion was formerly distributed in Greece, Asia<br />

Minor, Iran, northern Arabia, and east to India. The Persian subspecies<br />

Panthera leo persica was found in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Palestine, where<br />

it must have been abundant in Biblical times. According to the Bible, in<br />

which it appears under several different names, the lion must have been<br />

quite common at that time. The species appears often on mosaics from<br />

the Roman and Byzantine periods. The thickets of the Jordan were a<br />

preferred habitat. It became extinct after the time of the Crusaders. The<br />

last mention of them being <strong>by</strong> Arab writers of the 13th and 14th century,<br />

when lions still existed near Samaria and other areas. One specimen has<br />

been hunted at Lejun, near Megiddo, in the thirteenth century. Alfaras<br />

Bin Shawer, Wali of Ramla, wrote that he saw eleven dead lions after<br />

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

Sanqarshah Almansouri, Naib of Safad (1304-1307), killed in the coastal<br />

forests 15 lions. At this time, lions certainly roamed over parts of Syria<br />

and Arabia and along the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, where in<br />

ancient times lions figured prominently in the great royal hunts in<br />

28


Assyria. It is clear that lions survived in Mesopotamia until the<br />

nineteenth century, and there are several references to them <strong>by</strong> travellers<br />

of that period. The Persian Lion has not been reported from Iran since<br />

1942. However, it is possible that it still exists there.<br />

The last remnant of the Asiatic Lion, which in historical times ranged<br />

from Greece to India through Iran (Persia), lives in the Gir Forest<br />

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

square miles) sanctuary in the state of Gujarat. In 1907 there were only<br />

13 lions left in the Gir, when the Nawab of Junagadh gave complete<br />

protection to them.<br />

A Lion hunting a Gazelle seen in the ―Tree of Life‖ Mosaic in the<br />

audience room of the bath house at Hisham‘s Palace (Qasr Hisham) in<br />

Jericho. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the<br />

Palestine Wildlife Society. Picture taken in 2007.<br />

Unlike the tiger, which prefers dense forests with adequate cover, the<br />

lion inhabits the scrub-type deciduous forests. Compared to its African<br />

counterpart, the Indian lion has a scantier mane. The lion seldom comes<br />

into contact with the tiger which also lives in India, but not in the Gir<br />

region as this forest is hotter and more arid than the habitat preferred <strong>by</strong><br />

the tiger.<br />

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

Arabic), and there is a village near<strong>by</strong> called Deir el Assad (Monastery of<br />

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

29


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

Naqab (Negev) desert (<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, 2006).<br />

Family: Herpestidae or Viverridae (Genets, Mongooses and Civets):<br />

65. Palestine Genet (Genetta genetta terraesanctae, Neumann 1902)<br />

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 183. Type from Mount Carmel<br />

area, Palestine]:<br />

The Palestine Genet was recorded from the Mount Carmel area <strong>by</strong><br />

Tristram (1866). Unspecified additional specimens were reported from<br />

Sejera (Schedschera) and Wadi Fauar near the Dead Sea <strong>by</strong> Aharoni<br />

(1930).<br />

66. Egyptian Mongoose, Ichneumon (Herpestes ichneumon, Linnaeus<br />

1758):<br />

The Egyptian Mongoose is distributed in southern Spain, North, East<br />

and Southwest Africa, Asia Minor, Turkey and Palestine, where it is<br />

common in the northern half of the country, in the Huleh Valley, along<br />

the coastal plain, with several isolated populations near the Dead Sea<br />

and the Wadi Araba.<br />

Family: Hyaenidae (Hyaenas and Aardwolves):<br />

A Striped Hyaena at Ramat Gan Safari Park and Zoo, near <strong>Jaffa</strong>,<br />

Palestine in 1999. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash.<br />

30


67. Syrian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena syriaca, Matschie 1900):<br />

The Striped Hyaena is distributed in North and East Africa, Egypt and<br />

Sinai, through Asia Minor, southern Russia, Iran, Arabia, Lebanon,<br />

Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq to Nepal and India. The Syrian subspecies<br />

Hyaena hyaena syriaca is known from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it has disappeared from the coastal plain and is<br />

becoming rare in the Huleh Valley, Upper Galilee, Mount Carmel and<br />

the Judean hills, south to the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba.<br />

68. Arabian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena sultana, Pocock 1934):<br />

The Arabian Striped Hyaena is known from southern Arabia. In<br />

Palestine, it occurs near the southern end of the Dead Sea (Neot<br />

Hakikar). A specimen in the collection of the Hebrew University of<br />

Jerusalem constitutes the first geographical record for Palestine. It may<br />

be that the Arabian race intergrades with the Syrian subspecies in the<br />

northern part of its range.<br />

69. Dubbah, Sudan Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena dubbah, Meyer<br />

1793):<br />

The Dubbah is a valid subspecies and perhaps enters Palestine from the<br />

Sinai.<br />

Family: Mustelidae (Weasels, Polecats, Martens, Badgers, Otters<br />

and Skunks):<br />

70. Common Weasel, Least Weasel, Snow Weasel (Mustela nivalis,<br />

Linnaeus 1766) and the Egyptian Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis<br />

subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Mediterranean<br />

Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein 1800):<br />

The common Weasel is the smallest carnivore in the region. It is<br />

distinguished <strong>by</strong> its slender body; long neck; low, rounded ears; short<br />

limbs; and tail which is less than a quarter of the length of the head and<br />

body. In the summer, the upper parts are a uniform brown, and the under<br />

parts are white, sharply demarcated along the flanks. The dorsal surface<br />

of the forefeet is white. The tail is brown, becoming darker towards the<br />

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

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

mm; tail 40-70 mm. (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

The common Weasel is active day and night. It inhabits holes, often the<br />

burrows of rodents and hollow trees, among boulders and rock crevices.<br />

31


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

species appeared to be more commensal than feral and was mostly<br />

obtained around human habitations and near cultivated areas (Setzer,<br />

1958). Flower (1932) remarked that in Egypt, these animals frequented<br />

clubs, restaurants, homes, and other buildings. Such habitat choice was<br />

not seen in Egypt later <strong>by</strong> Osborn and Helmy (1980).<br />

The Common Weasel feeds on insects, small rodents, birds, lizards,<br />

amphibians, fish and occasionally larger animals. Gestation period is 34-<br />

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

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

in December (Flower, 1932).<br />

The Common Weasel is widespread in Europe eastwards through<br />

Russia, Asia Minor, Iran, northern Arabia, Afghanistan, Mongolia,<br />

Korea, China, Japan and North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and<br />

North America.<br />

Considered <strong>by</strong> some authors a definite Pleistocene rodent specialist, the<br />

Common Weasel seems to have made its first appearance in Europe<br />

during the Mindel glacial episode (about 400,000 years ago) and is<br />

commonly found in cave deposits from the beginning of the Late<br />

Pleistocene. It represents a Palaearctic species of the Euro-Siberian<br />

Region, widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North Africa (Masseti,<br />

1995).<br />

In the Mediterranean region, the Common Weasel occurs today in<br />

northern Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), in most of southern<br />

Europe and in Anatolia. In the Levant its distribution is restricted to the<br />

northern areas of the region, including Lebanon (Harrison and Bates,<br />

1991) and northern Syria. In the northern Arabian Peninsula, it has not<br />

been reported since the Early Bronze Age (Dayan and Tchernov, 1988).<br />

In fact, in Palestine, the species does not exist at present (Dayan and<br />

Tchernov, 1988; Dayan, 1989). Beyond this distribution gap in<br />

Palestine, the Common Weasel occurs again in Egypt, along the Nile<br />

delta and valley, with a population characterized <strong>by</strong> large body size. This<br />

Egyptian population is almost completely commensal with man (Osborn<br />

and Helmy, 1980) and has been occasionally considered either a Roman<br />

introduction or a glacial relic. Even if they do not reach the size of the<br />

Egyptian Weasel, The Mediterranean Weasels are all characterized <strong>by</strong> a<br />

very large body size (King, 1989; Masseti, 1995).<br />

The subspecies found in Lebanon is the Mediterranean Mustela nivalis<br />

boccamela, and is smaller than the Egyptian subspecies Mustela nivalis<br />

subpalmata.<br />

32


The status of the weasel in Palestine is not clear. Two Common Weasel<br />

subspecies may occur in Palestine: The Egyptian Common Weasel<br />

(Mustela nivalis subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the<br />

Mediterranean Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein<br />

1800). Zoologists (Aharoni, 1930; Bodenheimer, 1958) of the first half<br />

of last century failed to confirm Tristram‘s listing of this species (as<br />

Mustela boccamela) as a member of the Palestinian fauna, from the<br />

vicinity of Mount Tabor. The common Weasel is reported from<br />

Holocene fossils (11,000 to about 5000 years before present) from<br />

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

(Tchernov, 1988). It probably became extirpated in Palestine due to<br />

increasing aridity. However, relict populations survived around the Nile<br />

Valley in northern Egypt (Osborn and Helmy, 1980), and two specimens<br />

are known from Lebanon (Harrison and Lewis, 1964). Thus, a<br />

population perhaps still survives in the Holy Land. Indeed, Harrison and<br />

Lewis (1964) reported undocumented skins in the collection of Salah<br />

(Selah) Merrill, who made most of this collection, while an American<br />

Consul in Jerusalem between 1882-1907 (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

The word Mustela is Latin for weasel; and the name nivalis is derived<br />

from nix, Latin, genitive nivis, snow. Hence, also, the common name<br />

Snow Weasel (Qumsiyeh, 1996; <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, 2006); and I would<br />

like to mention that the Weasel Tribe are common in Palestine.<br />

71. Syrian Stone Marten, Rock Marten, Beech Marten (Martes foina<br />

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

at the Zoological Museum in Berlin). Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Stone Marten is widespread across Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Martes foina syriaca occurs in Iraq, Syria,<br />

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was formerly common in the<br />

Judean hills and was extirpated on Mount Carmel. It has recently<br />

appeared at Ramat Shaul and Kiryat Shprinzak. It is now rare in the<br />

Galilee and the occupied Golan Heights, but has increased in the Hula<br />

Valley near Kibbutz Dan.<br />

33


A Marbled Polecat from Tammun, Palestine in 2009. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr.<br />

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

72. Syrian Marbled Poleacat (Vormela peregusna syriaca, Pocock 1936)<br />

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

of Galilee), Palestine]:<br />

The Marbled Polecat ranges from southeastern Europe and southwestern<br />

Asia, Russia into Mongolia. The Syrian subspecies Vormela peregusna<br />

syriaca is found in Syria, western and northern Iraq, and Palestine,<br />

where it is fairly common in the northern half of the country up to the<br />

edge of the desert.<br />

73. Persian Honey Badger or Ratel (Mellivora capensis wilsoni,<br />

Cheesman 1920):<br />

The Honey Badger is widespread in most of Africa, Arabia to Russian<br />

Turkestan, east to Nepal and India. The Persian subspecies Mellivora<br />

capensis wilsoni is known from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, southern<br />

Arabia and Palestine, where it is rare but widespread from Upper Galilee<br />

(Umm Falik) to the Judean hills and the Naqab Desert (Ein Hussub). It<br />

has also been recorded from Gaza.<br />

74. Persian Common Badger, Old World Badger, Eurasian Badger<br />

(Meles meles canescens, Blanford 1875):<br />

The Common Badger is the only species of its genus, and it is<br />

widespread throughout Europe and Asia, Tibet, northern Burma and<br />

southern China. The Persian race Meles meles canescens occurs in Iran,<br />

Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is uncommon but has been<br />

recorded in Upper Galilee, Jezreel Valley, upper Jordan Valley and the<br />

coastal plain.<br />

34


A Common Badger at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2012. Photograph <strong>by</strong><br />

Mr. Imad Atrash, Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

75. Persian Common River Otter (Lutra lutra seistanica, Birula 1912):<br />

The Common River Otter is widespread across Europe and Asia, from<br />

England to Japan, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. In Palestine, the<br />

Persian subspecies Lutra lutra seistanica is widespread, though<br />

uncommon, in the northern half of the country, from the Huleh Valley to<br />

the mouth of the Jordan River at the Dead Sea, and the coastal plain.<br />

Family: Ursidae (Bears):<br />

76. Syrian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos syriacus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg<br />

1828) [Type from near Bischerre, Mount Makmel, Lebanon] and the<br />

Hermon Brown Bear (Ursus arctos schmitzi, Matschi 1917)<br />

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 33. Type from Mount Hermon,<br />

Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Brown Bear ranges widely across the northern parts of the New and<br />

Old Worlds.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Ursus arctos syriacus is known from Asia Minor,<br />

Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it formerly<br />

occurred in Galilee and the Judean hills during Biblical times. Prophet<br />

David boasts of having strangled a bear, which had attacked his herd,<br />

and two bears killed the 42 boys, who scoffed at the Prophet Elisha. In<br />

the nineteenth century it was observed in a ravine near Tiberias, near<br />

Beisan and in the Golan Heights. The last wild Syrian Bear was killed<br />

near Majdal Shams in the southern Mount Hermon in 1917. They were<br />

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

sheep and goats for a long time, but occasional visits to vine-yards and<br />

<strong>35</strong>


fruit-groves are still reported from Syria. The Bear is extinct on the<br />

Hermon and Anti-Lebanon, mainly because it was so drastically hunted<br />

<strong>by</strong> German officers during the war (<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 1983, 2001). Today, it exists<br />

in Palestine only in zoos.<br />

A Brown Bear at Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, Jerusalem, Palestine in 2004.<br />

Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine<br />

Wildlife Society.<br />

Order: HYRACOIDEA (Hyraxes):<br />

Family: Procaviidae (Hyraxes):<br />

77. Syrian Rock Hyrax, Coney (Procavia capensis syriaca, Schreber<br />

1784) and the Palestine Hyrax (Procavia sinaitica schmitzi, Brauer<br />

1917) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1917: 302. Type from<br />

Bteha Plains, north of Lake Galilee, Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Rock Hyrax or Coney is distributed in Africa and the Middle East.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Procavia capensis syriaca is known from Syria,<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where it inhabits Mount Hermon up to 1,300 m.,<br />

the occupied Golan Heights and Upper Galilee. Allopatric populations<br />

are found on Mount Tabor and Mount Carmel. The Sinai subspecies<br />

Procavia capensis sinaiticus occurs in the Naqab Desert and may<br />

intergrade with the Syrian subspecies in the Judean Desert. At Ein Gedi,<br />

there are two colour phases, dark brown and pale grayish-yellow.<br />

78. Sinai Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis sinaiticus, Gray 1868):<br />

36


The Sinai Rock Hyrax is described from Sinai (Mount Katarina) up to<br />

2,000 m. The Sinai subspecies Procavia capensis sinaiticus occurs in the<br />

Naqab Desert and may intergrade with the Syrian subspecies in the<br />

Judean Desert. In Palestine, the Sinai Hyrax is known from the Judean<br />

Desert (Ein Gedi) and the Naqab Desert.<br />

A Rock Hyrax at Wadi Al Qilt, Palestine in 2008. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr.<br />

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

Order: PERISSODACTYLA (Odd-toed Ungulates):<br />

Family: Equidae (Horses, Asses, Zebras):<br />

79. The Syrian Onager, Syrian Wild Ass (Equus hemionus hemippus, I.<br />

Geoffrey 1855) and the Persian or Caucasus Onager (Equus hemionus<br />

onager, Zimmerman 1780 and Boddaert 1785):<br />

The Syrian Onager or Wild Ass Equus hemionus hemippus inhabited the<br />

Syrian Desert, where it became extinct in the 1920s. Although it is not<br />

native to Palestine in historic times, a hybrid population between the<br />

larger Persian Onager Equus hemionus onager, and the Asiatic Onager<br />

Equus hemionus kulan, has been introduced into the central Naqab<br />

Desert.<br />

Order: ARTIODACTYLA (Even-toed Ungulates):<br />

Family: Suidae (Pigs, Boars):<br />

80. Palestine Wild Boar, Wild Hog (Sus scrofa li<strong>by</strong>cus, Gray 1868):<br />

The Wild Boar is widespread through Europe, Asia Minor, North Africa<br />

and Asia as far east as Japan. The Palestinian subspecies Sus scrofa<br />

37


li<strong>by</strong>cus occurs in southwestern Asia Minor, Syria and Palestine, where it<br />

survives in the occupied Golan Heights, Upper Galilee, the Huleh and<br />

Jordan Valleys, hills of Samaria and Judea (occupied West Bank of<br />

Jordan River), and was extirpated from the coastal plain. A relic<br />

population survives along the Jordan River and south of the Dead Sea.<br />

Family: Cervidae (Deer):<br />

81. Kurdish Roe Deer, Kurdish Roebuck (Capreolus capreolus coxi,<br />

Cheesman and Hinton 1923) [Type from Zakho, Kurdistan, northern<br />

Iraq]:<br />

The Roe Deer is distributed in Europe and Asia. The Kurdish subspecies<br />

Capreolus capreolus coxi is known from Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon. In<br />

Palestine, it was common in Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley and<br />

Mount Carmel, where it probably reached the southernmost limit of its<br />

range. It has been extirpated since about 1912. There is a report of one<br />

caught in 1941 at Ein Sachne (Kibbutz Kfar Szold), which may have<br />

strayed from Lebanon. Sightings of deer in recent years refer to the<br />

Mountain Gazelle, with which they are often confused. The species has<br />

been reintroduced to the country in captivity. In 1996, nine deer were set<br />

free on Mount Carmel and appear to be thriving (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

82. Red Deer, Stag (Cervus elaphus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The Red Deer was the first of three species of deer to disappear in<br />

Palestine, according to Bodenheimer (1958). Remains of the red deer<br />

were excavated at Tel Hesbon in layers from the 12 th to the 15 th century<br />

AD. It is not known when the last of the red deer vanished from the<br />

forests of the Holy Land. In Iran, the red deer was common in the<br />

Caspian Forest. The specific name elaphus comes from the Greek<br />

elaphos and means stag or deer (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

83. Mesopotamian Fallow Deer, Persian Fallow Deer (Dama<br />

mesopotamica, Brooke 1875) [Type from Luristan Province, Iran]:<br />

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

The hart (red deer) and the gazelle, and the fallow deer, and the wild<br />

goat and the addax, and the bison (wild ox), and the wild (mountain)<br />

sheep‖. (The Bible: Deuteronomy, 14: 4-5).<br />

The Mesopotamian or Persian fallow deer (Dama mesopotamica) is<br />

considered to be one of the rarest species of deer in the world; over<br />

hunting brought this species to the verge of extinction. It was<br />

38


widespread in western Iran, south Asia Minor, Iraq and Palestine, where<br />

it was known from the Upper Pleistocene of the Huleh Valley (Bnot<br />

Ya‘acov). It was in the nineteenth century found in Upper Galilee,<br />

Mount Tabor, Mount Carmel and the coastal plain (Emeq Hefer), and<br />

was at that time on the verge of extinction. It has completely disappeared<br />

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

extinct, but in 1956 a very small herd, estimated at 25 animals, was<br />

discovered in Iran. In 1<strong>978</strong>, four fallow deer were brought to Palestine<br />

and placed in Hai Bar Carmel together with two more Persian fallow<br />

deer acquired from zoos in Europe the previous year.<br />

The six animals formed the nucleus of a breeding core, and with the care<br />

and devotion of the Hai Bar staff, the Persian fallow deer quickly<br />

flourished. By 1996, its population had swelled to more than 150, <strong>by</strong> far<br />

the largest herd anywhere in the world. Since that year, ten deer have<br />

been transported twice a year from Hai Bar Carmel to a 10-hectare<br />

enclosure with rich vegetation within the Kziv Reserve in the Northern<br />

Galilee. The animals are kept in the reserve for three months before<br />

being released into the neighboring countryside. During the brief period<br />

in the enclosure, they become accustomed to their new environment and<br />

become independent of artificial feeding.<br />

Before being released, all the females and several males are fitted with<br />

radio collars. This enables the experts to track the deer after they are<br />

released into the wild. In this manner, the herd's progress can be<br />

monitored and any factors threatening its existence can be quickly<br />

traced. Over the past years, the experts have been learning how the deer<br />

have adjusted to their new environment <strong>by</strong> studying their patterns of<br />

movement and preferred habitat. Based on the data accrued, the Israel<br />

Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (INNPPA) has been able<br />

to improve its reintroduction program, acquire basic information for<br />

future management of the Persian fallow deer population, and project the<br />

distribution and success of the future wild population. Biologists have<br />

also added to what they already knew about the Persian fallow deer:<br />

their average weight and height is 150 kilograms and 100 centimeters<br />

respectively, their life span about 16 years and their gestation period<br />

seven and a half months, producing a single fawn. The first fawns were<br />

born in the wild in the spring of 1997.<br />

By the summer of 2000, ten bi-annual releases had taken place, making<br />

a total population of more than 100 fallow deer in northern Galilee. An<br />

additional 150 deer continue living in Hai Bar Carmel. Estimates are that<br />

<strong>by</strong> the year 2005, there will be nearly 200 fallow deer living in the wild.<br />

39


In 2002, the reintroduction effort will shift to eastern Galilee and the<br />

Jerusalem mountains (<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2001).<br />

As a direct result of this program, Persian fallow deer have been<br />

successfully reintroduced to the wild, once again becoming part of the<br />

country's landscape. However, aside from the reintroduced population in<br />

Palestine, both in the wild and Hai Bar Carmel, there are thought to be<br />

no more than 15 Persian fallow deer still alive in the wild in Iran, and<br />

several hundred more in captivity in zoos worldwide. Therefore, the<br />

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) still lists this<br />

rarest of deer as a critically endangered species (<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2001).<br />

Family: Bovidae (Oxen, Cattle, Sheep, Goats and Antelopes):<br />

84. Addax (Addax nasomaculatus, de Blainville 1816):<br />

The Pleistocene presence in Palestine of the Addax is documented. The<br />

exact time that this species became extirpated in the eastern<br />

Mediterranean region is unknown, and remaining small populations may<br />

have existed during the Roman periods (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

85. Bubal Hartebeest, Bubale (Alcelaphus buselaphus, Pallas 1766):<br />

The Pleistocene presence in Palestine of the Bubale is documented. The<br />

exact time that this species became extirpated in the eastern<br />

Mediterranean region is unknown, and remaining small populations may<br />

have existed to the 19 th century. Aharoni (1930) mentioned that this<br />

species was not seen in Palestine since the turn of the 20 th century.<br />

Bubales were introduced into the Hula Nature Reserve (Qumsiyeh,<br />

1996).<br />

86. Aurochs, Wild Ox (Bos primigenius, Boianus 1827):<br />

The Aurochs were reported from ancient strata (about 7000 BC) from<br />

Areeha (Jericho), and there is no record of their domestication in the<br />

Jericho Tell strata. However, the species was domesticated in India,<br />

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

Tristram (1876) reported that these animals are depicted in earlier<br />

dynasties (Nineveh) but not in the latter dynasties of the Assyrians at<br />

Kuyonjik. Thus, the aurochs probably became extirpated in the eastern<br />

Mediterranean region sometime during Assyrian rule.<br />

Bos is Latin, genitive bovis, meaning an ox, and primigenius is Latin<br />

meaning original or primitive (in reference to its being the ancestor of<br />

40


domestic cattle). The word aurochs is from the Old High German<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong> is showing the Skull of a<br />

female Arabian Oryx at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai,<br />

United Arab Emirates. 04.05.<strong>2013</strong>.<br />

87. Arabian Oryx, White Antelope, Al Maha (Oryx leucoryx, Pallas<br />

1777):<br />

The Arabian Oryx was previously widespread in the Arabian Peninsula<br />

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

common in northern Arabia and in the Belka and Hawran in Jordan<br />

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

(1960) stated that it was already becoming rare in Sinai and the southern<br />

deserts of Palestine in 1800. Schmitz collected this species at Amman,<br />

Jordan in 1910. A hunter shot three animals at Qatrana in the 1920s. In<br />

southern Jordan, the species may have persisted into the 1930s as a<br />

British Army Unit kept one there; but <strong>by</strong> the 1940s the Oryx probably<br />

was exterminated throughout Jordan. Populations persisting early in the<br />

20 th century were reported near Jebel El Tubaiq, and in Al Busayta, and<br />

Wadi Sirhan in northern Saudi Arabia near the border with Jordan.<br />

Sometime between the First and Second World Wars, populations of the<br />

Oryx were decimated in the Arabian and Syrian deserts. This was<br />

accomplished <strong>by</strong> intensive hunting using modern weapons and vehicles,<br />

especially near the newly discovered oil fields. By 1970 it was found<br />

only in the southeastern regions of the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter)<br />

desert on the Arabian Peninsula. The last one in the wild was shot in<br />

41


1972. In the early 1960s, several international organizations began to<br />

cooperate in saving the Oryx. These organizations included the<br />

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World<br />

Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the Shikar-Safari Club. A breeding<br />

population was established at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, U.S.A., with<br />

animals collected from a trip to Saudi Arabia in 1962, and donated<br />

animals from holdings in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the London Zoo.<br />

This ―world herd‖ began to multiply and was the nucleus to be used to<br />

―repopulate the desert‖. Animals raised in Arizona were re-introduced<br />

into the wild in Oman (Jiddat Al Harasis, Yalooni) in 1982. Additional<br />

reintroduced populations now occur in Palestine (Wadi Araba), Jordan<br />

(Wadi Rum), Syria (Al Talila Reserve), and Saudi Arabia (Mahazat As-<br />

Sayd, ‗Uruq Bani Ma‘arid), with a total reintroduced population in the<br />

wild of approximately 886 in 2003. In occupied Palestine, there is a<br />

managed population in the Hai Bar Reserve, and a reintroduced herd in<br />

Wadi Araba, and a captive breeding population at Tel Aviv Zoo.<br />

88. Sinai Ibex (Capra ibex sinaitica, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1828) and<br />

the Nubian Ibex (Capra ibex nubiana, F. Cuvier 1825):<br />

The Ibex is distributed in Europe, Asia, southwest Asia, Arabia, Egypt,<br />

Sudan and Eritrea. In Palestine, the Sinai subspecies Capra ibex<br />

sinaitica is confined to the Dead Sea region, and Naqab Desert, south to<br />

Eilat.<br />

The Ibex at Ein Fashkhah, Dead Sea Mountains, Palestine in 2009.<br />

Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine<br />

Wildlife Society.<br />

42


89. Palestine Gazelle, Mounatin Gazelle, Idmi or Edmi, Chinkara<br />

(Gazella gazella, Pallas 1766):<br />

The Mountain Gazelle is distributed in North Africa, Iran, Syria and<br />

Arabia. The nominate subspecies Gazella gazella gazella occurs in<br />

Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is fairly common in the northern<br />

half of the country, south to the Judean hills.<br />

The words Gazelle and Gazella derive from the Arabic Ghazzal or<br />

Ghazal, the name for these animals.<br />

90. Araba (Arava) Gazelle, Common Arabian Gazelle, Idmi or Edmi<br />

(Gazella gazella cora, Hamilton Smith 1827) and the Desert Arabian<br />

Gazelle (Gazella gazella acaciae, Mendelssohn, Groves and Shalmon<br />

1997) and the Saudi Arabian or Farasan Island Gazelle (Gazella arabica,<br />

Lichtenstein 1827):<br />

The Arabian Gazelle Gazella gazella cora was formerly found in the<br />

northern Wadi Araba (Hatseva), but is now known only from the<br />

southern Wadi Araba (Yotvata), Palestine.<br />

91. Naqab (Negev) Gazelle, Dorcas Gazelle, Afri (Gazella dorcas,<br />

Linnaeus 1758) and (Gazella dorcas isabella, Gray 1846):<br />

The Dorcas Gazelle is distributed in North and East Africa, Sinai and<br />

Arabia. In Palestine, it inhabits the western side of the Dead Sea and the<br />

southern half of the country.<br />

92. Arabian Sand Gazelle, Goitered Gazelle, Rhim or Rheem (Gazella<br />

subgutturosa marica, Thomas 1897) [Type from Ibri, Najd Desert, Saudi<br />

Arabia]:<br />

The Goitered Gazelle ranges from the Arabian Peninsula, west through<br />

Russian Turkestan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to Tibet and<br />

Mongolia. A specimen at the Berlin Zoological Museum is from El<br />

Katrana (Harrison, 1968). A specimen at the Philadelphia Zoological<br />

Gardens came from 160 km. southeast of Hibar. A skull was reported<br />

from Safawi (H 5 station) in 1950, and another from Qa‘a Dhuweila in<br />

September 1983 (Amr and Disi, 1988). A specimen is available at the<br />

Berlin Zoological Museum from Al Busayta in northern Saudi Arabia<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

43


Order: LAGOMORPHA (Hares, Rabbits and Pikas):<br />

Family: Leporidae (Hares and Rabbits):<br />

93. Syrian Hare (Lepus capensis syriacus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg<br />

1833):<br />

The Cape or Common Hare is very widespread, polymorphous and<br />

clinal, ranging across Europe, northern Asia, Asia Minor, Arabia, and<br />

Africa as far south as South Africa. The Syrian subspecies Lepus<br />

capensis syriacus is known from Lebanon, Syria, northern Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it is common in the northern half of the country, south<br />

almost to Kiryat Gat. <strong>Part</strong> of a cline, it may intergrade with other races<br />

to the south.<br />

94. Philistine Hare (Lepus capensis philistinus):<br />

The Philistine subspecies Lepus capensis philistinus is found in the<br />

southern coastal plain between Qedma and Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).<br />

It may intergrade with Lepus capensis syriacus to the north and Lepus<br />

capensis sinaiticus to the south. The Holotype is deposited in the<br />

Zoological Museum of Tel Aviv University. Type locality is from<br />

Qedma, Philistine coastal plain, Palestine. It was named philistinus after<br />

the region in which it is found.<br />

A Hare at Areeha (Jericho), Palestine in 2006. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad<br />

Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

44


95. Arabian Hare (Lepus capensis arabicus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg<br />

1833) [Type from Qunfidha, South of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Valid<br />

subspecies] and the Palestine or Judean Hare (Lepus capensis judeae,<br />

Gray 1867) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 20: 222. Type from Ain<br />

Fashkhah, Palestine. Synonym of Lepus capensis arabicus] :<br />

The Arabian Hare is distributed in Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen<br />

and Palestine, where it is rare and confined to the southern Wadi Araba<br />

(Bir Hindis). Yom-Tov (1967) listed Lepus capensis arabicus from<br />

Eilat. Atallah (1977) reassigned Lepus capensis sinaiticus and Lepus<br />

capensis judeae in Palestine as synonyms of Lepus capensis arabicus.<br />

Harrison and Bates (1991) retain Lepus capensis sinaiticus for southern<br />

Palestine.<br />

96. Egyptian Hare (Lepus capensis aegyptius, Desmarest 1822):<br />

The Egyptian Hare was recorded in Jordan Valley, Wadi Araba, and<br />

Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).<br />

97. Sinai Hare (Lepus capensis sinaiticus, Ehrenberg in Hemprich and<br />

Ehrenberg 1833) [Type from Jebel Musa, near Mount Sinai, Sinai<br />

Peninsula. Perhaps a valid subspecies in Sinai and Naqab (Negev)<br />

deserts]:<br />

The Sinai Hare is known from eastern Sinai and the southern half of<br />

Palestine, generally south of the 100 isohyte line. It may intergrade with<br />

the Philistine Hare to the north.<br />

Order: RODENTIA (Rodents or Gnawing Mammals):<br />

Family: Sciuridae (Squirrels and Marmots):<br />

98. Syrian Squirrel, Persian Squirrel, Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus<br />

anomalus syriacus, Ehrenberg 1828) [Type from Lebanon Mountains.<br />

Valid subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus in southern Turkey, Syria,<br />

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine]:<br />

The Caucasian Squirrel is widespread in Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus is known from<br />

southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was<br />

found in northern Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century, and was<br />

thought to be extirpated, but in 1967, it was rediscovered in Wadi Assal,<br />

several kilometers from Dan at the foot of Mount Hermon. It is also<br />

known from the occupied Golan Heights.<br />

45


Family: Hystricidae (Porcupines):<br />

99. Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica, Kerr 1792) and the<br />

Palestine Crested Porcupine (Hystrix hirsutirostris aharonii, Müller<br />

1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 123. Type from<br />

Emmaus, Palestine. Synonym] and (Hystrix hirsutirostris schmidtzi,<br />

Müller 1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 126. Type from<br />

Ain Dschuheijir, northwestern Dead Sea, Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Indian Crested Porcupine is distributed in India, Iran, Iraq, Syria<br />

and southern Arabia. In Palestine, it is fairly common throughout the<br />

country.<br />

Family: Capromyidae (Coypus):<br />

100. Nutria or Coypu (Myocastor coypus, Molina 1782):<br />

The Nutria or Coypu is a large rodent, with partially webbed hind feet<br />

and a rather bare cylindrical tail. It is amphibious and inhabits marshes,<br />

ponds and rivers. A native of central and southern South America, it was<br />

introduced into Palestine, for the purpose of fur farming, but some<br />

escaped or were set free, and are now feral in the Huleh and Beit Shean<br />

Valleys, coastal plain (Ma‘agan Michael, Ma‘ayan Zvi, Alexander<br />

River) and in the Naqab Desert (Ein Yahav) (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

Family: Cricetidae (Hamsters):<br />

101. Syrian Gray Hamster (Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens, Wagner<br />

1848):<br />

The Gray Hamster is distributed in Greece, eastwards through Asia<br />

Minor, Arabia, southern Russia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus,<br />

Transcaucasia, Russian Turkestan, Chinese Turkestan, Iran,<br />

Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and southwest Siberia. The Syrian<br />

subspecies Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens is known from Syria,<br />

Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, where it reaches the southern limit of its<br />

range in the northern half of the country, on Mount Hermon, the<br />

occupied Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and the Mediterranean region.<br />

102. Syrian Hamster, Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus,<br />

Waterhouse 1839) [Type from Aleppo, Syria]:<br />

The Syrian Hamster is distributed in Rumania and Bulgaria,<br />

southwestern republics of the U.S.S.R., Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon<br />

46


and Palestine. Tristram (1884) reported seeing this species in northern<br />

Palestine. Aharoni (1930) reported that this species is known from<br />

Metullah, and later (1932) listed three specimens collected <strong>by</strong> Siehe at<br />

Mersina (southern Lebanon). A specimen at the Hebrew University of<br />

Jerusalem is from Qiryat Saide (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

Family: Arvicolidae (Voles, Lemmings and Muskrats):<br />

103. Syrian Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris hintoni, Aharoni 1932):<br />

The Water Vole is distributed in Eurasia, Asia Minor and northern<br />

Arabia. The Syrian subspecies Arvicola terrestris hintoni is known from<br />

Asia Minor, Turkey (Lake Antioch). In Palestine, its presence is a<br />

mystery. It has been reported as common near the Banias, but the only<br />

specimens known are skulls found in owl pellets in the vicinity of Lake<br />

Huleh at Yessod Hama‘ale and near Melaha.<br />

104. Hermon Snow Vole (Microtus nivalis hermonis, Miller 1908) [Ann.<br />

Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 1: 103. Type from Mount Hermon, Palestine.<br />

Valid subspecies].<br />

The Snow Vole is distributed in Europe, southwestern Turkestan, Iran,<br />

Asia Minor and northwestern Arabia. The Hermon subspecies Microtus<br />

nivalis hermonis is known from Lebanon and Palestine, where it is<br />

found on Mount Hermon from 1,650 m. to just under 2,000 m. above sea<br />

level.<br />

105. Mediterranean Vole, Günther‘s Social Vole, Levant Vole (Microtus<br />

socialis guentheri, Danford and Alston 1880) and the Philistine Vole<br />

(Microtus philistinus, Thomas 1917) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 19:<br />

450. Type from Ekron, Palestine. Synonym of Microtus guentheri]:<br />

The Mediterranean Vole is distributed in Greece, Asia Minor to northern<br />

Arabia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Li<strong>by</strong>a. The subspecies Microtus<br />

socialis guentheri is found in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine,<br />

where it is widespread throughout the northern half of the country, south<br />

to Mishmar HaNegev.<br />

The occurrence of Günther‘s Social Vole in Palestine was first<br />

discovered not in Palestine, but in the British Museum in London, when<br />

a specimen of the snake Caelepeltis lacertina, collected <strong>by</strong> Tristram in<br />

1863 on the Plain of Gennesaret, was found to contain a perfect<br />

specimen of Günther‘s Social Vole in its stomach.<br />

47


Family: Spalacidae (Blind Mole Rats):<br />

106. Palestine or <strong>Jaffa</strong> Mole Rat, Greater Mole Rat, Blind Mole Rat<br />

(Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) or (Spalax leucodon<br />

ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., (for<br />

1897), p. 178, pl. 2. Type from <strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Greater Mole Rat is distributed in Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt and Sinai, eastern<br />

Europe, Asia Minor, southern Russia and Arabia. The Palestinian<br />

subspecies Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi is known from Iraq,<br />

Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread on Mount<br />

Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights, from the Galilee to the northern<br />

Naqab Desert. Four sibling species (chromosomal forms) interbreed and<br />

hybridize in Palestine.<br />

A Palestine Mole Rat at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2008. Photograph <strong>by</strong><br />

Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife<br />

Society.<br />

Family: Gerbillidae (Gerbils, Jirds and Sand Rats):<br />

107. Arabian Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani arduus,<br />

Cheesman and Hinton 1924) and Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus<br />

cheesmani, Thomas 1919):<br />

The Cheesman‘s Gerbil is distributed in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and<br />

Iran. Qumsiyeh (1996) collected four specimens of Cheesman‘s Gerbil<br />

from near Disi in Wadi Rum, Jordan. The species is known from 30 km.<br />

west of Badanah, and 5 km. west of Turaif, both in northern Saudi<br />

48


Arabia, close to the Jordanian border. The species may occur in the<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

108. Wagner‘s Gerbil, Rough-tailed Dipodil (Gerbillus dasyurus,<br />

Wagner 1842) and (Gerbillus dasyurus dasyuroides, Nehring 1901)<br />

[Type from the mountains of Moab, Jordan. Perhaps a valid subspecies]:<br />

The Wagner‘s Gerbil is distributed in Arabia, Egypt (Sinai) and possibly<br />

Africa. It is known from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine,<br />

where it is found in the southern half of the country, from the northwest<br />

end of the Dead Sea and south from Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).<br />

109. Lehmann‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus dasyurus leosollicitus, <strong>von</strong> Lehmann<br />

1966):<br />

The Lehmann‘s Gerbil is known from Syria and probably Lebanon. In<br />

Palestine, it is found in the northern half of the country, from Upper<br />

Galilee (Rosh Hanikra), Mount Carmel (Haifa), the coastal plain (Wadi<br />

Ara), and the Judean Hills (Jerusalem).<br />

110. Lesser Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus, Olivier 1801) and the<br />

Asyut Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis, Setzer 1960):<br />

The Lesser Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in Africa, from Egypt<br />

eastwards to Iraq and Iran, south through the Arabian Peninsula and<br />

Sinai (Nabeq). The Asyut subspecies Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis is<br />

known from Upper Egypt (southeast of Asyut, Eastern Desert). In<br />

Palestine, it has been recorded from the northwestern Naqab Desert, and<br />

is slightly larger in Wadi Araba.<br />

111. Greater Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus pyramidum, E. Geoffroy St.-<br />

Hilaire 1803) and (Gerbillus pyramidum floweri, Thomas 1919) [Type<br />

from Wadi Hareidin, South of Al Arish, northern Sinai. Valid subspecies<br />

in Palestine]:<br />

The Greater Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in North Africa, from<br />

Morocco eastwards to Egypt, and southwards to Asben and Sudan, and<br />

northwestern Arabia. The subspecies Gerbillus pyramidum floweri is<br />

known from the northern Sinai Desert (south of Al Arish) and Palestine,<br />

where there is a morphologically indistinguishable chromosomal cline<br />

from the northern Naqab Desert, up the coastal plain to Holon. An<br />

allopatric population is found as far north as Akka (Acre).<br />

112. Baluchistan Gerbil (Gerbillus nanus arabium, Thomas 1918):<br />

49


The Baluchistan Gerbil is distributed in Baluchistan, Arabia and Egypt.<br />

The subspecies Gerbillus nanus arabium is known from northwestern<br />

Arabia, southwestern Iraq, Oman, South Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,<br />

Egypt (Sinai), Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread in the Naqab<br />

Desert, from the southern end of the Dead Sea (Sdom), south through<br />

Wadi Araba to Eilat.<br />

113. Pygmy Dipodil, Henley‘s Gerbil, Pygmy Gerbil (Gerbillus henleyi,<br />

de Winton 1903) and (Gerbillus henleyi mariae, Bonhote 1909):<br />

The Pygmy Gerbil is distributed in the North African Sahara, from<br />

Algeria through Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt and northwestern Arabia. The subspecies<br />

Gerbillus henleyi mariae is known from Sinai, Jordan and Palestine,<br />

where it has been found in the northern and central Naqab Desert,<br />

practically to Eilat.<br />

114. Anderson‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni, de Winton 1902) and<br />

(Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei, Thomas 1919):<br />

The Anderson‘s Gerbil is distributed in Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt, Jordan and<br />

Palestine. The subspecies Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei is found in the<br />

northern coastal plain of Sinai, Jordan and Palestine, where it occurs in<br />

the southern coastal plain and northwestern Naqab Desert. It intergrades<br />

with Gerbillus andersoni allen<strong>by</strong>i between Ashkelon and Kerem<br />

Shalom.<br />

115. Allen<strong>by</strong>‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni allen<strong>by</strong>i, Thomas 1918)<br />

[Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 9, 2: 146. Type from Rehobot, near <strong>Jaffa</strong>,<br />

Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Allen<strong>by</strong>‘s Gerbil is endemic in Palestine, where it is confirmed to<br />

the narrow littoral zone of the Mediterranean, from Haifa south to<br />

Ashkelon, where it intergrades with the more richly coloured Gerbillus<br />

andersoni bonhotei.<br />

116. Bushy-tailed Jird (Sekeetamys [Meriones] calurus, Thomas 1892):<br />

The Bushy-tailed Jird is distributed in eastern Egypt, Sinai, Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it inhabits the western side of the Dead Sea, south<br />

through the eastern and southern Naqab Desert, as far as Eilat.<br />

117. Tristram‘s Jird (Meriones tristrami, Thomas 1892) [Ann. Mag. Nat.<br />

Hist. ser. 6, 9: 148. Type from the Dead Sea region, Palestine]:<br />

50


The Tristram‘s Jird is distributed in Asia Minor, Iran, Iraq, Syria,<br />

Turkey, Lebanon, Sinai (Al Arish), and Palestine, where the subspecies<br />

Meriones tristrami tristrami is common in the north in the valleys, and<br />

less common on the mountains and the coastal plain.<br />

118. Tristram‘s Syrian Jird (Meriones tristrami bodenheimeri, Aharoni<br />

1932):<br />

The Tristram‘s Syrian Jird is known from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine,<br />

where it is found on the occupied Golan Heights.<br />

119. Tristram‘s Desert Jird (Meriones tristrami deserti):<br />

The Tristram‘s Desert Jird is a previously unrecognized subspecies of<br />

Tristram‘s Jird, and inhabits the northern Naqab Desert, and the northern<br />

coast of the Sinai Desert. The Type locality is 5 km. south of Bi‘er Al-<br />

Sabe‘e (Beersheba). It was deposited in the Zoological Museum of Tel<br />

Aviv University. Body Measurements: Head and body 107-138 mm.; tail<br />

98-138 mm.; hind foot 29-30 mm.; ear 17-18 mm.; length of skull 39+<br />

mm.; tympanic bullae 12.5-14 mm. The upper parts are pale sandy-fawn<br />

with little red or black; the under parts are white. The tail has a blackish<br />

tip.<br />

120. Vinogradov's Jird (Meriones vinogradovi, Heptner 1931):<br />

The Vinogradov's Jird was recorded from Gaza, Palestine.<br />

121. Li<strong>by</strong>an Jird (Meriones li<strong>by</strong>cus, Lichtenstein 1823) and (Meriones<br />

li<strong>by</strong>cus syrius, Thomas 1919):<br />

The Li<strong>by</strong>an Jird ranges from Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt, Arabia, and southwestern<br />

Asia to Azerbaijan SSR and Pakistan. It has been reported from areas<br />

east of the Rift Valley in Jordan. The species was first reported from<br />

Beersheba and Nahr Al Rubin (near <strong>Jaffa</strong>) (Aharoni, 1932). However,<br />

these records actually belong to Meriones sacramenti (Zahavi and<br />

Wahrman, 1957). The species was also reported from northern Sinai at<br />

Bir Lehfan (14 km. south of Al Arish) (Wassif, 1954).<br />

122. Sundevall‘s Jird, Silky Jird, Sand Jird, Gentle Jird (Meriones<br />

crassus, Sundevall 1843):<br />

The Sundevall‘s Jird is distributed in North Africa from Morocco, east<br />

to Egypt and south to Asben and Sudan, throughout Arabia, Iran,<br />

southern Russian Turkestan, Afghanistan and Waziristan. The typical<br />

subspecies Meriones crassus crassus is known from Egypt (Sinai),<br />

51


Palestine, Jordan, northern and central Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and<br />

Oman. In Palestine, it is found in the southern half of the country, in the<br />

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.<br />

123. Buxton‘s Jird, Palestine or Naqab (Negev) Jird (Meriones<br />

sacramenti, Thomas 1922) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 10: 552. Type<br />

from 10 miles south of Bir As Seba (Beersheba), Palestine] and<br />

(Meriones erythrourus legeri, Aharoni 1932) [Z. Saeugetierkd., 7: 202.<br />

Type from Wadi el Abiad, southwest of Bir As Seba (Beersheba),<br />

Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Naqab (Negev) Jird is confined to Palestine, where there are two<br />

populations, a slightly larger one in the coastal plain as far north as the<br />

Yarkon River, and the other population is from the Naqab Desert (area<br />

of Beersheba).<br />

124. Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus, Cretzschmar 1828) and the<br />

Palestine Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus terraesanctae, Thomas<br />

1902) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 7, 9: 363. Type from the Dead Sea<br />

region, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Fat Sand Rat is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria to Egypt,<br />

south to Sudan and east across Arabia. The Palestinian subspecies<br />

Psammomys obesus terraesanctae occurs in Sinai, Syria, Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it is found north and west of the Dead Sea, the central<br />

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, from south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e<br />

(Beersheba) to Yotvata.<br />

Family: Dipodidae (Jerboas, Birch Mice, Jumping Mice):<br />

125. Greater Egyptian Jerboa, Oriental Jerboa (Jaculus orientalis,<br />

Erxleben 1777):<br />

The Greater Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in North Africa, Algeria,<br />

Tunis, Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the<br />

northern Naqab Desert (northeast of Beersheba) and western Judean<br />

Desert (Arad).<br />

126. Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Thomas‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa,<br />

Muscat Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus vocator, Thomas 1921):<br />

The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in southwestern Iran, Arabian<br />

Peninsula, North Africa and the Sinai Desert. The Muscat subspecies<br />

Jaculus jaculus vocator occurs in southeastern Syria, eastern Jordan,<br />

52


Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Palestine, where it occurs in Wadi Araba and<br />

may penetrate the southern Jordan Valley.<br />

127. Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Sinai Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus<br />

jaculus macrotarsus, Wagner 1843):<br />

The Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern<br />

Iran, Arabia, North Africa, Sinai and Palestine, where the Sinai<br />

subspecies Jaculus jaculus macrotarsus is found in the northwestern<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

128. Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Palestine or <strong>Jaffa</strong> Lesser<br />

Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus schlueteri, Nehring 1901) [Schriften Berl. Ges.<br />

Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 163. Type from the coastal region south of <strong>Jaffa</strong>,<br />

Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern<br />

Iran, Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. The Palestinian or the <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

subspecies Jaculus jaculus schlueteri is found along the southern coast<br />

of Palestine, as far north as <strong>Jaffa</strong>. It may intergrade with Jaculus jaculus<br />

macrotarsus in the northwestern Naqab and Sinai Deserts.<br />

Family: Gliridae (Dormice):<br />

129. Sinai Dormouse, Levant Garden Dormouse, Southwest Asian<br />

Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus melanurus, Wagner 1839):<br />

The Levant Garden Dormouse lives in Europe and Asia. The Sinai<br />

subspecies Eliomys quercinus melanurus is known from Asia Minor,<br />

Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Sinai and perhaps Africa. In Palestine, it<br />

occurs on Mount Hermon, the Huleh Valley (Dan) and the Naqab Desert<br />

(Wadi Naphekh).<br />

130. Golan Dormouse, Sooty Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus<br />

fuscus).<br />

The Sooty Garden Dormouse lives in the occupied Golan Heights and<br />

Jordan. The Holotype is deposited at the Zoological Museum of Tel<br />

Aviv University. Type locality is Bab El Hawa, Golan Heights. It was<br />

named after its sooty colour.<br />

131. Turkish Forest Dormouse (<strong>Dr</strong>yomys nitedula phrygius, Thomas<br />

1907):<br />

53


The Forest Dormouse is widespread across southeast Europe, Asia<br />

Minor, and Arabia and as far east as India. The Turkish subspecies<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>yomys nitedula phrygius is known from Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine<br />

and probably Lebanon. In Palestine, it occurs only in Upper Galilee.<br />

Family: Muridae (Rats and Mice):<br />

132. Broad-toothed Field Mouse, Big Levantine Field Mouse, Rock<br />

Mouse (Apodemus mystacinus, Danford and Alston 1877):<br />

The Rock Mouse is distributed in Greece, Yugoslavia, Crete, Iraq,<br />

Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, where the Turkish subspecies Apodemus<br />

mystacinus mystacinus is found in the northernmost part of the country<br />

on Mount Hermon, in Upper Galilee, the Huleh Valley, an allopatric<br />

population on Mount Carmel, and south to the Judean hills (Jerusalem).<br />

133. Wood Mouse, Common Field Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis,<br />

Melchior 1834) and the Persian Wood Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis<br />

arianus, Blanford 1881) and the Hermon Wood Mouse (Apodemus<br />

flavicollis hermonensis, Filippucci, Simson and Nevo 1989):<br />

The Wood Mouse lives in most of the western Palearctic region<br />

including all of Europe. The species was reported from the ―plains of<br />

Palestine‖ (Tristram, 1884). No specific localities were given <strong>by</strong><br />

Tristram or subsequently <strong>by</strong> Bodenheimer (19<strong>35</strong>, 1958). Specimens at<br />

the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are from Masada North, Moza,<br />

Sasa, and Horshat Ha‘arbaim (Horshat Tel). Specimens at the Museum<br />

of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (Cambridge,<br />

Massachusetts) were obtained from Shiba, Rasheya, and Ain Hersha in<br />

southern Lebanon (Allen, 1915). Filippucci, Simson and Nevo (1989)<br />

reported on populations in Galilee, Mount Hermon, and Tel Arad.<br />

134. Mount Hermon Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus iconicus,<br />

Heptner 1952):<br />

The species is distributed in Iceland, Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and<br />

North Africa. The Mount Hermon subspecies Apodemus sylvaticus<br />

iconicus occurs in Asia Minor, northern Iraq, northwest Syria, Lebanon<br />

and Palestine, where it is found in the northern part of the country, at the<br />

base of Mount Hermon, Upper Galilee and Mount Carmel.<br />

1<strong>35</strong>. Yellow-necked Field Mouse, Long-tailed Field Mouse (Apodemus<br />

flavicollis argyropuloi, Heptner 1948):<br />

54


The species lives in Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and Asia. The<br />

Armenian subspecies Apodemus flavicollis argyropuloi is known from<br />

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is found only in the north,<br />

on Mount Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights and Mount Carmel.<br />

136. Alpine Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus chorassanicus, Goodwin<br />

1940):<br />

The Alpine Field Mouse lives in the western Palearctic region, Iceland,<br />

Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. The Apodemus sylvaticus<br />

chorassanicus is a pale coloured form, inhabiting rocky mountain slopes<br />

above the tree line. There is no reason to consider the alpine form on<br />

Mount Hermon as different from the alpine form in Iran, unless the two<br />

are shown to be different (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

137. House Mouse (Mus musculus, Linnaeus 1758) and the Syrian<br />

House Mouse (Mus musculus praetextus, Brants 1827) and the Gaza or<br />

Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007) [The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 66, June 2007, Jamada Al-Ulla<br />

1428 AH. pp. 14-24. Type from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine]:<br />

The House Mouse is Cosmopolitan. The Syrian subspecies Mus<br />

musculus praetextus is known from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan,<br />

Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Sinai). In Palestine, it is found mostly in<br />

cities and settlements throughout the country.<br />

138. Egyptian House Mouse (Mus musculus gentilis, Brants 1827):<br />

The Egyptian House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

139. Oriental House Mouse (Mus musculus orientalis, Cretzschmar<br />

1826):<br />

The Oriental House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

140. Macedonian Common Mouse, Wild Mouse, Short-tailed Mouse<br />

(Mus macedonicus, Petrov and Ruzic 1983):<br />

The Macedonian Common Mouse is distributed in Yugoslavia, Greece,<br />

Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus and Palestine, where it is found in the<br />

Mediterranean Zone.<br />

55


141. Porcupine Mouse, Common Spiny Mouse, Egyptian Spiny Mouse,<br />

Cairo Spiny Mouse, Sinai Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus,<br />

Cretzschmar 1826-1827):<br />

The Porcupine Mouse ranges from southern Iran, southern Asia Minor<br />

and Cyprus, Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, southern Algeria, south to<br />

Tanzania, and west to Niger. In Palestine, the Sinai subspecies Acomys<br />

cahirinus dimidiatus is widespread from Galilee to the coastal plain,<br />

Mount Carmel, the southern Judean hills (around Jerusalem), near the<br />

Dead Sea, and the Naqab Desert.<br />

142. Southern Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus homericus, Thomas<br />

1923):<br />

The Southern Spiny Mouse occurs mainly in southern Arabia and Oman,<br />

but apparently is distributed in a kind of mosaic, influenced <strong>by</strong> the dark<br />

substrate of soil and rocks. In Palestine, it is found on the occupied<br />

Golan Heights (near Kibbutz Sneer).<br />

143. Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus, Wagner 1840) and the<br />

Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus harrisoni, Atallah<br />

1970) [Univ. Conn. Occas. Pap. Biol. Sci. Ser., 1(4): 202. Type from<br />

half a km south of Qumran Caves, near Ain Faschkha, West Bank of<br />

Jordan, Palestine. Perhaps a valid subspecies] and the Jordanian Golden<br />

Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus lewisi, Atallah 1967) [J. Mammal., 48:<br />

258. Type from 3 km northwest of Azraq Shishan, Jordan. Valid<br />

subspecies]:<br />

The Golden Spiny Mouse is distributed in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia,<br />

Yemen and Palestine, where the Sinai subspecies Acomys russatus<br />

russatus is found from the western side of the Dead Sea (Ain Faschkha),<br />

south through the Naqab Desert to Eilat. The Palestinian subspecies<br />

Acomys russatus harrisoni was described <strong>by</strong> the Palestinian Zoologist<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>. Sana Issa Atallah (1970) from the western shore of the Dead Sea.<br />

Harrison (1972) notes that ―the status of the population on the west<br />

shore of the Dead Sea in Israel is uncertain, possibly representing<br />

Acomys russatus harrisoni.‖ He also states that ―the material available is<br />

scarcely adequate to assess the full degree of individual variation in the<br />

species.‖ The distinctive characters of Acomys russatus harrisoni, of<br />

smaller size and paler colour, are based on only two specimens. Atallah<br />

(1970) found the Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse on steep rock slides in<br />

semi-arid areas near the Dead Sea at Ain Faschkha, where it is strictly<br />

diurnal, with peaks of activity in the morning and evening. Acomys<br />

56


ussatus lewisi was found along the edge of the basalt desert, where it<br />

adjoins a rocky limestone plateau, as well as in gardens around human<br />

habitations (Atallah, 1967). The Jordanian Golden Spiny Mouse occurs<br />

northwest of Azraq Shishan in the Syrian Desert, and was also noted <strong>by</strong><br />

Atallah (1967) from Azraq ed <strong>Dr</strong>uz. Body Measurements: Head and<br />

body 100-115 mm.; ear 13-18 mm.; hind foot 15-19 mm.; tail 57-75<br />

mm. (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

144. Common Rat, House Rat, Black Rat, Ship Rat (Rattus rattus,<br />

Linnaeus 1758) and the Alexandrian House Rat (Rattus rattus<br />

alexandrinus, E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1803) and the Arabian House Rat<br />

(Rattus rattus flaviventris, Brants 1827):<br />

The Common Rat originates from Asia Minor and the Orient; it has<br />

spread throughout the World, and is most common in warm countries.<br />

The subspecies Rattus rattus rattus is found in Lebanon, Palestine,<br />

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain. In Palestine, it occurs<br />

throughout the country, wherever there is human habitation.<br />

145. Brown Rat, Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus, Berkenhaut 1769) and<br />

the Egyptian Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus maniculatus, Wagner 1848):<br />

The Brown Rat originates from Japan and the Far East, and it has spread<br />

throughout the World. The typical race is found in Iraq, Lebanon,<br />

Bahrain and Palestine, where it has established itself in the port cities,<br />

from Haifa and <strong>Jaffa</strong> to Eilat.<br />

146. Palestine Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat (Nesokia indica bacheri,<br />

Nehring 1897) [Zool. Anz., 547: 503. Type from Ghor es Safi, Holy<br />

Land. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat is distributed in Egypt, Syria, northern<br />

Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, western Pakistan, northern India,<br />

Russian and Chinese Turkestan. The Palestinian subspecies Nesokia<br />

indica bacheri is known only from Jordan (southeast of the Dead Sea),<br />

and from Palestine, where it occurs in Sdom and Ein Bedda, the Naqab<br />

Desert (Ein Avdat), Wadi Araba (Ein Yahav) to Eilat.<br />

Introduced and Domesticated Mammals:<br />

147. Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

57


Rabbits most likely were domesticated from their wild ancestors <strong>by</strong><br />

early Romans, probably in the Iberian Peninsula. In Palestine, as in<br />

many other parts of the world, they are used for both food and pelts.<br />

148. Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

Guinea pigs are South American rodents that were domesticated for<br />

meat and pelts at least 3000 years ago. Unlike the nutria, the time since<br />

domestication and the way guinea pigs are reared in captivity would<br />

probably prevent any establishment of feral populations. Guinea pigs<br />

give birth to one to four young following a gestation period of about 2<br />

months. They have been known to live 8 years in captivity. Domestic<br />

guinea pigs have been used for research since the 18 th century<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

Our Black and White Cat ―Tussy‖ with my book ―<strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong> –<br />

<strong>Part</strong> Two‖ at our home in Al Nahda 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.<br />

Photo <strong>by</strong> the author. 08.06.<strong>2013</strong>.<br />

149. Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris, Schreber 1777 = Felis catus,<br />

Linnaeus 1758):<br />

Morphologic and genetic studies suggest that all the domestic and wild<br />

cats in Europe, Asia, and Africa belong to a single variable species, Felis<br />

58


silvestris. The divergence of the European (Felis silvestris silvestris) and<br />

north African forms (Felis silvestris li<strong>by</strong>ca) probably occurred some<br />

20,000 years ago. Domestication was most likely first established in<br />

northern Africa (?Egypt) some 5000-10,000 years ago. In Egypt, cats<br />

were considered sacred and their mummies have been discovered<br />

entombed with Kings and other royalties.<br />

Domestic cats, called Felis catus <strong>by</strong> Linnaeus in 1758, most probably<br />

originated from the North African Felis silvestris li<strong>by</strong>ca. Genetic<br />

evidence suggests that divergence time was about 5000 years ago.<br />

Because of the many wild habits of domestic cats, including the ability<br />

to return to and survive in the wild, many do not believe that cats were<br />

ever truly ―domesticated‖. As is true of many other places, feral cats are<br />

known from the Holy Land (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

150. Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

People befriended dog ancestors in the Near East at least 12,000 years<br />

ago. In Egypt, hounds were probably used to hunt gazelles at least 3000<br />

years ago. If one considers the dog as an extension of its ancestor, the<br />

wolf, then perhaps this association with humans is much more ancient.<br />

We still marvel at the early events associated with transforming the<br />

feared competitor of humans to a trusted ally. Wolf pups can be raised as<br />

―tame‖ and friendly animals; this is not unusual among Alaskan<br />

Eskimos. The actual domestication process is difficult to trace and<br />

probably took place independently in many parts of the World, where<br />

humans and wolves coexisted during the last ice age (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

Feral and domestic dogs are present around human habitations<br />

throughout Palestine. There appear to be several breeds, of which the<br />

true Pariah Dog is still half-wild (Tristram, 1866; Bodenheimer, 1958).<br />

Several breeds (Greyhound, Saluki, and Tazi) were known to be used <strong>by</strong><br />

Bedouin for gazelle hunting. These highly inbred strains are still the<br />

common breeds seen around the camps of the Bedouin. In villages, the<br />

Sheep Dog is more often used. According to Bodenheimer, these breeds<br />

are all descended from the Pariah Dog.<br />

Feral dogs are common in Palestine, and may interbreed with wolves.<br />

Attacks on domestic animals <strong>by</strong> groups of feral dogs are sometimes<br />

ascribed to wolves <strong>by</strong> the locals (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

151. Horse (Equus caballus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The ancestors of the horse have all gone the path of extinction. Only one<br />

wild form remains in the Mongolian steppes, Przewalski‘s horse (Equus<br />

59


caballus przewalskii). Tristram (1866) mentions that east of the Jordan<br />

River he and others with him saw only purebred Arabian horses. West of<br />

the river, such horses were only in the possession of ―Sheikhs and<br />

wealthy men‖. Today, as then, the horse is more a symbol of wealth and<br />

sport rather than a practical beast of burden in the Holy Land. Equus is<br />

Latin for horse, and caballus is Latin for a pack horse or domestic horse<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

152. Ass, Donkey (Equus asinus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The North African Wild Ass (Equus africanus, synonym Equus asinus)<br />

is the ancestor of the domestic ass or donkey. Domestic and wild asses<br />

will interbreed and produce fertile hybrids. Although domestic asses can<br />

be seen everywhere in Palestine, there is no evidence that the wild form<br />

was present there. Domestication probably occurred in northern Africa<br />

(perhaps Egypt). As Tristram (1866) observed, this is the most common<br />

beast of burden in Palestine. Even today with motor vehicles common<br />

everywhere, asses still are used in remote areas for transport, especially<br />

along difficult mountain passes.<br />

In captivity, domestic horses and asses interbreed but their hybrid is<br />

sterile. A mule is a hybrid produced <strong>by</strong> a male ass (jackass) and a female<br />

horse (mare). A hinny is the offspring of a male horse (stallion) and a<br />

female ass (jenny). The hybrids are useful because they combine<br />

characteristics of both species. Hybrids were depicted in Egyptian tomb<br />

paintings at about 1400 BC. The word asinus is Latin for an ass<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

153. Domestic Pig (Sus scrofa, Linnaeus 1758 = Sus domesticus,<br />

Erxleben 1777):<br />

The domestic pig is still very close to its wild ancestor and as such does<br />

not justify the use of the Latin name Sus domesticus. In Palestine, the<br />

wild pig is still common. There is evidence of domestication or at least<br />

interference <strong>by</strong> humans in excavations at Areeha (Jericho) dated at<br />

8000-7000 years BC. A few domestic pigs are raised in Palestine for<br />

meat. They are raised in villages and towns where Christian populations<br />

predominated (for example: Al Nasira (Nazereth), Ramallah, Bethlehem,<br />

Beit Sahur, Beit Jala) (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

60


154. <strong>Dr</strong>omedary or Arabian Camel (Camelus dromedarius, Linnaeus<br />

1758):<br />

The <strong>Dr</strong>omedary Camel (Order Artiodactyla, Family Camelidae) no<br />

longer exists in the wild anywhere. The oldest records of wild camels in<br />

Palestine come from the Upper Paleolithic, some <strong>35</strong>,000 years ago. They<br />

were probably domesticated some <strong>35</strong>00 years ago in areas outside the<br />

Holy Land. The camel, weighing more than 700 kg., is used as the main<br />

beast of burden in deserts from Africa to China. Camels can travel with<br />

a heavy load for up to 40 km. a day, and have been known to live in<br />

captivity for 25 to 30 years. Camels give birth to one (unusually two)<br />

young following a gestation period of 11 months. In Palestine and<br />

Jordan, camels are encountered commonly in the deserts of the Naqab<br />

(Negev), Wadi Araba, and east Jordan, where their population is<br />

probably around 30,000 according to FAO yearbook data for 1976.<br />

Camelus is Latin for camel. The word dromedarius is derived from the<br />

Greek dromas, meaning running (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

155. Cattle, Cows (Bos taurus, Linnaeus 1758) and (Bos indicus,<br />

Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The Aurochs (Bos primigenius, Bojanus 1827) was the progenitor of<br />

domestic cattle in many parts of the World. Even though the aurochs is<br />

known in prehistoric and historic sites in Palestine, it apparently was not<br />

domesticated here. Rather, domesticated cattle were probably first<br />

imported to Palestine from the east. Domestic cattle were known in<br />

Palestine for thousands of years. Cattle were especially plentiful near the<br />

coast. For example, the Bible states that ―Shitrai the Sharonite had<br />

charge of the cattle which were grazing in Sharon‖ (1 Chronicles, 27:<br />

29). Cattle were still reared extensively, especially in the southern<br />

regions of Palestine and in eastern Jordan, at the time of Tristram (1866)<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

156. Buffalo, Indian Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The domestic water buffalo is descended from the wild Indian water<br />

buffalo (Bubalus arnee, Kerr 1792). The latter is now rare in the wild<br />

and found only in localized areas of Nepal and Southeast Asia. Water<br />

buffalo were reared extensively in the Ghor and the Jordan Valley at the<br />

time of Tristram (1866), where they replaced cattle as the work and food<br />

animal. Tristram also indicated that buffalo were used <strong>by</strong> the Bedouins<br />

of Beni Sakhr and others in the forested regions of Bashan. With<br />

increased aridity and drainage of swamps, the numbers of water buffalo<br />

61


declined. The remnant populations in the Hula Basin were decimated in<br />

the 1950s. Other beasts of burden and then mechanized agriculture<br />

replaced this large animal. The scientific name is based on the Greek<br />

boubalos, a buffalo (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

157. Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The ancestor of the domestic sheep was probably the Asiatic mouflon,<br />

Ovis orientalis, Gmelin 1774. Tristram (1866) mentions the two<br />

varieties of sheep raised in Palestine: the bigger one rose in the north,<br />

and a smaller, broad-tailed southern form (which he called laticaudata).<br />

Ovis is Latin for a sheep, and aries is Latin for a ram (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

158. Domestic Goats (Capra hircus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

Goats were thought to be first domesticated in Persia some 10,000 years<br />

ago. Wild goats are hardy animals adapted to harsh conditions on<br />

mountain slopes and hills. One such species, Capra aegagrus, Erxleben<br />

1777, was thus easily transformed to a useful domestic animal having<br />

little maintenance cost. The wild goat or ibex, Capra ibex, is a<br />

successful inhabitant of mountains in Palestine. Tristram (1866)<br />

mentions the abundance of domestic goats as a food source in Palestine.<br />

The goat variety used is the black Syrian breed (which Tristram calls<br />

Capra mambrica L.). The goat gives birth to one to three (unusually<br />

more) young following a gestation period of 5-6 months. Goats may live<br />

to 10-15 years in captivity (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

62


References:<br />

Abbadi, M. (1992). Israel‘s elusive feline: sand cats. Cat News. 18: 15-<br />

16. Bougy-Villars, Switzerland.<br />

Abel, P.F.-M. (1938). Geographie de la Palestine. Vol. II. Geographie<br />

Politique Les Villes. Libraire Lecoffre, Paris. 538 pp.<br />

Abu-Dieyeh, M.H. (1988). The ecology of some rodents in Wadi Araba<br />

with a special reference to Acomys cahirinus. M.S. Thesis, Jordan<br />

University, Amman, Jordan. 216 pp.<br />

Aharoni, B. (1932). Die Muriden <strong>von</strong> Palästina und Syrien. (Translated<br />

<strong>by</strong> J. H. lewis, No. 142, USNMRU-3, Cairo, Egypt) Z. Säugetierkd.,<br />

Berlin. 7: 166-240.<br />

Aharoni, B. (1944). An Egyptian bat, new to Palestine. Bull. Zool. Soc.<br />

Egypt, Cairo, 6: 26.<br />

Aharoni, I. (1917). Zum Vorkommen der Säugetiere in Palästina und<br />

Syrien. Z. Mitt. Dt. Paläst. Ver., 40: 2<strong>35</strong>-242.<br />

Aharoni, Israel (1930). Die Säugetiere Palästinas. Z. Säugetierkd. 5:<br />

327-343.<br />

Ahmad,Haider (Editor) (1<strong>978</strong>). Mammals: Many Questions, Few<br />

Answers. The Kuwaiti Digest. Kuwait Oil Company, Ahmadi, State of<br />

Kuwait.<br />

Al-Dabagh, Mustafa Murad (1985). The Plant and Animal Kingdoms in<br />

our Land Palestine, and its relation to the Names of Sites. Beirut. (in<br />

Arabic).<br />

Allen, G. M. (1915). Mammals obtained <strong>by</strong> the Phillips Palestine<br />

Expedition. Bull. Comp. Zool. Harv. Uni. 59: 3-14.<br />

Alon, A. (1969). The Natural History of the Land of the Bible.<br />

Jerusalem Publishing House, Ltd., Jerusalem. p. 213.<br />

Al-Shafee, D.M.; Yuosef, M.; Al-Melhim, W.N.; Amr, Z.S. (1997). The<br />

Status of the Stone Marten, Martes foina syriaca (Nehring,1902) in<br />

Jordan. Zoology in the Middle East.<br />

Amr, Zuhair S. & Disi, A.M. (1988). Jordanian Mammals acquired <strong>by</strong><br />

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Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 22, Ninth <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

February 1991. pp. 1-4.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1991). The Gulf War and its<br />

effect on the Arabian Ecosystem (<strong>Part</strong> One). Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of<br />

Germany. Number 23, Ninth <strong>Year</strong>, July 1991. pp. 1-12.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1991). The Gulf War and its<br />

effect on the Arabian Ecosystem (<strong>Part</strong> Two). Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of<br />

Germany. Number 24, Ninth <strong>Year</strong>, August 1991. pp. 1-10.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1991). The Gulf War and its<br />

effect on the Arabian Ecosystem (<strong>Part</strong> Three). Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of<br />

Germany. Number 25, Ninth <strong>Year</strong>, September 1991. pp. 1-7.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). The Minke Whale<br />

(Balaenoptera acutorostrata) in the Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut<br />

und Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, Germany. Gazelle: The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic<br />

of Germany. Number 26, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>, January 1992. pp. 1-3.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). Die Dinosaurier<br />

Ausstellung im Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Bundesrepublik<br />

Deutschland. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad<br />

Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 27, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

April 1992. pp. 1-8.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). Notes on the Biological Ecology of<br />

the Marshes in Southern Iraq. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

29, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>, September 1992. pp. 1-9. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). The United Nations Ecological<br />

Report confirms: The Regime of Saddam is destroying the Marshes (Al-<br />

Ahwar) Ecosystem. Sawt Al-Kuwait International Newspaper. Saturday<br />

17 October 1992, 21 Rabi‘e Al-Thani 1412. pp. 15. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). An Introduction to the<br />

Animal Life in Palestine. Gazelle. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

30, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>, October 1992. pp. 1-7. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1994). An Introduction to the<br />

Animal Life in Palestine. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n (Anemone coronaria). A<br />

72


Quarterly Magazine Issued <strong>by</strong> the Program EAI (Education for<br />

Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental Education / Children<br />

for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of General and Higher<br />

Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan 1994. pp. 16-21. (in<br />

Arabic).<br />

Acquaintance Card: Majallet Al-Ghazzal (Gazelle Magazine): The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin, Bonn, Germany. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n<br />

(Anemon corinaria). A Quarterly Magazine Issued <strong>by</strong> the Program EAI<br />

(Education for Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental<br />

Education / Children for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of<br />

General and Higher Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan<br />

1994. pp. 51-52. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Ali</strong> (1997). Fennec. Magazin der Akademie. Nummer 1. Zu<br />

Elkeda 1417 H, Maerz 1997. Koenig Fahad Akademie – Bonn, Bonn-<br />

Bad Godesberg, Deutschland. (in Englisch).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2001). Foxes of Palestine.<br />

www.geocities.com/ali_porsche2000/fox.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). A Palestinian Zoologist: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sana<br />

Issa Atallah. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home<br />

Page. Environmental Affairs 2 and Dinosaurs.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/custom3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin<br />

Home Page. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Threatened Mammals. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Syrian Bear. In: Gazelle: The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Mesopotamian or Persian<br />

Fallow Deer. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin<br />

Homepage. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Wild Cats in Palestine. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. / Gazelle: Das<br />

Palästinensische Biologische Bulletin Webseite. (ISSN 0178-6288).<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/contact.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Leopards in Palestine. In: Gazelle:<br />

73


The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/whats_new.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Asiatic or Persian Lion<br />

(Panthera leo persica) in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin Homepage. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Mustelids of Palestine. In:<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Mammals in<br />

Palestine and the Book ―Mammalia Arabica‖.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/catalog.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Common Weasel. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2004). Gazelle: Das Palästinensische<br />

Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palästina, Arabien<br />

und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between<br />

1983 – 2004. Erste Auflage, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten. Zweite erweiterte<br />

Auflage, August 2004: 460 Seiten. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Bonn-Bad<br />

Godesberg, Germany.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gazelle_Bulletin.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2004). Die Wal Sonderausstellung<br />

"Delphinidae Delphionidae" und "Kleinwale in Nord- und Ostsee" im<br />

Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Bundesrepublik Deutschland.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg,<br />

Federal Republic of Germany. Number <strong>35</strong>, Twenty-second <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

September 2004. pp. 1.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2004). Der Schweinswal (Phocoena<br />

phocoena) in der Nord- und Ostsee...The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena<br />

phocoena) in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of<br />

Germany. Number 36, Twenty-second <strong>Year</strong>, October 2004. pp. 1-7.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). Thema des Tages (5. Januar<br />

2005): In See gespuelter Indopazifischer Buckeldelfin (Sousa chinensis)<br />

in Thailand nach Tagen gerettet. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 37, Twenty-third<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, January 2005. pp. 1-3.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Story of Prophet Yunus<br />

(Jonah) and the Whale. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.<br />

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 38, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

February 2005. pp. 9-13.<br />

74


<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). <strong>Jaffa</strong> (Yaffa, ‏:(يبفب The History of<br />

an Old Palestinian Arab City on the Mediterranean Sea & The<br />

Andromeda Sea Monster of <strong>Jaffa</strong>. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 39, Twenty-third<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, March 2005. pp. 7-8.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Leopards of Palestine.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. Number 41, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, May 2005. pp. 1-9.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Leopard.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). Der Arabische Leopard, Panthera<br />

pardus nimr. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates. Number 42. Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>. June 2005. pp. 1-8.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Arabischer_Leopard.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). Aquatica Arabica. An Aquatic<br />

Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980 - 2005.<br />

/ Aquatica Arabica. Eine Aquatische Wissenschaftliche Reise in<br />

Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980 - 2005. Erste Auflage,<br />

August 2005: 376 Seiten. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Rilchingen-<br />

Hanweiler, Bundesrepublik Deutschland & Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Aquatica_Arabica.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Mammals in Dubai Zoo,<br />

Dubai City, United Arab Emirates. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

bulletin. Number 45, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, September 2005, Sha‘ban<br />

1426. pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Rafah Zoo in the Rafah<br />

Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine : A Story of Destruction <strong>by</strong> the<br />

Israeli Occupation Army. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.<br />

Number 46, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, October 2005, Ramadan 1426. pp. 1-11.<br />

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2005). The Qalqilia Zoo and the<br />

Natural History Museum in the City of Qalqilia, West Bank, Occupied<br />

Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47,<br />

Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 1-10. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (Member of PALESTA) (2005).<br />

Palestinian Scientists and Technologists Abroad (PALESTA). Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 11-12. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

75


<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Arabian Carnivores in the<br />

Arabia‘s Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Desert Park, United Arab Emirates.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 48, Twenty-third<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, December 2005, Thu Alqi‘da 1426. pp. 1-9. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Der Asiatische oder Persische<br />

Löwe (Panthera leo persica). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 49, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, January 2006, Thu Alhijja 1426. pp. 1-5.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Loewe.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). A Bryde‘s Whale (Balaenoptera<br />

edeni) Stranding on Al Mamzar Beach, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. Number 50, Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, February 2006, Muharram<br />

1427. pp. 1-5. http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Brydes_Mamzar.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). The Sumpters (Animals) of the<br />

Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him. Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 51,<br />

Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, March 2006, Rabie‘ Alawal 1427. pp. 1-4. (in<br />

Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Felidae <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Wild Cats<br />

of Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 52,<br />

Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, April 2006, Rabie‘ Althani 1427. pp. 1-15. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Felidae_<strong>Palaestina</strong>.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Der Asiatische oder Iranische<br />

Gepard (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus). Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological<br />

Bulletin. Number 53, Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, May 2006, Rabie‘ Althani<br />

1427. pp. 1-7. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Gepard.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Die Rohrkatze (Felis chaus).<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 54, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, June 2006, Jumada Al-Ulla 1427. pp. 1-8. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Rohrkatze.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). Mammalia<br />

<strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Mammals of Palestine. / Die Säugetiere Palästinas.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, July 2006, Jumada Al-Thania 1427. pp. 1-46. Sharjah, United<br />

Arab Emirates.www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>1.html (<strong>Part</strong><br />

76


1) & www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>2.html (<strong>Part</strong> 2) &<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>3.html (References).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). Ornithomimid<br />

Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Jerusalem, Palestine. Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

August 2006. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Dinosaur_Palestine.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). The Common<br />

Weasel (Mustela nivalis, Linnaeus 1766) in Palestine and the East<br />

Mediterranean Region. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.<br />

Number 57, Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, September 2006. pp. 1-7. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates.<br />

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of Palestine. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Mustelid.html<br />

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Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-<br />

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E. Tchernov. Eds.). <strong>Dr</strong>. W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, viii<br />

+ 600 pp.<br />

The Arabian Leopard. On the brink of extinction.<br />

www.datadubai.com/aleopard.htm<br />

The Cheetah Spot. www.cheetahspot.com/asiatic.php<br />

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Three Palestinian Naturalists: Mr. Imad Atrash (left), Prof. <strong>Dr</strong>. Mazin B.<br />

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80


81


Israel uses the Eland Antelope<br />

(Taurotragus oryx) as a new<br />

front line force to protect the<br />

Israeli-Lebanese border<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<br />

Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Two Elands, the largest members of the antelope family, walk along the<br />

border fence separating Israel and Lebanon. Photo: AP. http://elandantelope-israel.webs.com/<br />

Israel Occupation Army (Israel Defense Forces) already uses spy<br />

drones, automated sentry towers, and slew of sophisticated<br />

sensors, to keep watch over its borders. The latest addition to the<br />

arsenal: a group of eight African Eland Antelope (Taurotragus oryx<br />

Pallas, 1766), each weighing nearly 500 kilograms.<br />

82


The African Eland antelope have been stationed in the zone<br />

between the high-security Israeli fence and the southern Lebanese<br />

border to clear problematic foliage that distorts views of the<br />

Lebanese side and within which “Hezbo Allah” fighters could<br />

hide and stage an attack on Israeli border guards.<br />

The animals are known for their sharp incisors and fondness for<br />

eating vegetation.<br />

The Eland was first brought to Israeli zoos from eastern Africa in<br />

the 1970s as part of a project to raise them at local zoos before<br />

sending them to zoos in Europe, and a decade ago was<br />

introduced on to army bases to cut down the cost of maintenance.<br />

"They eat huge quantities of weeds, they are the D9 of weeds,"<br />

said Ilan Hagai, of the Israel Nature and National Parks<br />

Protection Authority, referring to the massive bulldozers the IDF<br />

uses to clear “enemy” territory. "They clean problematic areas,<br />

open trails and a view and prevent fires."<br />

Ilan Hagai explained that the capacity of the antelope was already<br />

known, but took about a decade until they were more antelope in<br />

captivity to launch the idea of eliminating the bad herbs that<br />

grow every two years.<br />

Israel's occupation establishment has apparently caught onto the<br />

beasts' impressive ability to quickly chew through large<br />

quantities, as well as the low cost of looking after them and their<br />

environmental-friendliness.<br />

"The elands eat tremendous quantities and do a wonderful job<br />

clearing the weeds at enormous or secret military installations,<br />

and in places where there are ammunition store rooms, where the<br />

fear of fires is greater," says Israeli expert Yossi Ben. "In these<br />

places the elands save on manpower and obviate the need for<br />

spraying chemical herbicides."<br />

83


There are now "between 500 and 700 elands" at military bases<br />

throughout Israel, according to the Ha’aretz Newspaper. And it’s<br />

not the Israeli Defense Forces' only four-legged deployment. The<br />

Israel Prison Service uses special microphone and audioprocessing<br />

software to interpret dogs' barks into alarms. And in<br />

addition to the army's elite canine unit, Oketz, IDF infantry units<br />

have also used llamas to transport supplies into Lebanon.<br />

This is not the first time that the IDF has augmented its forces<br />

with animals. Oketz, the combat canine unit, actually predates the<br />

IDF and founded in 1939 as part of the Haganah, the paramilitary<br />

organization that was a precursor to the Jewish State’s current<br />

army.<br />

During the last Lebanon war, the IDF used Llamas to schlep<br />

heavy loads. After extensive tests, the uncomplaining work-horse<br />

animals were found to easily out-perform donkeys. What’s more,<br />

they need refueling only every other day. Military sources said<br />

the Israel Army plans to use llamas for reconnaissance and<br />

combat missions in “enemy” territory, Middle East Newsline<br />

reported. They described the llama as ideal for special operations<br />

missions in Lebanon against the Hezbo Allah. “The llama is a<br />

quiet and disciplined animal that can carry huge loads,” a<br />

military source said. “Vehicles make noise and need roads and<br />

fuel. We’ve tried donkeys and they are not suitable for such<br />

missions.”<br />

The commander, Tal, said that during the last Lebanon war the<br />

Israeli army tried using llamas to carry the heavy loads needed<br />

for combat. But the experiment failed. “They ran right off to the<br />

Hezbollah fighters with our stuff,” Tal says. “We had to shoot<br />

them to keep our things from falling into the hands of Hezbo<br />

Allah.”<br />

84


The Common Eland Antelope<br />

(Taurotragus oryx Pallas, 1766):<br />

The Common Eland (Taurotragus (Tragelaphus) oryx, also known as<br />

the Southern Eland) is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and<br />

Southern Africa.<br />

Description:<br />

The Common Eland is considered, alongside the ironically similarlydimensioned<br />

Giant Eland (Taurotragus derbianus), the largest species of<br />

"antelope", though in many respects the Elands are quite bovine.<br />

Females weigh 300–600 kg (660–1,300 lb), measure 200–280 cm (79–<br />

110 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand 125–153 cm (49–<br />

60 in) at the shoulder. Bulls weigh 400–1,000 kg (880–2,200 lb), are<br />

240–345 cm (94–140 in) from the snout to the base of the tail and stand<br />

150–183 cm (59–72 in) at the shoulder. The tail adds a further 50–90 cm<br />

(20–<strong>35</strong> in). Females have a tan coat, while males have a darker tan coat<br />

with a blueish-grey tinge; there may also be a series of white stripes<br />

vertically on the sides of bulls (mainly in parts of the karoo in South<br />

Africa). Males have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap.<br />

Both sexes have horns, about 65 cm (26 in) long and with a steady spiral<br />

ridge (resembling that of the bushbuck). The female's horns are wider set<br />

and thinner than the male's.<br />

Ontogeny and Reproduction:<br />

Gestation Period: 9 months.<br />

Young per Birth: 1<br />

Weaning: After 6 months.<br />

Sexual Maturity: Females at 15-36 months, males at 4-5 years.<br />

Life span: Up to 25 years.<br />

After birth the young lie briefly in concealment before joining a crèche<br />

or nursery with other infants.<br />

85


Ecology and Behaviour:<br />

Common Eland live on the open plains of Southern Africa and along the<br />

foothills of the great South African plateau. They eat grass, branches and<br />

leaves and are most active in the morning and late afternoon, lying<br />

sheltered in the heat of the day. A very gregarious species, the common<br />

eland is always found in large herds with 25 to 80 individuals, but are<br />

known to exceed 400, and with no dispersion during the rainy season. A<br />

possible explanation for this is the strong mutual attraction <strong>by</strong> calves,<br />

and a "safety-in-numbers" strategy. The Common Eland has an unusual<br />

social life, leaving or joining herds as necessary without forming close<br />

ties. Elands are remarkably fast, have been recorded running over 70<br />

km.p.h. / 42 m.p.h. Despite their size, they are exceptional jumpers,<br />

easily clearing heights of 1.5 m / 5 feet. Home range sizes vary<br />

dramatically with respect to sex and season. In the dry season, males<br />

used an average of 11.7 square kilometers out of their 41.1 square<br />

kilometer total range. Female herds had a dry season range of 26.1<br />

square kilometers, while in the wet season this expanded to 222.0 square<br />

kilometers. There is no exclusive use of space or evidence for<br />

territoriality, but adult males within maternal herds have a distinct social<br />

hierarchy. The size and power of the bull Eland generally (but not<br />

always) discourages predators, but females are thought to be more<br />

vulnerable to attack. Known Eland predators include lions, Spotted<br />

Hyenas, African Wild Dogs and, rarely, leopards.<br />

Taxonomy:<br />

Common Eland are sometimes considered part of the genus<br />

Tragelaphus, but are usually categorised as Taurotragus, along with the<br />

Giant Eland.<br />

Uses:<br />

Common Eland are sometimes farmed and/or hunted for their meat, and<br />

in some cases can be better utilized than cattle due to their being more<br />

suited to their natural habitat. This has led to some Southern African<br />

farmers switching from cattle to eland.<br />

86


Name:<br />

The name "Eland" is derived from the Dutch word for moose. When<br />

Dutch settlers came to the Cape Province they named the largest wild<br />

ruminant herbivore they met with the name of the huge northern<br />

herbivore.<br />

In Dutch the animal is called "Eland antelope" to distinguish it from the<br />

moose, which is found in the northern boreal forests.<br />

87


References and Internet Websites:<br />

Abd Rabou, <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah Nazmi (2009). Israel uses the ‗Plant<br />

Killer‘ against ‗Hezbo Allah‘: The African Giant ‗Eland‘ ‗destroys‘ the<br />

green cover and expose the other ‗front‘ soldiers. Felesteen Newspaper,<br />

Environment Section, Page 26, Sunday 12 Safar 1430 H, 8 February<br />

2009. (In Arabic). www.felesteen.ps<br />

Ashkenazi, Eli , Haaretz Correspondent. IDF adds antelope to its arsenal<br />

in fight against Hezbollah. Haaretz. 25/01/2009.<br />

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1058506.html<br />

Aurora. IDF: antelope in its fight against Hezbollah.<br />

http://noti.hebreos.net/enlinea/en/2009/01/26/3792/comment-page-1/<br />

BENNET, JAMES (2003). Gaza Journal; A Good Spring for the<br />

Flowers and the Antelopes. The New York Times. Published: Thursday,<br />

April 10, 2003. www.nytimes.com/2003/04/10/world/gazajournal-a-good-spring-for-the-flowers-and-the-antelopes.html<br />

Common Eland: Tragelaphus (Taurotragus) oryx.<br />

http://library.thinkquest.org/16645/wildlife/common_eland.shtml<br />

Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx).<br />

www.bio.davidson.edu/people/vecase/Behavior/Spring2005/Rivers/river<br />

s.html<br />

Common Eland.www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Common_Eland<br />

Common Eland. www.arkive.org/common-eland/tragelaphus-oryx/<br />

Elenantilope.<br />

www.world-of-animals.de/Tierlexikon/Tierart_Elenantilope.html<br />

Elenantilope.<br />

http://wissen.spiegel.de/wissen/dokument/dokument.html?id=54414416<br />

&suchbegriff=Elenantilope&top=Lexikon<br />

ELENANTILOPE (Tragelaphus oryx) - ELAND ANTELOPE.<br />

www.zoovienna.at/elenant.html<br />

Elenantilopen.<br />

http://de.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761575843/Elenantilope.html<br />

Falconer, Bruce (2009) . Israeli Army Deploys Antelope In Battle<br />

Against Hezbollah. January 27, 2009.<br />

www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/01/israeli-army-deploys-antelopebattle-against-hezbollah<br />

Giant Eland. www.waza.org/virtualzoo/factsheet.php?id=119-009-<br />

006-001&view=Antelopes<br />

Giant Eland. www.cogsci.indiana.edu/farg/harry/bio/zoo/elandg.htm<br />

Harry (2009). IDF recruits antelope to guard northern border. January<br />

88


28, 2009. http://israelity.com/2009/01/28/idf-recruits-antelope-to-guardnorthern-border/<br />

IEA (Institute of Applied Ecology) 1998. Taurotragus derbianus. In<br />

African Mammals Databank - A Databank for the Conservation and<br />

Management of the African Mammals Vol 1 and 2. Bruxelles: European<br />

Commission Directorate. Available online at:<br />

http://gorilla.bio.uniroma1.it/amd/amd333b.htm<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> Palästina, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1988). The Arabian Oryx<br />

(Oryx leucoryx) in Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

17, Sixth <strong>Year</strong>, Ramadan 1408 AH, Mai 1988 AD. pp. 1-8.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). An Introduction to the<br />

Animal Life in Palestine. Gazelle. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

30, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>, October 1992. pp. 1-7. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1994). An Introduction to the<br />

Animal Life in Palestine. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n (Anemone coronaria). A<br />

Quarterly Magazine Issued <strong>by</strong> the Program EAI (Education for<br />

Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental Education / Children<br />

for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of General and Higher<br />

Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan (June) 1994. pp. 16-<br />

21. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin<br />

Home Page. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Threatened Mammals. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Mesopotamian or Persian<br />

Fallow Deer. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin<br />

Homepage. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2004). Gazelle: Das Palästinensische<br />

Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in Palästina, Arabien<br />

und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between<br />

1983 – 2004. Erste Auflage, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten. Zweite erweiterte<br />

Auflage, August 2004: 460 Seiten. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Bonn-Bad<br />

Godesberg, Germany.<br />

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www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Gazelle_Bulletin.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005, 2006). Chapter 3: Geography, Flora and<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong>. Pages 33-39. in: Palestine: A Guide. By Mariam Shahin,<br />

Photography <strong>by</strong> George Azar. Northampton, Massachusetts: Interlink<br />

Publishing Group, 2005, 2006. xi + 471 pages. Appendices to page 500.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). Mammalia<br />

<strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Mammals of Palestine. / Die Säugetiere Palästinas.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, July 2006, Jumada Al-Thania 1427. pp. 1-46. Sharjah, United<br />

Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>1.html (<strong>Part</strong>1) &<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>2.html (<strong>Part</strong>2) &<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>3.html(References).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Mammalia Arabica. Eine<br />

Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-<br />

2006. / Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia<br />

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<strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Deutschland & Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). Eine Persönlichkeit aus<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2007).<br />

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D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%<br />

D9%8A%D9%86 <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<br />

Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, Zoologist, Ecologist and Geologist: The Scientific<br />

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(2009). Israel uses the Eland Antelope (Taurotragus oryx) as a new<br />

front line force to protect the Israeli-Lebanese border. Gazelle: The<br />

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Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 87, March 2009, Rabi‘e Al awal<br />

1430 AH, pp. 1-8. http://eland-antelope-israel.webs.com/<br />

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Shachtman, Noah. Israel Unleashes the Antelope of War. January 26,<br />

2009. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/01/israel-unleash.html<br />

South Africa Wildlife: The Eland {Taurotragus Oryx}.<br />

www.savenues.com/wildlife/wildlife_eland.htm<br />

Taurotragus oryx Common eland.<br />

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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Tragelaphus oryx.<br />

www.iucnredlist.org/details/22055<br />

Wikipedia. Common Eland.<br />

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Eland<br />

Wikipedia. Elenantilope. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elenantilope<br />

Wikipedia. Giant Eland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Eland<br />

Seven different kinds of antelopes: the gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), the<br />

impala (Aepyceros melampus), Thomson‘s gazelle (Gazella thomsonii),<br />

the common eland (Taurotragus oryx), the saiga (Saiga tatarica), the<br />

suni (Neotragus moschatus), and the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra).<br />

http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/91/91391-034-<br />

B55DF442.jpg<br />

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Distribution Map of the Eland Antelope (Tragelaphus oryx).<br />

www.iucnredlist.org/details/22055/rangemap<br />

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The Mediterranean Monk Seal<br />

(Monachus monachus, Hermann<br />

1779) in Palestinian,<br />

Mediterranean and Atlantic<br />

Waters<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<br />

Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Taxonomy<br />

Scientific name: Monachus monachus Hermann, 1779.<br />

Common names: Engl.: Mediterranean Monk Seal; Arab.: Fuqma,<br />

Faqma; Russ.: Tyulen'; Turk.: Akdeniz foku; Ger.: Mittelmeer-<br />

Mönchsrobbe.<br />

Class: Mammalia<br />

Order: Carnivora<br />

Suborder: Pinnipedia<br />

Family: Phocidae<br />

Subfamily: Monachinae<br />

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Genus: Monachus<br />

Species: Monachus monachus<br />

Natural History<br />

The Mediterranean monk seal averages 2.4 m in length (nose to tail) and<br />

is believed to weigh 250-300 kg. Females are only slightly smaller than<br />

males.<br />

Adult males are black with a white belly patch; adult females are<br />

generally brown or grey with a lighter belly colouration. Other irregular<br />

light patches are not unusual, mainly on the throats of males and on the<br />

backs of females; this is often due to scarring sustained in social and<br />

mating interactions.<br />

Adult Monachus monachus are robust, with short flippers, a long<br />

fusiform body, and a proportionally small head. The head is wide and<br />

somewhat flat, with the eyes spaced fairly widely. The muzzle is<br />

particularly wide, but compressed from top to bottom. The nostrils are<br />

situated at the top of the muzzle. The vibrissae are smooth, females have<br />

4 retractable teats. Coloration varies in low isolated sub populations.<br />

Most of the animals are dark, brown. Some of the animals have a large<br />

white belly patch.<br />

When born, pups measure 88-103 cm in length and weigh 15-20 kg.<br />

Unlike the now extinct Caribbean monk seal and the Hawaiian monk<br />

seal, Mediterranean monk seal pups are born with a white belly patch on<br />

the otherwise black to dark chocolate, woolly coat.<br />

Extirpated from much of its original habitat <strong>by</strong> human persecution and<br />

disturbance, females now tend to give birth only in caves in remote<br />

areas, often along desolate, cliff-bound coasts.<br />

Males and females are thought to reach sexual maturity between 5 and 6<br />

years, although some females may mature as early as 4 years. Although<br />

pups may be born during any part of the year, over most of the species‘<br />

current distribution range, pupping takes place in summer or autumn.<br />

Observations suggest that whelping is asynchronous in this species and<br />

may take place year round. Gestation considered being 11 months.<br />

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Monk seal pups can swim and dive with ease <strong>by</strong> the time they are about<br />

two weeks old and are weaned at about 16-17 weeks. Monk seals are<br />

mainly thought to feed in shallow coastal waters for fishes like Sea<br />

Bream, Sea bass, Mullet, Bonito and cephalopods, such as octopus and<br />

squid. Individuals are believed to live up to 20-30 years in the wild.<br />

Status<br />

The Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) is one of the<br />

world‘s most endangered marine mammals, with fewer than 500<br />

individuals currently surviving.<br />

The species is described as ‖critically endangered‖ <strong>by</strong> the World<br />

Conservation Union (IUCN) and is listed on Appendix I of the<br />

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).<br />

Other international legal mechanisms which recognise and attempt to<br />

address the monk seal‘s critically endangered status include the Bonn<br />

Convention (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of<br />

Wild Animals), the Bern Convention (Convention on the Conservation<br />

of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats), the Convention on<br />

Biological Diversity and the EU Habitats Directive.<br />

History and Exploitation<br />

In ancient Greece, Nature was safeguarded <strong>by</strong> deep religious faith, not<br />

legislation. Earth was venerated as the ‗oldest of the gods‘, Gaia, the<br />

mother of all. Monk seals were placed under the protection of Poseidon<br />

and Apollo because they showed a great love for sea and sun, and the<br />

killing of a seal or dolphin was often regarded as a sacrilege. One of the<br />

first coins, minted around 500 BC, depicted the head of a monk seal, and<br />

the creatures were immortalized in the writings of Homer, Plutarch and<br />

Aristotle. To fishermen and seafarers, catching sight of the animals<br />

frolicking in the waves or loafing on the beaches was considered to be<br />

an omen of good fortune.<br />

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Detail from a Caeretan hydria (water jug), c. 520-510 BC.<br />

For the following two thousand years the monk seal had the protection<br />

of no god or human law. The seals lived in large herds, throughout the<br />

Mediterranean, the Marmara and Black seas, as well as the north-west<br />

Atlantic coast of Africa. From prehistoric times until the early 19th<br />

century, humans hunted seals for the basic necessities of their own<br />

survival – fur, oil and meat – but did not kill them in large enough<br />

numbers to endanger their existence as a species. The pelts were used to<br />

make boats and tents and were said to give protection against Nature‘s<br />

more hostile elements, especially lightning. The skins were also made<br />

into shoes and clothing, and the fat used for oil lamps and tallow<br />

candles, and the fat was also used to treat wounds and contusions in both<br />

humans and domestic animals. Because the animal was known to sleep<br />

so soundly, the right flipper of a seal, placed under the pillow, was<br />

thought to cure insomnia.<br />

Evidence suggests that the species was severely depleted during the<br />

Roman era. Following the fall of the empire, a reduction in demand may<br />

have allowed the monk seal to stage a temporary recovery, but not to<br />

earlier population levels. Commercial exploitation peaked again in<br />

certain areas during the Middle Ages, effectively wiping out the largest<br />

surviving colonies. Increasingly, survivors no longer congregated on<br />

open beaches and headlong rocks, but sought refuge along inaccessible<br />

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cliff-bound coasts and in caves (often with underwater entrances). By<br />

the 19th century, however, the seal slaughter had become a commercial<br />

enterprise verging on genocide, and numerous colonies were becoming<br />

extinct. Because of their trusting nature they were easy prey. Tens of<br />

thousands were bludgeoned to death, their skins put on sale in the<br />

fashionable capitals of Europe. Although hunting of the creatures on this<br />

scale rapidly became unfeasible, they never recovered. The massive<br />

disruption of two world wars, the industrial revolution, a boom in<br />

tourism and the onset of industrial fishing all contributed to the<br />

Mediterranean monk seal‘s decline. Their numbers may have been<br />

reduced <strong>by</strong> go per cent in the last seventy years and the species will be<br />

virtually extinct <strong>by</strong> 2010 if nothing is done to save them.<br />

A Renaissance woodcut of a Mediterranean monk seal (from Guillaume<br />

Rondelet, 1554).<br />

As the fishing grounds begin to collapse under fierce commercial<br />

competition, the seals are faced with a scarcity of food. The hungry<br />

animals then tear their way into fishing nets to obtain their meal. In this<br />

vicious circle, fishermen have come to regard the seal as an enemy<br />

which destroys their nets and steals their fish. Although the seals often<br />

get trapped in the nets and drown, the fishermen usually don‘t hesitate to<br />

kill the creature when the opportunity presents itself. Depressingly<br />

frequent reports have revealed that the seals are often the victims of<br />

deliberate cruelty, unjustly held responsible for a sea which is rapidly<br />

becoming exhausted <strong>by</strong> human greed. Kicked, stoned, shot and<br />

dynamited, this is the price that the monk seal has to pay for our own<br />

ecological ignorance.<br />

The centuries of persecution have also had a profound psychological<br />

effect upon the seals, and they are now literally terrified of human<br />

disturbance. Only in Mauritania have the seals managed to retain their<br />

frolicsome nature and their innocent curiosity towards the few human<br />

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eings who venture into their peaceful refuge of sandy beaches and<br />

arching caves. Here, undisturbed, the seals have formed their largest<br />

colonies, numbering up to sixty individuals.<br />

Mauritania may represent one of the last truly natural habitats of the<br />

monk seal, where the animals can still be seen basking in the sun or<br />

playing with their pups in the gentle surf. But in the Mediterranean,<br />

mass tourism and urbanization have driven the seals away from the<br />

beaches to inhabit rocky and desolate coastlines. With a boom in<br />

pleasure-boating, even these areas are now coming under threat,<br />

particularly as the seals give birth between May and November, during<br />

the height of the tourist season. The killing of a monk seal may be illegal<br />

on paper, but the animals are still the target of sports hunters and even<br />

tourists with spear-guns. The last seals of Tunisia, in the Galite<br />

archipelago, disappeared in 1985. Two were reportedly captured for an<br />

Italian travelling circus, and another speared <strong>by</strong> a snorkeling Italian<br />

tourist.<br />

Fisherman mending his seal-damaged nets on Leros<br />

Once renowned for their friendly and confiding nature, the seals have<br />

now been forced to hide and give birth in dismal caves as a last refuge<br />

for their lives. It is doubtful that this will help them survive. Autumn and<br />

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winter storms often cause breakers to surge into the caves, washing the<br />

weaning pups out into the sea where they drown. Human disturbance<br />

can also break the fragile mother-pup bond during the 16-week weaning<br />

period, leaving the infant seal to perish, unable to fend for itself. There<br />

has even been evidence of mothers aborting their young, apparently<br />

because of the fright and panic inspired <strong>by</strong> their only predator, Homo<br />

sapiens.<br />

Today, no more than <strong>35</strong>0-500 seals have managed to survive this<br />

relentless persecution, and the species has disappeared from most of its<br />

former range. Scattered colonies, often numbering no more than two or<br />

three individuals, are now found along the coasts of Madeira, Spain,<br />

Morocco, Algeria, Sardinia and ex-Yugoslavia. But almost threequarters<br />

of the entire remaining monk seal population has found its last<br />

refuge in the Aegean, especially on the Greek and Turkish borders, a<br />

tense military zone.<br />

Military exercises with warships, fighter planes, tanks and artillery, the<br />

sowing of minefields along beaches, the relentless growth of habitatdevouring<br />

military installations – all of these have a silent but insidious<br />

bearing on Mediterranean wildlife. And the military threat to the seals is<br />

not only apparent in the eastern Aegean, but also in Spain and<br />

Mauritania. Each summer, 1,500 Spanish soldiers invade the tiny island<br />

of Cabrera, just off the coast of Majorca, to practice artillery and small<br />

arms fire. By the early 1960s, the last two monk seals of the island had<br />

disappeared; the maneuvers had either driven them away or they had<br />

perished during target practice. On the coast, entire caves had been sunk<br />

and demolished with artillery shells. Other endangered species had also<br />

been killed under the direct impact of cannon fire. The osprey,<br />

Eleonora‘s falcon and Audouin‘s gull, the rarest seagull in the world –<br />

their bodies littered the island.<br />

A monk seal colony north of Mauritania‘s border with the Sahara has<br />

also suffered the casualties of war. The territory has been proclaimed as<br />

the Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara <strong>by</strong> Polisario (Frente<br />

Popular para la Liberación de Saguia el Hamra y Río de Oro) guerrillas<br />

who are waging a bitter war against Morocco. Although Mauritania<br />

reached an accord with the Polisario in 1980, travel north of the border<br />

is still considered dangerous, due in part to the guerrillas‘ own triggerhappiness.<br />

Bored soldiers on both sides of the border have been taking<br />

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pot shots at the seals and, despite the area‘s remoteness; several seal<br />

deaths have been recorded.<br />

The precise origins of the monk seal‘s name have long been lost to<br />

obscurity and the flow of time. In Greek mythology the seal was<br />

represented as the god Phokos, son of Poseidon. Several towns and<br />

villages were named after the seal god, and even today the Greek word<br />

for seal continues to be phokia. Pliny the elder, ancient Rome‘s<br />

renowned scholar of natural history, knew the animals as sea-calves and<br />

remarked that they ‗could be taught to salute the public with their voice,<br />

and when called <strong>by</strong> name to reply with a harsh roar.‘ Rather more<br />

mystically, he added that at night ‗their eyes change frequently into a<br />

thousand colours.‘ But it was not until 1779 that the German naturalist<br />

Johann Hermann officially christened the species Monachus. The choice<br />

may have been inspired <strong>by</strong> Hermann‘s belief in the animal‘s innate<br />

reclusiveness following his discovery of a lone seal on the Dalmatian<br />

coast. On the other hand, some naturalists believe that Hermann merely<br />

adopted a traditional name for the seal from certain local fishing<br />

communities on the shores of the Mediterranean which knew the<br />

creature as ‗monk‘ because of the colour of its fur. Indeed, many<br />

centuries earlier, Pliny too thought that the rows of seals he observed<br />

stretched out on the sands bore a striking resemblance to a congregation<br />

of hooded humans. Sometimes, the darker fur around the head of the<br />

seal lends weight to this impression.<br />

In Italy, monk seals were once numerous along the coasts of Sicily,<br />

Sardinia Tuscany and the Adriatic. The Roman Emperor Octavius<br />

Augustus kept seals as exotic pets in 29 BC, just as the empire was<br />

razing forests for its fleets of warships and devastating almost every wild<br />

species it came across. Two thousand years later, in 1951, the London<br />

Times reported that passers-<strong>by</strong> were astonished to see a seal swimming<br />

in Rome‘s Piazza da Trevi fountain. ‗The animal was the property of<br />

two Roman journalists,‘ the Times reported, ‗who had brought it back<br />

from Sardinia and who apparently thought it suitable that the seal should<br />

have a swim in such famous surroundings. A literal-minded policeman<br />

fined them for contravening a <strong>by</strong>-law which prohibits the throwing of<br />

anything but money in the fountain, and they and the seal then departed<br />

in a motor-car.‘<br />

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Today it is estimated that only two seals live around the shores of<br />

Sardinia, in the east coast‘s Golfo d‘Oresei. They may share the tragedy<br />

of being the only surviving members of their species in the whole of<br />

Italy. With tens of thousands of holiday-makers visiting the island every<br />

summer and a boom in pleasure-boating and spear-fishing, the last seals<br />

of Italy could literally become extinct at any moment. The coasts of<br />

Sicily and Tuscany probably lost their last seals more than ten years ago.<br />

In 1<strong>978</strong>, another pair of seals was regularly observed around the island<br />

of Montecristo, but once again, government protection, in the form of a<br />

marine sanctuary, came too late to save them. The tragedy illustrates the<br />

archetypal reaction of bureaucracies to the plight of the monk seal, that<br />

of reluctantly taking measures which are habitually too little, too late.<br />

A neonate monk seal pup photographed in a cave<br />

in the Golfo d‘Orosei in Sardinia in 1971.<br />

In a similar bureaucratic blunder, Corsica‘s last pair of seals was killed<br />

<strong>by</strong> fishermen in 1976, just eight weeks before the inaugural ceremonies<br />

of a marine sanctuary designed to protect the animals. The last seals of<br />

greater France died on the Isles d‘Hyeres in 19<strong>35</strong>, and today the only<br />

trace of the monk seal is its depiction in the prehistoric cave paintings<br />

found in the Pyrenees. The seal became extinct in Palestine, Li<strong>by</strong>a, Syria<br />

and Lebanon in the 1950s, helped on its way <strong>by</strong> war. Up to fifty seals<br />

may survive along the coasts of Algeria, in part because Moslem<br />

fishermen still believe the killing of the animals to be a sin. Further west,<br />

small groups of seals are still found along the shores of Morocco and the<br />

near<strong>by</strong> Chafarinas Islands which belong to Spain. Of the Atlantic monk<br />

seals, which may differ genetically from their Mediterranean cousins,<br />

the wounded seal that was captured on one of the Lanzarote Islands in<br />

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1983 probably spelled the extinction of the species in the Canary<br />

Islands.<br />

Monk seals were abundant around the precipitous and volcanic<br />

coastlines of Madeira during the last centuries, but human pressure has<br />

driven them away to the desolate and uninhabited Desertas islands lying<br />

off the southern tip of Madeira. Here, no more than six individuals have<br />

managed to retain a precarious hold on life. The Desertas also lie in<br />

traditional fishing grounds where fishermen often lose their nets to the<br />

rocky seabed. Because these are now made of synthetic materials, they<br />

then become what are known as ‗ghost nets‘, trapping and killing marine<br />

wildlife almost forever. As young seals play with the debris, the net<br />

fragments can become entwined about their throats and gradually, over<br />

many months as the seal grows, the animal is choked to death in agony.<br />

On the Dalmatian coast of ex-Yugoslavia and its scattering of offshore<br />

islands, no more than twenty seals have managed to survive the<br />

onslaughts of mass tourism. Little is known of the Russian seals,<br />

inhabiting the waters of the Crimea, but they are reliably believed to be<br />

extinct. Further west, however, some individuals may still survive in the<br />

ex-Soviet waters of the Black sea, if only because on the Turkish side,<br />

up to thirty animals are thought to be still alive.<br />

Since the monk seal has become so shy and retiring, only one thing can<br />

be said with certainty, and that is that the war against the species and its<br />

habitat rages unabated, and all in the name of progress. As for the<br />

sanctuaries that benevolent humankind is willing to provide for the<br />

creature, they are few and far between. Ironically, it was one of the<br />

poorest Third World countries, Mauritania, which first opened a refuge<br />

for the seals. There are two more in Turkey and one perennially due to<br />

open in the Northern Sporades islands of Greece, far away from the<br />

eastern Aegean but an important colony, perhaps holding up to thirty<br />

individuals. Other parks are planned for Madeira‘s Desertas islands, for<br />

the Chafarinas of Spain and the Golfo d‘Oresei in Sardinia. But<br />

bureaucracy being what it is, some of these may well open to protect no<br />

more than a desolate memory, their last seals killed before the<br />

departments and committees and conferences have written and sifted<br />

through their mountains of paperwork.<br />

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It became obvious that saving the monk seal would be one of the most<br />

formidable tasks ever undertaken <strong>by</strong> the conservation movement. So<br />

numerous, so diverse and so critical were the problems facing this<br />

persecuted animal that only a holistic campaign would have any chance<br />

of success. And it would be a fight against time. For decades, its plight<br />

had aroused little more than reluctant platitudes of concern. The monk<br />

seal was perhaps one of the most forgotten endangered species in the<br />

entire world. While Europeans were waging a bitter struggle against the<br />

slaughter of harp seal pups on Canada‘s distant, blood-stained ice-floes,<br />

their own monk seals were being allowed to perish in total obscurity.<br />

There was no public outcry, no great media extravaganza, no one willing<br />

to risk their reputation let alone their life for the species.<br />

What then is the cause of this neglect? One reason is the virtually secret<br />

triage strategy which has been adopted <strong>by</strong> the world‘s most influential<br />

conservationists. Swamped <strong>by</strong> a seemingly endless series of ecological<br />

catastrophes, and facing the extinction of up to a million animal and<br />

plant species <strong>by</strong> the year 2010, the movement, rather than reform itself,<br />

is now faced with the hideous dilemma of salvaging whatever life it can<br />

from the holocaust and leaving the rest to perish. It borrowed the triage<br />

strategy from the Allied commanders of the First World War who,<br />

during the hellish nightmares of trench warfare, were forced to divide<br />

the wounded into three separate groups; those that would be left to die<br />

since they were not worth squandering precious medicines upon, those<br />

that would hopefully survive without any medical attention at all, and<br />

finally, those that were deemed worthy of help. The decisions were<br />

pitiless, devoid of sentiment or favouritism. Even the best of friends<br />

could be left to die in slow agony. But in today‘s triage, it is often the<br />

demigods in the hierarchies of the world‘s conservation organizations, in<br />

their plush offices, Hotels and conference rooms, who are deciding<br />

which species to rescue and which will be left to die. More often than<br />

not, the decision is entirely subjective and may be based on no more<br />

than pettiness and personal prejudice. Each conservationist may have<br />

their own favourite and so a species may also be sacrificed <strong>by</strong> whoever<br />

happens to be gaining the upper hand in a particular internal feud. This<br />

is how Homo sapiens play God in the 21st century.<br />

The harp seal slaughter had all the ingredients of media sensation: the<br />

evil hunters, the fluffy white pups, innocent and vulnerable, the<br />

crusaders who put their own bodies between seal and club. No issue<br />

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could be more clear-cut, and so the triage made another of its expedient<br />

decisions. It didn‘t matter that there were literally hundreds of thousands<br />

of seals on the ice, or that they are not strictly considered to be an<br />

endangered species.<br />

But the very foundations of triage are rooted in division, something that<br />

the conservation movement is no stranger to. It was not until years later<br />

that it was realized why triage had sacrificed the monk seal. The answer<br />

lay in the complex and interrelated factors which were killing off the<br />

species. For the realists who control most of the world‘s conservation<br />

organizations, the monk seal presented no easy and mediacommunicable<br />

solutions.<br />

Many of those attending the Rhodes monk seal conference in May 1<strong>978</strong>,<br />

had been scientists whose professional interests lay primarily in<br />

research, not conservation. This was a distinction not altogether clear at<br />

first, since almost every working paper was concluded with a list of<br />

desirable protective measures. But who was to implement those<br />

measures? The gulf between ecology in theory and conservation in<br />

practice, like so many others in our fragmented society, is a limbo of<br />

confusion. Furthermore, it is the research, the conferences, the Paper<br />

Mountains of ecological bureaucracy which bleed and starve meaningful<br />

conservation of its resources, talent and ingenuity.<br />

A detailed and ambitious project plan was written on Samos. A holistic<br />

project was needed, not only to assure the survival of the monk seal, but<br />

also to carve out viable alternatives for the islands, suffering the same<br />

onslaughts of mass tourism, urbanization and pollution.<br />

The first priority would be the creation of a network of twenty or more<br />

biogenetic reserves in the eastern Aegean. Since the seal colonies were<br />

so small and scattered, the ‗one reserve at a time‘ mentality, often taking<br />

up to a decade to accomplish, would have to be replaced with a decisive<br />

policy of isolating all the most important whelping sites from human<br />

disturbance. As a temporary measure, it was suggested that this could be<br />

achieved <strong>by</strong> semi-unilateral action, though with the support of the<br />

government. The fishermen would be paid to stay out of the most critical<br />

areas, and appoint Greek observers to monitor the whelping sites. At the<br />

same time, pressure would be brought to bear on the government to have<br />

the areas declared strictly protected <strong>by</strong> law.<br />

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The biogenetic reserves, being in remote areas, would also protect other<br />

endangered species and could also incorporate reforestation<br />

Programmes, helping to sustain the ecological equilibrium of the entire<br />

island. In the buffer zones to the reserves, it was proposed that pesticide<br />

use should be banned and that a sub-project on biodynamic farming be<br />

established. Tackling the over fishing crisis of the islands, it was hoped<br />

that the undisturbed reserves would also act as fish breeding grounds,<br />

but a pilot project was also advocated in small-scale aquaculture, in<br />

which a family or group of families could raise fish for their own<br />

consumption or for the marketplace. This might allow other important<br />

fishing grounds around the islands to recover.<br />

It was hoped that alternative energy sources might also be utilized in<br />

these sub-projects, and perhaps even in the exhibition centers which was<br />

envisaged would be built in the buffer zones to the reserves. The use of<br />

sun, wind and water energy might show how individual families could<br />

lessen their dependence on the polluting and oil-burning generators of<br />

the islands.<br />

We would get the message across to the local population with<br />

educational Programmes in schools, with concerts and exhibitions. We<br />

would thus try to point out the links between the cultural decline of the<br />

islands, the dying villages and crafts, and the dying forests, sea and<br />

seals. Only when these links could be clearly perceived would<br />

alternatives be embraced voluntarily <strong>by</strong> the people. By restoring<br />

traditions and local crafts, for instance, and <strong>by</strong> portraying their island as<br />

a friend of Nature, an alternative and dignified kind of tourism might<br />

develop in harmony with a fragile culture and environment.<br />

We would also need to establish a bond of trust with the traditional<br />

subsistence fishermen of the islands who feel most threatened <strong>by</strong> the<br />

monk seal. We would have to convince them that the seal has become<br />

little more than a convenient scapegoat, eclipsing the culpability of the<br />

commercial fisheries which are poaching and exhausting their fishing<br />

grounds. Although the larger open-sea trawlers are not permitted to<br />

lower their nets within 3 kilometers of the coast, they regularly flout the<br />

law, taking advantage of the fishery authority‘s lack of staff end patrol<br />

boats. The end result is that the traditional fishermen are left with<br />

dwindling catches, and prompted <strong>by</strong> hunger; the seals then attack their<br />

nets to obtain the food that they and their pups need to survive. It is a<br />

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vicious circle, and one largely ignored <strong>by</strong> the government because only<br />

the commercial fisheries have lob<strong>by</strong>ing power in the city.<br />

There is a government-run Hydrobiological Station on Rhodes, the<br />

aquarium there, had over the years, tried to rear a number of monk seals<br />

in captivity. The facilities in the aquarium are shab<strong>by</strong> and primitive. It<br />

was wondered how on earth any scientist worthy of the name could<br />

expect a monk seal to thrive under such deplorable conditions, the filthy<br />

concrete pools, the squalid hutches meant to simulate the protection of<br />

their caves, the rusty railings behind which goggling visitors could<br />

observe the most endangered seal species in the world. And indeed<br />

every seal that had been brought into captivity here had perished; a total<br />

of eight individuals between 1960 and 1980. On one occasion,<br />

apparently desperate for seals, fishermen had been asked to bring to the<br />

aquarium any that they happened to find wounded, orphaned or<br />

abandoned. Not surprisingly, some fishermen promptly wounded a<br />

number of seals and dutifully brought them to the aquarium. But still this<br />

did not quench the vain curiosities of Science, all cloaked in the glowing<br />

altruism of conservation. One over-zealous employee of the aquarium<br />

had even barged into the nearest seal cave and virtually snatched a pup<br />

from its mother. Bringing it back to these concrete pools, the creature<br />

perished after only 40 days, and perhaps predictably, Science was unable<br />

to determine the cause of death, since to its clinical mind the pup could<br />

not possibly have succumbed to something as simple as loneliness and a<br />

broken heart.<br />

Another seal, an adult, had been brought to the aquarium <strong>by</strong> a fisherman<br />

who had captured it <strong>by</strong> clubbing it over the head with a piece of wood.<br />

Although it survived for a remarkable ten years after this event, the seal<br />

remained antagonistic to humans until its last breath, bitterly resenting<br />

its captivity.<br />

Snatched from the wild, most monk seals promptly begin to starve<br />

themselves – often to death. The pups that were brought to the Rhodes<br />

aquarium were therefore force-fed with a pair of wooden pincers, or<br />

sometimes through a syringe delivering a bizarre mixture of Ovaltine<br />

and sugar. None of the seals ever accepted their captivity and all but one<br />

died within a few weeks. They would tremble violently in their concrete<br />

habitat and were often heard to cry out in anguish (William Johnson in:<br />

The Monk Seal Conspiracy).<br />

107


Habitat<br />

Mediterranean monk seals mostly seek refuge in inaccessible caves,<br />

often along remote, cliff-bound coasts. Such caves may have underwater<br />

entrances, not visible from the water line.<br />

Known to inhabit open sandy beaches and shoreline rocks in ancient<br />

times, the occupation of such marginal habitat is believed to be a<br />

relatively recent adaptation in response to human pressures – hunting,<br />

pest eradication <strong>by</strong> fishermen, coastal urbanisation, and tourism.<br />

Distribution<br />

At one time, the Mediterranean monk seal occupied a wide geographical<br />

range. Colonies were found throughout the Mediterranean, the Marmara<br />

and Black Seas. The species also frequented the Atlantic coast of Africa,<br />

as far south as Mauritania, Senegal and the Gambia, as well as the<br />

Atlantic islands of Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Madeira and the<br />

Azores.<br />

In 1<strong>978</strong>, the distribution of the Mediterranean monk seal was described<br />

as follows: "The main center of population of the species is the Aegean<br />

Sea, especially its southern and eastern part, in the Dodecanese Islands<br />

of Greece and adjacent coasts of Turkey. This distribution extends in<br />

lesser numbers of animals north to the Cyclades, the Northern Sporades<br />

and the Sea of Marmara, west towards Crete, the Peloponnesus and the<br />

Ionian Sea, and east along the western part of the southern coast of<br />

Turkey. The second, lesser concentration within the Mediterranean Sea<br />

lies along the southern coasts of the western basin, from the<br />

Mediterranean coast of Morocco along the Algerian coast to Tunisia. A<br />

few animals remain at the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, the Tyrrhenian Sea<br />

and Sicily, but the species is extinct or nearly so at Corsica. A third,<br />

minor concentration exists in the eastern Mediterranean in south-central<br />

Turkey, around the coasts of Cyprus, and on the Lebanese coast. The<br />

Atlantic population exists in discrete, widely separated populations at<br />

the Desertas Islands, rarely at the main island of Madeira, and in<br />

southern Spanish Sahara [Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara].<br />

There are a few recent records from the Azores" (Sergeant et al. 1<strong>978</strong>).<br />

108


More recently, however, the species has disappeared from most of its<br />

former range, with the most severe contraction and fragmentation<br />

occurring during the 20th century. Nations and island groups where the<br />

monk seal has been extirpated during the past century include France<br />

and Corsica, Spain and the Balearic Islands, Italy and Sicily, Egypt,<br />

Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. More recently, the species is also thought<br />

to have become extinct in the Black Sea. Despite sporadic sightings –<br />

possibly of stragglers from other regions – Monachus monachus may<br />

also be regarded as effectively extinct in Sardinia, the Adriatic coasts<br />

and islands of Croatia, and the Sea of Marmara. Reports also suggest<br />

that the monk seal may have been eradicated from Tunisia. Similarly,<br />

only a handful of individuals reportedly survive along the Mediterranean<br />

coast of Morocco.<br />

In 1997, a severe mass mortality affected the Cap Blanc Mediterranean<br />

monk seal colony off the coast of Mauritania. The exact cause is<br />

unknown, but a viral epidemic and poisoning <strong>by</strong> toxic algae are the most<br />

likely candidates. The Cap Blanc colony was the largest population of<br />

Mediterranean monk seals (Macdonald, 2001).<br />

The Mediterranean monk seal is now restricted to a handful of small and<br />

scattered colonies in the Ionian and Aegean Seas and the southern coast<br />

of Turkey in the Mediterranean, as well as scattered populations in<br />

northwest Africa on the coasts of Western Sahara (Arab Democratic<br />

109


Republic of the Sahara) and Mauritania, and the Desertas Islands,<br />

Madeira. It is thought that just two of these populations are viable, in<br />

Greece and northwest Africa (Arkive, 2006).<br />

As a result of this range contraction, the monk seal has been virtually<br />

reduced to two populations, one in the northeastern Mediterranean and<br />

the other in the northeast Atlantic, off the coast of northwest Africa.<br />

Interchange between the two populations is thought improbable given<br />

the great distances separating them.<br />

Confusion over Palestinian stranding<br />

Debate – and lingering confusion – continues amongst scientists<br />

regarding the identity of a seal washed ashore on ―Dolphinarium Beach‖<br />

in Tel Aviv-<strong>Jaffa</strong>, Occupied Palestine, on 27 January 2004.<br />

According to an announcement <strong>by</strong> Dan Kerem and Oz Goffman of<br />

IMMRAC (Israel Marine Mammal Research & Assistance Center), the<br />

decaying body was discovered partly buried on the beach. It was<br />

subsequently moved to the Maritime School in Mikhmoret for further<br />

inspection.<br />

Kerem and Goffman reported that ―the body was recognized as that of a<br />

seal, most likely a female, but was already in an advanced state of<br />

decomposition and disintegration. The caudal remains were no more<br />

than the skin of the belly, to which were attached the tail and remnants<br />

of the hind flippers. By a process of elimination, we believe that the<br />

body is that of a Mediterranean Monk seal (Monachus monachus),<br />

although the lack of the nose, vibrissae, front of the upper jaw and ilea,<br />

as well as a worn out, faded and peeling fur, have prevented us from<br />

making a definite identification.‖<br />

―As best we could judge,‖ they continued, ―the body length (tip of snout<br />

to tip of tail) was ca. 120 cm, which if indeed a monk seal, would make<br />

the individual a few months old pup. On the one hand, this finding is<br />

exciting, considering that the last time a monk seal pup was observed in<br />

this area was in the mid 1930‘s. On the other hand, it is obvious that<br />

there are no active breeding caves anywhere near the beaching point.<br />

The decomposed state of the body, the low water temperature and the<br />

110


ough winter storms support the assumption that the body may have<br />

drifted a long distance.‖<br />

The authors went on to postulate that the animal – if indeed it was a<br />

monk seal – may have drifted towards Palestine from the Cilician Basin<br />

in Turkey, Cyprus or even Cyrenaica in Li<strong>by</strong>a.<br />

Following preliminary examination of the photographic evidence, other<br />

experts also voiced the opinion that the dead animal was almost certainly<br />

a monk seal. According to others, however, the seal‘s anatomical<br />

remains invited a different conclusion. Faxed drawings of the skull,<br />

compared with specimens held in the Zoological Museum in Cambridge<br />

in the UK, led Prof. Yoram Yom-Tov of Tel Aviv University to voice<br />

his opinion that the animal was not a monk but a young Caspian seal<br />

(Pusa [Phoca] caspica, Gmelin 1788).<br />

―I have no idea where it came from,‖ he admitted, ―and can only guess<br />

that it was discarded <strong>by</strong> some zoo. However, as far as I know there were<br />

(and are) no Caspian seals in Israeli zoos, so it must have come from<br />

another country.‖<br />

Other experts have meanwhile reiterated their faith in the monk seal<br />

hypothesis.<br />

A DNA analysis has yet to be conducted (The Monachus Guardian).<br />

Threats<br />

The main threats arrayed against the Mediterranean monk seal include:<br />

1- Habitat deterioration and loss <strong>by</strong> coastal development, including<br />

disturbance <strong>by</strong> tourism and pleasure boating;<br />

2- Deliberate killing <strong>by</strong> fishermen and fish farm operators, who consider<br />

the animal a pest that damages their nets and ‗steals‘ their fish,<br />

particularly in depleted coastal fishing grounds;<br />

3- Accidental entanglement in fishing gear leading to death <strong>by</strong><br />

drowning;<br />

4- Decreased food availability due to over-fishing pressures;<br />

5- Stochastic events, such as disease outbreaks.<br />

111


19th century seal hunt in Tunisia<br />

The Mediterranean monk seal is particularly sensitive to human<br />

disturbance, with coastal development and tourism pressures driving the<br />

species to inhabit increasingly marginal and unsuitable habitat. In some<br />

pupping caves, pups are vulnerable to storm surges and may be washed<br />

away and drowned.<br />

Unforeseen or stochastic events, such as disease epidemics, toxic algae<br />

or oil spills may also threaten the survival of the monk seal. In the<br />

summer of 1997, two thirds of the largest surviving population of<br />

Mediterranean monk seals was wiped out within the space of two<br />

months at Cabo Blanco (the Côte des Phoques) in the Western Sahara<br />

(Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara). While opinions on the<br />

precise causes of this epidemic remain sharply divided, the mass die-off<br />

emphasized the precarious status of a species already regarded as<br />

critically endangered throughout its range.<br />

112


Vital statistics (all figures are<br />

averages)<br />

Monachus<br />

monachus<br />

Adult<br />

male<br />

Adult<br />

female<br />

Pup<br />

Status:<br />

Habitat:<br />

Length:<br />

Weight:<br />

Colour:<br />

Length:<br />

Weight:<br />

Colour:<br />

Length:<br />

Weight:<br />

Colour:<br />

Critically endangered.<br />

Sea caves along remote cliff-bound coasts for<br />

resting and giving birth; originally congregated<br />

on open beaches and shoreline rocks. Feeds in<br />

coastal waters.<br />

2.4 meters (nose to tail).<br />

250-300 kg (estimate only).<br />

Predominantly black with a white belly patch,<br />

but several variations exist.<br />

Slightly smaller than male (2.4 m).<br />

250-300 kg (estimate only).<br />

Predominantly grayish, with several variations.<br />

94 cm (nose to tail).<br />

15-20 kg.<br />

Soft woolly hair, black to chocolate, with<br />

distinctive white belly patch.<br />

Conservation<br />

Conservation of the Mediterranean monk seal has been underway since<br />

the late 1970s but, given the species‘ obscurity among the general public<br />

and the forces arrayed against it, progress has generally been patchy and<br />

slow. Chronic deficiencies in funding, both from state and private<br />

sources, have compounded the problem.<br />

In situ conservation efforts focus on the establishment of marine<br />

protected areas, no-fishing zones, rescue and rehabilitation of orphaned<br />

and wounded seals, education and public awareness. Scientific research,<br />

113


while gaining additional insights into little understood aspects of the<br />

monk seal‘s biology and behaviour, can also play a key role in furthering<br />

in situ conservation aims.<br />

To date, marine protected areas for the species have been established in<br />

only a fraction of the areas scientific opinion deems necessary: in the<br />

Desertas Islands of Madeira; in the Northern Sporades Islands and<br />

northern Karpathos in Greece; on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts<br />

of Turkey, and along the Côte des Phoques (Cabo Blanco) in the<br />

Western Sahara (Arab Democratic Republic of the Sahara).<br />

Taking into consideration the feeding and breeding movements of monk<br />

seals between remnant colonies, a consensus of scientific opinion<br />

believes that a network of well-managed and guarded reserves are<br />

essential for the survival of the species.<br />

Although proposed on a number of occasions, ex situ conservation<br />

measures – such as captive breeding and translocation – have been<br />

abandoned in the face of concerted opposition from the international<br />

monk seal scientific and conservation communities. So sensitive is the<br />

monk seal to human disturbance that ex situ schemes of this kind are<br />

viewed in some quarters as an additional threat to the species. Monachus<br />

monachus has never been known to breed successfully in captivity.<br />

Scientists also question whether there is any single colony large enough<br />

to withstand the removal of donor animals for the purposes of<br />

translocation or captive breeding without jeopardising its own viability.<br />

Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus Hermann, 1779).<br />

http://www.grid.unep.ch/bsein/redbook/txt/monach.htm<br />

114


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1-4. (Article in Arabic).<br />

http://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%AD%D9%8A%D9%88%D8%A7%<br />

D9%86%D8%A7%D8%AA_%D9%81%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B7%<br />

D9%8A%D9%86<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

(2008). Carnivora Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia<br />

and Europe between 2005-2008. / Carnivora Arabica. Eine Zoologische<br />

Reise in <strong>Palaestina</strong>, Arabien und Europa zwischen 2005-2008. First<br />

Edition, September 2008, Ramadan 1429 AH. 396 pps. Publisher: <strong>Dr</strong>.<br />

<strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates & Rilchingen-<br />

Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. <strong>ISBN</strong> <strong>978</strong>-9948-03-459-9.<br />

(In Arabic, English and German).<br />

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Carnivora_Arabica.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

(2008). Cetacea <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Whales and Dolphins in Palestinian<br />

Waters. Cetacean Species Guide for Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Number 83, November 2008, Thu Al-Qi‘ada 1429<br />

AH. pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

http://www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Cetacea_<strong>Palaestina</strong>.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2008).<br />

Amphibia <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Amphibians of Palestine. Gazelle: The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 84, December 2008, Thu Al-<br />

Hijja 1429 AH. pp. 1-18. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Amphibia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2009).<br />

The Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus, Hermann 1779) in<br />

Palestinian, Mediterranean and Atlantic Waters. Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Number 85, January 2009, Muharram 1430 AH. pp.<br />

1-20. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mediterranean_Monk_Seal.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2009). <strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong>. A<br />

Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1983-2009<br />

/ <strong>Fauna</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong>. Eine Zoologische Reise in Palästina, Arabien und<br />

Europa zwischen 1983-2009. <strong>ISBN</strong> <strong>978</strong>-9948-03-865-8 (Book in<br />

preparation, Summer 2009).<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/<strong>Fauna</strong>_<strong>Palaestina</strong>.html<br />

King, J.E. (1956). The Monk Seals (Genus Monachus). Bulletin of the<br />

British Museum (Natural History) Zoology, London Vol. 3: 201-256, 8<br />

pls.<br />

King, J.E. (1983). Seals of the World. British Museum (Natural<br />

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History) and Oxford University Press, London, Oxford: 1-240.<br />

Lavigne D.M. and W.M. Johnson (2001). Hanging <strong>by</strong> a thread. The<br />

Monachus Guardian 4 (2): November 2001.<br />

Macdonald, D. 2001. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Barnes &<br />

Noble/Andromeda Oxford Ltd., Abingdon, UK.<br />

Monachus-Guardian. http://www.monachus-guardian.org/library.htm<br />

Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779).<br />

http://www.grid.unep.ch/bsein/redbook/txt/monach.htm<br />

Öztürk, B. Past, Present and Future of the Mediterranean Monk Seal<br />

Monachus monachus (Hermann, 1779) in the Black Sea. Proceedings of<br />

the first International Symposium on the Marine Mammals of the Black<br />

Sea. p. 96-102. Istanbul, Turkey. Ronald, K. and R. Duguy (eds.)<br />

(1979). The Mediterranean monk seal. First International Conference<br />

on the Mediterranean monk seal, Rhodes, Greece, 2-5 May, 1<strong>978</strong>.<br />

United Nations Environment Programme / Pergamon Press, Oxford,<br />

UK: 1-183.<br />

Sergeant, D.; K. Ronald, J. Boulva, and F. Berkes (1<strong>978</strong>). The Recent<br />

Status of Monachus monachus, the Mediterranean Monk Seal. In: K.<br />

Ronald and R. Duguy, eds. The Mediterranean Monk Seal. First<br />

International Conference on the Mediterranean Monk Seal. 2-5 May<br />

1<strong>978</strong>, Rhodes, Greece. Pergamon Press, Oxford, UK: 1-183.<br />

Sergeant, D.; K. Ronald, J. Boulva, and F. Berkes (1<strong>978</strong>). The Recent<br />

Status of Monachus monachus, the Mediterranean monk seal. Biol.<br />

Cons. 14:259.<br />

The Monachus Guardian. Mediterranean News. Confusion over Israeli<br />

stranding. Vol. 7 (1): June 2004. http://www.monachusguardian.org/mguard13/1315mednew.htm<br />

Wijngaarden, A. van. (1962). The Mediterranean Monk Seal. From a<br />

Report to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Oryx.<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong> & Flora Preservation Society, London 6: 270-273.<br />

Wikipedia. Mediterranean Monk Seal.<br />

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediterranean_Monk_Seal<br />

Wikipedia. Mönchsrobben.<br />

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6nchsrobben<br />

Wyss, A. R.(1988). On retrogression in the evolution of the Phocinae<br />

and phylogenetic affinities of monk seals. In: American Museum<br />

Novitates 1988, Nr. 2924, S. 38ff.<br />

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121


Carnivora <strong>Palaestina</strong><br />

The Carnivores of Palestine<br />

Die Raubtiere Palästinas<br />

لواحن<br />

‏)ضواري(‏<br />

فلسطين<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<br />

Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Order: CARNIVORA (Carnivores):<br />

Family: Canidae (Dogs, Jackals, Wolves, Foxes):<br />

1. Palestine Golden Jackal (Canis aureus palaestina, <strong>Khalaf</strong> 2008)<br />

[Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 80, August 2008,<br />

Rajab / Sha‘ban 1429 AH. pp. 1-13. Type from Rafah and Al-Bureij<br />

Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine]:<br />

Description: The Palestinian Golden Jackal subspecies (canis aureus<br />

palaestina) is morphologically and geographically distinct from the<br />

other three Jackal subspecies living in the area around Palestine: The<br />

Syrian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus Hemprich and Ehrenberg,<br />

1833), The Egyptian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster Hemprich<br />

and Ehrenberg, 1833) and the Arabian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus<br />

hadramauticus Noack, 1896).<br />

The Palestinian Jackal is a small race of the Golden or Asiatic Jackal. It<br />

is smaller than a wolf, with relatively shorter legs and tail. It is larger<br />

than a fox and can be distinguished <strong>by</strong> its relatively smaller, rufous ears<br />

and shorter, black-tipped tail. It is similar to a small dog in appearance.<br />

The fur is rather short and coarse. The dorsal colour is usually variable<br />

black, yellowish-gray or brown-yellowish tinged with rufous, grayer on<br />

the back, which is grizzled with varying amounts of black. A dark band<br />

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uns along the back from the nose to the tip of the tail. This mane<br />

becomes wider on the back, extending into the lateral surfaces. There are<br />

two dark bands across the lower throat and upper breast. There is also a<br />

reddish phase. The under parts are almost white or yellowish-brown.<br />

The winter coat is longer and grayer. The tail is relatively short, usually<br />

with a black tip. The size of the Palestinian Jackal is moderate if<br />

compared with the larger Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) and<br />

the smaller Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus) (<strong>Khalaf</strong>,<br />

2008).<br />

Size: Head and body 600-900 mm., female smaller than male; ear 70-89<br />

mm.; hind foot 140-162 mm.; tail 200-300 mm; skull length 148-180<br />

mm; weight 5-12 kg.<br />

Ecology: The Palestine Golden Jackal lives in hills, plains, around<br />

orange groves, in forests and on the outskirts of towns and villages.<br />

Distribution: Canis aureus palaestina is common throughout the<br />

northern half of Palestine and Israel to just south of Gaza Strip and Beer<br />

Al-Saba‘ (Beersheba) (<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008).<br />

2. Syrian Golden Jackal, Syrian Asiatic Jackal (Canis aureus<br />

syriacus, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833):<br />

The Golden Jackal is distributed in southern Europe, North Africa,<br />

Egypt, Asia Minor, Arabia, to India and the Indochinese Peninsula. The<br />

subspecies Canis aureus syriacus is common throughout the northern<br />

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

not penetrate the desert.<br />

3. Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster, Hemprich and Ehrenberg<br />

1833):<br />

The Egyptian Jackal is a valid subspecies, and is distributed in Egypt<br />

and perhaps Sinai and the Naqab Desert. The Egyptian subspecies was<br />

quoted from Palestine <strong>by</strong> Flower (1932).<br />

4. Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus,<br />

Noack 1896):<br />

The Hadramaut or Arabian Jackal is distributed in southern Arabia. In<br />

Palestine, jackals found near the Dead Sea (Ein Fashkhah and Neot<br />

Hakikar) probably belong to this subspecies.<br />

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A sleeping Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs) at the Arabia's Wildlife Centre,<br />

Desert Park, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong><br />

<strong>Jaffa</strong>, with a Motorola SLVR Mobile Camera, 16.08.2008.<br />

www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/1213259/display/13914492<br />

5. Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus arabs, Pocock 1934):<br />

The Arabian Wolf is distributed in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait (where<br />

it may intergrade with the Indian subspecies), and Egypt (the southern<br />

and eastern Sinai desert). In Palestine, Canis lupus arabs inhabits the<br />

southern Wadi Araba and appears to intergrade with the Indian<br />

subspecies in the northern Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.<br />

6. Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes, Sykes 1831):<br />

The Indian Wolf is widespread from northern India to Sind, south to<br />

Dharwat, Baluchistan, southern Iraq, Kuwait, northern Arabia, Syria,<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where the subspecies Canis lupus pallipes is<br />

extirpated from the coastal plain, but still occurs in the Judean hills, and<br />

is an intruder in the Huleh Valley from the occupied Golan Heights. A<br />

slightly smaller and paler population appears to inhabit the northern<br />

Naqab Desert and northern Wadi Araba.<br />

7. Egyptian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus, Sonnini<br />

1816) and (Vulpes vulpes niloticus, Geoffroy 1803):<br />

The Egyptian Red Fox is known from Li<strong>by</strong>a and Egypt. It may be the<br />

race that inhabits the mountains of the Naqab and Sinai Deserts.<br />

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8. Arabian Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes arabica, Thomas 1902):<br />

The Arabian Red Fox is distributed in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and<br />

Palestine, where the subspecies Vulpes vulpes arabica is found in the<br />

southern half of the country, in the stony desert hills and wadis of the<br />

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba,<br />

9. Palestine Common Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes palaestina, Thomas<br />

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

<strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palestine. Synonym of Vulpes vulpes aegyptiacus]:<br />

The Palestine Red Fox is distinguished <strong>by</strong> its gray colour, particularly<br />

along its sides, with a nearly complete suppression of rufous, except the<br />

face. The forelegs are grayish-rufous or fulvous. The underparts are<br />

whitish or black. The upper tail is buffy, washed with black.<br />

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

121-148 mm.; tail 305-412 mm.<br />

The Palestinian subspecies Vulpes vulpes palaestina is known from<br />

Lebanon and Palestine, where it is common along the coastal plain and<br />

as far south as Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).<br />

10. Mountain Common Red Fox, Tawny Fox (Vulpes vulpes<br />

flavescens, Gray 1843):<br />

The Mountain Fox is distributed in northern Iran, Kurdistan and Iraq.<br />

Vulpes vulpes flavescens may be the subspecies found in the northern,<br />

more mountainous regions of Palestine.<br />

11. Rüppell’s Sand Fox (Vulpes rueppelli, Schinz 1825) and (Vulpes<br />

rueppelli sabaea, Pocock 1934):<br />

Rüppell‘s Sand Fox is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria, Li<strong>by</strong>a<br />

and Egypt, south to Sudan, Somaliland and Asben, Iran and<br />

Afghanistan. The subspecies Vulpes rueppelli sabaea is known from<br />

Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Palestine, where it inhabits the western<br />

side of the Dead Sea, and Wadi Araba. It may intergrade with the<br />

African subspecies Vulpes rueppelli rueppelli in the Naqab and Sinai<br />

Deserts where intermediate forms occur.<br />

12. Afghan Fox, Blanford’s Fox (Vulpes cana, Blanford 1877):<br />

The Afghan Fox is distributed in Uzbek, southern Turkman, Russia,<br />

Afghanistan, Iran, northwestern Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, United<br />

Arab Emirates, Jordan, Palestine and Sinai. In Palestine, it was<br />

125


discovered <strong>by</strong> G. Ilani, where it is known from the western side of the<br />

Dead Sea (Ein Gedi), and south to Eilat.<br />

13. Fennec Fox (Vulpes [Fennecus] zerda, Zimmerman 1780):<br />

The Fennec Fox is almost certain to be found in sandy desert areas in the<br />

Naqab and in eastern Jordan, because it was reported in similar habitats<br />

in Kuwait, Egypt and western Sinai (Harrison, 1968; <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 1984;<br />

Qumsiyeh, 1996). There is a record of an Epipaleolithic Fennec Fox<br />

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

Family: Felidae (Cats):<br />

14. Palestine Wild Cat, Bush Cat (Felis silvestris tristrami, Pocock<br />

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

Moab, Jordan (collected <strong>by</strong> Tristram). Perhaps a valid subspecies: Felis<br />

silvestris tristrami]:<br />

The Wild Cat is widespread in Europe, Asia, Arabia and Africa. The<br />

Palestinian subspecies Felis Silvestris tristrami is found in Lebanon,<br />

Syria, Jordan and Palestine, where it is fairly common throughout most<br />

of the country.<br />

15. Iraqi or Mesopotamian Wild Cat, Desert Wild Cat (Felis<br />

silvestris iraki, Cheesman 1920):<br />

The Iraqi Wild Cat Felis silvestris iraki was described from Kuwait and<br />

northeast Arabia. In Palestine, a specimen fitting the description of this<br />

race, which had been killed <strong>by</strong> a car, was found <strong>by</strong> Walter W. Ferguson<br />

on the western side of the Dead Sea between Ein Zohar and Ein Boqek.<br />

16. Sand Cat (Felis margarita, Loche 1858) and the Arabian Sand<br />

Cat (Felis margarita harrisoni, Hemmer, Grubb and Groves 1976):<br />

The Sand Cat is distributed in North Africa, Egypt (Sinai), Russian<br />

Turkestan and Arabia. In Palestine, it is confined to the Wadi Araba<br />

(Hatseva).<br />

17. Palestine Jungle Cat, Swamp Cat (Felis chaus furax, de Winton<br />

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

Palestine (based on a specimen collected <strong>by</strong> Tristram). Valid subspecies]<br />

and (Lyncus chrysomelanotis, Nehring 1902) [Schriften Berl. Ges.<br />

Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1902: 145. Type from near the Jordan River. Synonym<br />

of Felis chaus furax]:<br />

126


The Jungle Cat is distributed in Asia, from the Caucasus and Turkestan<br />

to India and the Indochinese Peninsula, and Egypt. The Palestinian<br />

subspecies Felis chaus furax is known from Iraq, Jordan and Palestine,<br />

where it is found in the Huleh and Jordan Valleys, Galilee, the coastal<br />

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

(Jericho), and the southern end of the Dead Sea.<br />

18. Arabian Caracal Lynx, Desert Lynx (Felis [Caracal] caracal<br />

schmitzi, Matschie 1912) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1912:<br />

64. Type from ―Wadis opening to the Dead Sea‖. Type specimen at the<br />

Berlin Zoological Museum is from Ain ed Dachubeijir, Jordan. Valid<br />

subspecies] :<br />

The Caracal Lynx is distributed in northern Africa, Arabia, the Near East<br />

and India. The Arabian subspecies Caracal caracal schmitzi is known<br />

from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and<br />

Oman. In Palestine, it has been found in the occupied Golan Heights,<br />

Upper Galilee, the Jordan Valley, Mount Carmel, near the Dead Sea, in<br />

the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.<br />

19. Arabian Leopard, Nimer or Nimr (Panthera [Felis] pardus nimr,<br />

Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Sinai Leopard (Panthera<br />

[Felis] pardus jarvisi, Pocock 1932):<br />

Many literary sources, chiefly the Bible, note the presence of leopards<br />

all over Palestine (except for sandy regions). Ancient Near Eastern<br />

sources, including the Gilgamesh epic and Akkadian lists, indicate that<br />

leopards lived throughout the region (the Caucasus, Turkey, Syria,<br />

Palestine, Iraq, Sinai and Arabia).<br />

Their existence in any region depended then - and still depends today -<br />

on the availability of the three basic conditions essential for leopards:<br />

suitable cover, to enable successful hunting; varied prey, to provide<br />

food; and minimal involvement with man and his economy.<br />

Over the centuries, areas with these conditions gradually shrank. Woods<br />

and thickets were cleared and settled <strong>by</strong> man and his domestic animals;<br />

potential leopard prey was hunted down; and the leopards had no choice<br />

but to prey on domestic stock.<br />

At the turn of the 20th century, leopards lived in all the wooded and hilly<br />

regions of Palestine, including Mount Carmel and the Judean Hills.<br />

However, <strong>by</strong> mid-century their distribution had declined drastically, and<br />

their populations were confined to two areas. One was the forested,<br />

deeply fissured regions of Galilee (Al-Galeel). The second area<br />

127


comprised the Judean Desert and the Naqab (Negev) highlands,<br />

particularly the steep cleft landscapes that lie east of the watershed line.<br />

The only ecosystem in Palestine that remains fully undisturbed is a<br />

stretch of mountains and cliffs over the Dead Sea. All of the fauna and<br />

flora components of this ecosystem are still there, except for the recent<br />

extinction of the lammergeier. Not only that, the ecosystem is also<br />

complete in the original food chain, the energy flow from primary<br />

production up to the highest trophic level, with leopards, wolves, and,<br />

may be, additional carnivores on top of the food chain. The leopard<br />

population there is considered to belong to the subspecies known as the<br />

Sinai leopard Panthera pardus jarvisi. But our males weigh up to 40 kg,<br />

quite unlike the subspecies type, and our females are 25-26 kg, which<br />

agrees closely with the size and standards of the Arabian leopard<br />

Panthera pardus nimr. It is a question if there will be time to study the<br />

subspecific position of this population (Ilani 1989/90).<br />

The Dead Sea Mountains is the habitat of the Palestinian Leopard.<br />

Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine<br />

Wildlife Society.<br />

Leopards occurred on a surprisingly large number of occasions in<br />

Palestine, even in recent years when the human population has greatly<br />

increased. Harrison (1968) mention that it has repeatedly appeared in<br />

128


Galilee, particularly near the Lebanese frontier. Hardy (1947) notes that<br />

in 1939 a female was shot near Safad, and the Beth Gordon settlement<br />

possesses a skin of one killed about 1938 near Elon, a locality where<br />

leopards appeared again in 1942 and 1943. According to Hardy, Aharoni<br />

obtained a specimen from Mount Carmel and it has occurred in the<br />

Jerusalem area, also on Mount Tabor and in Wadi Araba south of the<br />

Dead Sea. Von Lehmann (1965) knew of one killed in Wadi Daraja, on<br />

the west coast of the Dead Sea. A specimen from Bethoren, killed in<br />

1910 was in the Schmitz collection (Anon 1946). Tristram (1866) knew<br />

of its occurrence in the Dead Sea Region, Mount Carmel, Gilead and<br />

Bashan. A specimen in the Tel Aviv University was obtained at Hanita<br />

in 1925, as well as another in 1952, one caught near Pekin in 1948,<br />

another near Kfar Aramu in 1952 and another near Ashona in 1956. It is<br />

remarkable how many of these records originate from quite a small area<br />

in the hills of Galilee; the area has evidently been visited <strong>by</strong> leopards for<br />

a long time, since it was recorded that during the earthquake at Safad in<br />

1834 leopards entered the wrecked village from the hills. It has been<br />

supposed that they periodically enter northern Palestine from the<br />

mountains of south Lebanon and Mount Hermon. If this is the case it is<br />

curious that there are no reports of the animal yet available from those<br />

regions (Harrison 1968).<br />

One specimen was obtained <strong>by</strong> P. E. Schmitz from El-Ammur, 20 km<br />

from Jerusalem; it was for a female obtained in 1911, and it is in the<br />

Zoological Museum of Berlin. This specimen was described as<br />

(Panthera pardus tulliana). Blake (1966, 1967) noted one killed near Ain<br />

Turabi, north-west of the Dead Sea.<br />

In 1965 a leopard attacked a Beduin shepherd in Upper Galilee; the<br />

animal was stabbed <strong>by</strong> the wounded shepherd, and they were both found<br />

lying side <strong>by</strong> side, alive but unable to move. The shepherd was fortunate<br />

indeed to survive this attack. A leopard cub captured in the same region<br />

in 1940 (Anon 1946) was taken to Safad, where the half-grown cub was<br />

eating 15-20 pounds of meat a day. Subsequently named Tedi, he was<br />

moved to Tel Aviv Zoo,where he grew into a fine and powerful adult<br />

described <strong>by</strong> Hardy (1947) as more heavily built than Indian leopards.<br />

Attempts to mate Tedi at first failed, indeed his courtship with a<br />

promising young female Indian panther proved fatal, for Tedi killed her<br />

with his strong paws (Harrison 1968, <strong>Khalaf</strong> 1983, 2005).<br />

129


A Leopard (Panthera pardus) at the Kuwait Zoo, Kuwait, State of Kuwait.<br />

Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, with a Motorola SLVR Mobile<br />

Camera, 06.01.2007.<br />

Three different leopard subspecies live in Palestine:<br />

Palestine's northern leopards, the Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus<br />

tulliana) are larger and darker in colour than the desert Arabian or Nimr<br />

leopard (Panthera pardus nimr), which is smaller, and lighter in both<br />

weight and colour. The Arabian leopard is the smallest race of leopard,<br />

and one of the most beautiful: dark spots are scattered on almost white<br />

fur. The leopards of the north had almost completely disappeared <strong>by</strong> the<br />

1960s. The occasional reports of sightings are not always reliable.<br />

However, in recent years a few leopards (four) were reported in the<br />

north of Palestine.<br />

The conditions are not suitable for the survival and development of the<br />

northern population. Although there is enough plant cover, and sufficient<br />

animals for prey (gazelle, hyrax, jackal, wild boar and porcupine), man<br />

and his activities may be a disturbing factor.<br />

The leopards of Palestine's southern regions were totally unknown<br />

between the 1930s and 1964. In April of the latter year, however, an<br />

adult female leopard was killed <strong>by</strong> a Beduin in Wadi Tze'elim; the<br />

Beduin reported that her two cubs had fled the scene. In early 1967<br />

Beduins again killed a young male leopard at Einot Qaneh (the West<br />

Bank of Jordan River).<br />

A third subspecies, the Sinai or Jarvisi Leopard (Panthera pardus<br />

130


jarvisi) lives in the Judean Desert in Palestine. This subspecies was<br />

described <strong>by</strong> Pocock in 1932. The type specimen is in the British<br />

Museum collection, and it was obtained in Sinai, and presented <strong>by</strong> Col.<br />

C. S. Jarvis.<br />

In the end of 1984, 25 adults were known to live in an area of 2,000 sq<br />

km, which was declared a nature reserve in 1973.<br />

Palestine‘s leopards appear to be making a dramatic increase and<br />

expanding into formerly unoccupied territories.<br />

Leopards have penetrated much of the southern half of Palestine, from<br />

the Ein Gedi region near the Dead Sea, all the way down to the Elat<br />

Mountains. They are also seen on the Egyptian Sinai border in the Wadi<br />

Paran region.<br />

Many recent sightings have been made in regions not considered<br />

preferred habitats for leopards, and we can only surmise that these big<br />

cats seen in such diverse regions is a result of effective conservation of<br />

ibex and other prey animals (Ilani and Shalmon 1985, <strong>Khalaf</strong> 1987,<br />

2005).<br />

20. Anatolian Leopard (Panthera [Felis] pardus tulliana,<br />

Valenciennes 1856):<br />

The Leopard is widespread from South Africa to Arabia, Iran and Asia,<br />

as far east as Japan. The Anatolian subspecies Panthera pardus tulliana<br />

is known from Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it has been<br />

recorded from Upper Galilee, formerly Mount Carmel, and the Judean<br />

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

subspecies in northern Palestine.<br />

21. Asiatic or Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Griffith<br />

1821):<br />

The Asiatic cheetah once ranged from Arabia to India, through Arabia,<br />

Iran, central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and, particularly in Iran<br />

and the Indian subcontinent, it was numerous. Cheetahs were easy to<br />

train, and rulers kept huge numbers for hunting gazelles. The Moghul<br />

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

in many Persian and Indian miniature paintings. But <strong>by</strong> 1900 it was<br />

already headed for extinction in many areas. The last physical evidence<br />

of cheetahs in India was three shot (with two bullets) <strong>by</strong> the Maharajah<br />

of Surguja in 1947 in eastern Madhya Pradesh. In Palestine, it was<br />

scarce <strong>by</strong> 1884, though more common east of the Jordan River. By 1930,<br />

it was rare, but still common in the southern steppe. The last Palestinian<br />

131


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

Asiatic cheetahs are apparently extirpated except from Iran, and possibly<br />

Pakistan and Afghanistan. Estimated to number over 200 during the<br />

1970s in Iran, current estimates <strong>by</strong> Iranian biologist Hormoz Asadi put<br />

the number at 50 to 100 (Jackson, 1998).<br />

A Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) at the Arabia's Wildlife Centre, Desert Park,<br />

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, with a<br />

Motorola SLVR Mobile Camera, 16.08.2008.<br />

22. Asiatic or Persian Lion (Panthera [Felis] leo persica, Meyer<br />

1826):<br />

"Then what is wrong with them that they turn away from receiving<br />

admonition. As if they were frightened wild donkeys. Fleeing from a<br />

lion (Qaswara)." (The Holy Qur‘an, Suret Al-Muddather, Aya 49-51).<br />

Lions are the most powerful of all carnivorous animals. Although not<br />

now found in Palestine, they must have been in ancient times very<br />

numerous there. They had their lairs in the forests (The Bible: Jeremiah<br />

5:6; Jeremiah 12:8; Amos 3:4), in the caves of the mountains (Song of<br />

Solomon 4:8; Nahum 2:12), and in the canebrakes on the banks of the<br />

Jordan (Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44; Zechariah 11:3).<br />

The Asiatic or Persian Lion (Felis leo persica), this proud symbol of<br />

strength and courage, must have been abundant in Biblical times.<br />

According to the Bible, in which it appears under several different<br />

names, the lion must have been quite common at that time. The species<br />

132


appears often on mosaics from the Roman and Byzantine periods. The<br />

thickets of the Jordan River were a preferred habitat. It became extinct<br />

after the time of the Crusaders. The last mention of them being <strong>by</strong> Arab<br />

writers of the 13th, 14th century, and the 17th century, when lions still<br />

existed near Samaria, the Jordan River area, and other areas. One<br />

specimen has been hunted at Lejun, near Megiddo, in the thirteenth<br />

century. Alfaras Bin Shawer, Wali of Ramla, wrote that he saw eleven<br />

dead lions after heavy rain in Ramla and the area of Nahr (River) Al-<br />

Auja in 1294. Sanqarshah Almansouri, Naib of Safad (1304-1307),<br />

killed in the coastal forests 15 lions; and according to Palestinian sources<br />

from Deir Hijlah, they reported the appearance of a lion in 1630 near the<br />

Jordan River.<br />

At this time, lions certainly roamed over parts of Syria and Arabia and<br />

along the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, where in ancient times<br />

lions figured prominently in the great royal hunts in Assyria. It is clear<br />

that lions survived in Mesopotamia until the nineteenth century, and<br />

there are several references to them <strong>by</strong> travellers of that period. The<br />

Persian Lion has not been reported from Iran since 1942. However, it is<br />

possible that it still exists there.<br />

The last remnant of the Asiatic Lion, which in historical times ranged<br />

from Greece to India through Iran (Persia), lives in the Gir Forest<br />

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

square miles) sanctuary in the state of Gujarat. In 1907 there were only<br />

13 lions left in the Gir, when the Nawab of Junagadh gave complete<br />

protection to them.<br />

Unlike the tiger, which prefers dense forests with adequate cover, the<br />

lion inhabits the scrub-type deciduous forests. Compared to its African<br />

counterpart, the Indian lion has a scantier mane. The lion seldom comes<br />

into contact with the tiger which also lives in India, but not in the Gir<br />

region as this forest is hotter and more arid than the habitat preferred <strong>by</strong><br />

the tiger.<br />

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

Arabic), and there is a village near<strong>by</strong> called Deir el Assad (Monastery of<br />

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

Al-Sabe‘e (Well of the Lion) is a famous Palestinian city in the Naqab<br />

(Negev) desert (<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, 2006).<br />

133


The Jordan River was the last habitat of the Palestinian Lion.<br />

Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr. Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine<br />

Wildlife Society. Picture taken in 2012.<br />

Family: Herpestidae or Viverridae (Genets, Mongooses<br />

and Civets):<br />

23. Palestine Genet (Genetta genetta terraesanctae, Neumann 1902)<br />

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 183. Type from Mount Carmel<br />

area, Palestine]:<br />

The Palestine Genet was recorded from the Mount Carmel area <strong>by</strong><br />

Tristram (1866). Unspecified additional specimens were reported from<br />

Sejera (Schedschera) and Wadi Fauar near the Dead Sea <strong>by</strong> Aharoni<br />

(1930).<br />

24. Egyptian Mongoose, Ichneumon (Herpestes ichneumon,<br />

Linnaeus 1758):<br />

The Egyptian Mongoose is distributed in southern Spain, North, East<br />

and Southwest Africa, Asia Minor, Turkey and Palestine, where it is<br />

common in the northern half of the country, in the Huleh Valley, along<br />

the coastal plain, with several isolated populations near the Dead Sea<br />

and the Wadi Araba.<br />

134


Family: Hyaenidae (Hyaenas and Aardwolves):<br />

25. Syrian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena syriaca, Matschie 1900):<br />

The Striped Hyaena is distributed in North and East Africa, Egypt and<br />

Sinai, through Asia Minor, southern Russia, Iran, Arabia, Lebanon,<br />

Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq to Nepal and India. The Syrian subspecies<br />

Hyaena hyaena syriaca is known from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it has disappeared from the coastal plain and is<br />

becoming rare in the Huleh Valley, Upper Galilee, Mount Carmel and<br />

the Judean hills, south to the Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba.<br />

26. Arabian Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena sultana, Pocock 1934):<br />

The Arabian Striped Hyaena is known from southern Arabia. In<br />

Palestine, it occurs near the southern end of the Dead Sea (Neot<br />

Hakikar). A specimen in the collection of the Hebrew University of<br />

Jerusalem constitutes the first geographical record for Palestine. It may<br />

be that the Arabian race intergrades with the Syrian subspecies in the<br />

northern part of its range.<br />

27. Dubbah, Sudan Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena dubbah, Meyer<br />

1793):<br />

The Dubbah is a valid subspecies and perhaps enters Palestine from the<br />

Sinai.<br />

Family: Mustelidae (Weasels, Polecats, Martens, Badgers,<br />

Otters & Skunks):<br />

28. Common Weasel, Least Weasel, Snow Weasel (Mustela nivalis,<br />

Linnaeus 1766) and the Egyptian Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis<br />

subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the Mediterranean<br />

Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein 1800):<br />

The common Weasel is the smallest carnivore in the region. It is<br />

distinguished <strong>by</strong> its slender body; long neck; low, rounded ears; short<br />

limbs; and tail which is less than a quarter of the length of the head and<br />

body. In the summer, the upper parts are a uniform brown, and the under<br />

parts are white, sharply demarcated along the flanks. The dorsal surface<br />

of the forefeet is white. The tail is brown, becoming darker towards the<br />

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

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

mm; tail 40-70 mm. (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

1<strong>35</strong>


The common Weasel is active day and night. It inhabits holes, often the<br />

burrows of rodents and hollow trees, among boulders and rock crevices.<br />

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

species appeared to be more commensal than feral and was mostly<br />

obtained around human habitations and near cultivated areas (Setzer,<br />

1958). Flower (1932) remarked that in Egypt, these animals frequented<br />

clubs, restaurants, homes, and other buildings. Such habitat choice was<br />

not seen in Egypt later <strong>by</strong> Osborn and Helmy (1980).<br />

The Common Weasel feeds on insects, small rodents, birds, lizards,<br />

amphibians, fish and occasionally larger animals. Gestation period is 34-<br />

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

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

in December (Flower, 1932).<br />

The Common Weasel is widespread in Europe eastwards through<br />

Russia, Asia Minor, Iran, northern Arabia, Afghanistan, Mongolia,<br />

Korea, China, Japan and North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and<br />

North America.<br />

Considered <strong>by</strong> some authors a definite Pleistocene rodent specialist, the<br />

Common Weasel seems to have made its first appearance in Europe<br />

during the Mindel glacial episode (about 400,000 years ago) and is<br />

commonly found in cave deposits from the beginning of the Late<br />

Pleistocene. It represents a Palaearctic species of the Euro-Siberian<br />

Region, widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North Africa (Masseti,<br />

1995).<br />

In the Mediterranean region, the Common Weasel occurs today in<br />

northern Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia), in most of southern<br />

Europe and in Anatolia. In the Levant its distribution is restricted to the<br />

northern areas of the region, including Lebanon (Harrison and Bates,<br />

1991) and northern Syria. In the northern Arabian Peninsula, it has not<br />

been reported since the Early Bronze Age (Dayan and Tchernov, 1988).<br />

In fact, in Palestine, the species does not exist at present (Dayan and<br />

Tchernov, 1988; Dayan, 1989). Beyond this distribution gap in<br />

Palestine, the Common Weasel occurs again in Egypt, along the Nile<br />

delta and valley, with a population characterized <strong>by</strong> large body size. This<br />

Egyptian population is almost completely commensal with man (Osborn<br />

and Helmy, 1980) and has been occasionally considered either a Roman<br />

introduction or a glacial relic. Even if they do not reach the size of the<br />

Egyptian Weasel, The Mediterranean Weasels are all characterized <strong>by</strong> a<br />

very large body size (King, 1989; Masseti, 1995).<br />

136


The subspecies found in Lebanon is the Mediterranean Mustela nivalis<br />

boccamela, and is smaller than the Egyptian subspecies Mustela nivalis<br />

subpalmata.<br />

The status of the weasel in Palestine is not clear. Two Common Weasel<br />

subspecies may occur in Palestine: The Egyptian Common Weasel<br />

(Mustela nivalis subpalmata, Hemprich and Ehrenberg 1833) and the<br />

Mediterranean Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis boccamela, Bechstein<br />

1800). Zoologists (Aharoni, 1930; Bodenheimer, 1958) of the first half<br />

of last century failed to confirm Tristram‘s listing of this species (as<br />

Mustela boccamela) as a member of the Palestinian fauna, from the<br />

vicinity of Mount Tabor. The common Weasel is reported from<br />

Holocene fossils (11,000 to about 5000 years before present) from<br />

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

(Tchernov, 1988). It probably became extirpated in Palestine due to<br />

increasing aridity. However, relict populations survived around the Nile<br />

Valley in northern Egypt (Osborn and Helmy, 1980), and two specimens<br />

are known from Lebanon (Harrison and Lewis, 1964). Thus, a<br />

population perhaps still survives in the Holy Land. Indeed, Harrison and<br />

Lewis (1964) reported undocumented skins in the collection of Salah<br />

(Selah) Merrill, who made most of this collection, while an American<br />

Consul in Jerusalem between 1882-1907 (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

The word Mustela is Latin for weasel; and the name nivalis is derived<br />

from nix, Latin, genitive nivis, snow. Hence, also, the common name<br />

Snow Weasel (Qumsiyeh, 1996; <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, 2006); and I would<br />

like to mention that the Weasel Tribe are common in Palestine.<br />

29. Syrian Stone Marten, Rock Marten, Beech Marten (Martes foina<br />

syriaca, Nehring 1902) [Type from Wadi Sir or Syr, Jordan (specimen<br />

is at the Zoological Museum in Berlin). Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Stone Marten is widespread across Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Martes foina syriaca occurs in Iraq, Syria,<br />

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was formerly common in the<br />

Judean hills and was extirpated on Mount Carmel. It has recently<br />

appeared at Ramat Shaul and Kiryat Shprinzak. It is now rare in the<br />

Galilee and the occupied Golan Heights, but has increased in the Hula<br />

Valley near Kibbutz Dan.<br />

30. Syrian Marbled Poleacat (Vormela peregusna syriaca, Pocock<br />

1936) [Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1936: 720. Type from near Lake<br />

Tiberias (Sea of Galilee), Palestine]:<br />

137


The Marbled Polecat ranges from southeastern Europe and southwestern<br />

Asia, Russia into Mongolia. The Syrian subspecies Vormela peregusna<br />

syriaca is found in Syria, western and northern Iraq, and Palestine,<br />

where it is fairly common in the northern half of the country up to the<br />

edge of the desert.<br />

31. Persian Honey Badger or Ratel (Mellivora capensis wilsoni,<br />

Cheesman 1920):<br />

The Honey Badger is widespread in most of Africa, Arabia to Russian<br />

Turkestan, east to Nepal and India. The Persian subspecies Mellivora<br />

capensis wilsoni is known from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, southern<br />

Arabia and Palestine, where it is rare but widespread from Upper Galilee<br />

(Umm Falik) to the Judean hills and the Naqab Desert (Ein Hussub). It<br />

has also been recorded from Gaza.<br />

32. Persian Common Badger, Old World Badger, Eurasian Badger<br />

(Meles meles canescens, Blanford 1875):<br />

The Common Badger is the only species of its genus, and it is<br />

widespread throughout Europe and Asia, Tibet, northern Burma and<br />

southern China. The Persian race Meles meles canescens occurs in Iran,<br />

Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is uncommon but has been<br />

recorded in Upper Galilee, Jezreel Valley, upper Jordan Valley and the<br />

coastal plain.<br />

Common Badger at Beit Sahour, Palestine in 2012. Photograph <strong>by</strong> Mr.<br />

Imad Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

138


33. Persian Common River Otter (Lutra lutra seistanica, Birula<br />

1912):<br />

The Common River Otter is widespread across Europe and Asia, from<br />

England to Japan, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. In Palestine, the<br />

Persian subspecies Lutra lutra seistanica is widespread, though<br />

uncommon, in the northern half of the country, from the Huleh Valley to<br />

the mouth of the Jordan River at the Dead Sea, and the coastal plain.<br />

Family: Ursidae (Bears):<br />

34. Syrian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos syriacus, Hemprich and<br />

Ehrenberg 1828) [Type from near Bischerre, Mount Makmel, Lebanon]<br />

and the Hermon Brown Bear (Ursus arctos schmitzi, Matschi 1917)<br />

[Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 33. Type from Mount Hermon,<br />

Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Brown Bear ranges widely across the northern parts of the New and<br />

Old Worlds.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Ursus arctos syriacus is known from Asia Minor,<br />

Caucasus, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it formerly<br />

occurred in Galilee and the Judean hills during Biblical times. Prophet<br />

David boasts of having strangled a bear, which had attacked his herd,<br />

and two bears killed the 42 boys, who scoffed at the Prophet Elisha. In<br />

the nineteenth century it was observed in a ravine near Tiberias, near<br />

Beisan and in the Golan Heights. The last wild Syrian Bear was killed<br />

near Majdal Shams in the southern Mount Hermon in 1917. They were<br />

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

sheep and goats for a long time, but occasional visits to vine-yards and<br />

fruit-groves are still reported from Syria. The Bear is extinct on the<br />

Hermon and Anti-Lebanon, mainly because it was so drastically hunted<br />

<strong>by</strong> German officers during the war (<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 1983, 2001). Today, it exists<br />

in Palestine only in zoos.<br />

139


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Ilani, Giora (1986/87). The Life and Times of Humibaba the Leopard.<br />

Israel – Land and Nature, Volume 12, No. 2, Winter 1986 – 87, pp. 82 – 83.<br />

Ilani, Giora (1989/90). Leopard Panthera pardus in Israel. CAT News.<br />

Issue No. 12: 4-5. Bougy-Villars, Switzerland.<br />

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(<strong>Part</strong>1). Israel Land and Nature.<br />

Ilani, Giora and Shalmon, Benny (Presenters) (1985). More Leopards!<br />

(In the Wildlife News). Israel – land and Nature, Volume 10, No. 4,<br />

Summer 1985, pp. 166 – 167.<br />

Jackson, Peter (1998). Conservation of the Asiatic cheetah Acinonyx<br />

jubatus venaticus in Iran.<br />

www.csew.com/felidtag/pages/Reports/reports_nonattendees.htm<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1980). Tabie‘t Al-Talawon fi Al-<br />

Haywanat (The Colouration of Animals). Al-Biology Bulletin. Number<br />

1. January 1980, Safar 1401. Biological Society, Kuwait University,<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> (1983). Haywan Al-Ghurair / Al-Gharir fi Falestin wa<br />

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Shibeh Al-Jazeera Al-Arabia (The Badger in Palestine and the Arabian<br />

Peninsula). Al-Khalisah Bulletin. The National Palestinian Assemblage.<br />

Kuwait University, State of Kuwait. First <strong>Year</strong>. Number 2. February<br />

1983. pp. 12 -13. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> (1983). Ta‘qib ‗Ala Maqal ‗Ilmi: Haywan Al-Ghurair /<br />

Al-Gharir (A Scientific Comment: The Badger). Al-Khalisah Bulletin.<br />

The National Palestinian Assemblage. Kuwait University, State of<br />

Kuwait. First <strong>Year</strong>. Number 3. April 1983. pp. 20. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> (1983). Al-Numour Fi Falestin (Leopards in Palestine).<br />

Al-Khalisah Bulletin. The National Palestinian Assemblage. Kuwait<br />

University, State of Kuwait. First <strong>Year</strong>. Number 3. April 1983. pp. 18 -<br />

19. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1983). The Honey Badger (Mellivora<br />

capensis) in the Arabian Peninsula. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. First <strong>Year</strong>. Number 2. August 1983. pp. 1-30. Hanweiler,<br />

Saarland, Federal Republic of Germany. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1983). The Brown Bear in Palestine and<br />

the rest of the Arabian Peninsula. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. First <strong>Year</strong>. Number 3. November 1983. pp. 1-6. Al Salimiah,<br />

State of Kuwait. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1984). The Fennec: The Desert Fox<br />

(Fennecus zerda). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Second<br />

<strong>Year</strong>. Number 4. April 1984. pp. 1-12. Al Salimiah, State of Kuwait. (in<br />

Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1984-1985). The Weasel Project:<br />

Scientific Research on captive weasels (Mustela nivalis, Linnaeus 1766)<br />

in the Department of Zoology, University of Durham, Durham, England,<br />

during the Academic <strong>Year</strong> 1984-1985. Supervisor: <strong>Dr</strong>. Nigel Dunstone.<br />

Unpublished scientific research and data & scientific diary. Research<br />

Notebook. pp. 1-52.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1985). Activity Patterns and Sexual<br />

Behaviour of Snow Leopards, Panthera uncia (Schreber, 1775), at<br />

Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, Jersey Island. Gazelle: The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Department of Zoology, University of<br />

Durham, Durham, United Kingdom. Number 7. Third <strong>Year</strong>. September<br />

1985. pp. 1-22.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1986). The Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris<br />

altaica) in Saarbrücken Zoo, Germany. Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of<br />

Germany. Fourth <strong>Year</strong>. Number 10. Rabiea Alakher 1407 AH.<br />

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December 1986 AD. pp. 1-9.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1987). The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in<br />

Saarbrücken Zoo, Germany. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Fifth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>. Number 11, Jamadi Alaula 1407 AH, January 1987 AD. pp. 1-10.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> (1987). Al-Numour Fi Falestin (Leopards in Palestine).<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler,<br />

Federal Republic of Germany. Fifth <strong>Year</strong>. Number 11, Jamadi Alaula<br />

1407 AH, January 1987 AD. pp. 12-13. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1987). The Sinai Leopard (Panthera<br />

pardus jarvisi) in Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.<br />

Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Fifth <strong>Year</strong>.<br />

Number 12. Jamadi Alakhera 1407 AH, February 1987 AD. pp.1-9.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1987). A Trip to Kuwait Zoo, State of<br />

Kuwait. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Rilchingen-<br />

Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Fifth <strong>Year</strong>, Number 13,<br />

Ramadan 1407 AH, April 1987 AD. pp. 1-5. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Palaestina</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1988). The Honey Badger<br />

in Kuwait Zoo, State of Kuwait. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

18, Sixth <strong>Year</strong>, Rabie‘ Alakher 1409 AH, November 1988 AD. pp. 1-2.<br />

(in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> B. (1988). Activity Patterns and Reproductive<br />

Behaviour of Snow Leopards, Panthera uncia (Schreber, 1775) at Jersey<br />

Wildlife Preservation Trust, Jersey Island. International Pedigree Book<br />

of Snow Leopards, Panthera uncia. Volume 5, pp. 61 - 71. Editor: Leif<br />

Blomqvist, Helsinki Zoo, Finland.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1989). Notes on the Caracal Lynx Caracal<br />

caracal. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad<br />

Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 19, Seventh <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

December 1989. pp. 1-2. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1990). The Wolf (Canis lupus)<br />

in Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn- Bad<br />

Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 20, Eighth <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

December 1990. pp. 1-11.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1991). A Trip to Zoo Budapest,<br />

Hungary. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad<br />

Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 21, Ninth <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

January 1991. pp. 1-4.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1991). The Otter (Lutra lutra) in<br />

144


Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn-Bad<br />

Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number 22, Ninth <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

February 1991. pp. 1-4.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). Notes on the Biological Ecology of<br />

the Marshes in Southern Iraq. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

29, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>, September 1992. pp. 1-9. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). The United Nations Ecological<br />

Report confirms: The Regime of Saddam is destroying the Marshes (Al-<br />

Ahwar) Ecosystem. Sawt Al-Kuwait International Newspaper. Saturday<br />

17 October 1992, 21 Rabi‘e Al-Thani 1412. pp. 15. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1992). An Introduction to the<br />

Animal Life in Palestine. Gazelle. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Federal Republic of Germany. Number<br />

30, Tenth <strong>Year</strong>, October 1992. pp. 1-7. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (1994). An Introduction to the<br />

Animal Life in Palestine. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n (Anemone coronaria). A<br />

Quarterly Magazine Issued <strong>by</strong> the Program EAI (Education for<br />

Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental Education / Children<br />

for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of General and Higher<br />

Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan (June) 1994. pp. 16-<br />

21. (in Arabic).<br />

Acquaintance Card: Majallet Al-Ghazzal (Gazelle Magazine): The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Bonn, Germany. Shqae‘q Al-Nouma‘n<br />

(Anemone coronaria). A Quarterly Magazine Issued <strong>by</strong> the Program<br />

EAI (Education for Awareness and for Involvement). Environmental<br />

Education / Children for Nature Protection. In Cooperation with Dept. of<br />

General and Higher Education. P.L.O., Palestine. Number 4. Huzairan<br />

(June) 1994. pp. 51-52. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Ali</strong> (1997). Fennec. Magazin der Akademie. Editor: <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>.<br />

Nummer 1. Zu Elkeda 1417 H, Maerz 1997. Kِnig Fahad Akademie –<br />

Bonn, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Deutschland. (in Englisch).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2001). Foxes of Palestine.<br />

www.geocities.com/ali_porsche2000/fox.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). A Palestinian Zoologist: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sana<br />

Issa Atallah. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home<br />

Page. Environmental Affairs 2 and Dinosaurs.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/custom3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin<br />

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Home Page. Extinct and Endangered Animals and Reintroduction.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Threatened Mammals. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Home Page. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Syrian Bear. In: Gazelle: The<br />

Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Wild Cats in Palestine. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. / Gazelle: Das<br />

Palaestinensische Biologische Bulletin Webseite. (ISSN 0178-6288).<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). Leopards in Palestine. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Asiatic or Persian Lion<br />

(Panthera leo persica) in Palestine. In: Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin Homepage. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Mustelids of Palestine. In:<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Mammals in<br />

Palestine and the Book ―Mammalia Arabica‖.<br />

http://gazelle.8m.net/catalog.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2001). The Common Weasel. In: Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin Homepage. Extinct and Endangered<br />

Animals and Reintroduction. http://gazelle.8m.net/photo3.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2004). Gazelle: Das Palaestinensische<br />

Biologische Bulletin. Eine Wissenschaftliche Reise in <strong>Palaestina</strong>,<br />

Arabien und Europa zwischen 1983 – 2004. / Gazelle: The Palestinian<br />

Biological Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and<br />

Europe between 1983 – 2004. Erste Auflage, Juli 2004: 452 Seiten.<br />

Zweite erweiterte Auflage, August 2004: 460 Seiten. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong><br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Leopards of Palestine.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. Number 41, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, May 2005. pp. 1-9.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Palestine_Leopard.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). Der Arabische Leopard, Panthera<br />

pardus nimr. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates. Number 42. Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>. June 2005. pp. 1-<br />

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8. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Arabischer_Leopard.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Mammals in Dubai Zoo,<br />

Dubai City, United Arab Emirates. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

bulletin. Number 45, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, September 2005, Sha‘ban<br />

1426. pp. 1-14. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Rafah Zoo in the Rafah<br />

Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine : A Story of Destruction <strong>by</strong> the<br />

Israeli Occupation Army. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.<br />

Number 46, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, October 2005, Ramadan 1426. pp. 1-11.<br />

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (2005). The Qalqilia Zoo and the<br />

Natural History Museum in the City of Qalqilia, West Bank, Occupied<br />

Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47,<br />

Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>, November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 1-10. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> (Member of PALESTA) (2005).<br />

Palestinian Scientists and Technologists Abroad (PALESTA). Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 47, Twenty-third <strong>Year</strong>,<br />

November 2005, Shawal 1426. pp. 11-12. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005). The Arabian Carnivores in the<br />

Arabia‘s Wildlife Centre, Sharjah Desert Park, United Arab Emirates.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 48, Twenty-third<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, December 2005, Thu Alqi‘da 1426. pp. 1-9. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. (in Arabic).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2005, 2006). Chapter 3: Geography, Flora and<br />

<strong>Fauna</strong>. Pages 33-39. in: Palestine: A Guide. By Mariam Shahin,<br />

Photography <strong>by</strong> George Azar. Northampton, Massachusetts: Interlink<br />

Publishing Group, 2005, 2006. xi + 471 pages. Appendices to page 500.<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Der Asiatische oder Persische<br />

Loewe (Panthera leo persica). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Number 49, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, January 2006, Thu Alhijja 1426. pp. 1-5.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Asiatischer_Loewe.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Felidae <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Wild Cats<br />

of Palestine. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 52,<br />

Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, April 2006, Rabie‘ Althani 1427. pp. 1-15. Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Der Asiatische oder Iranische<br />

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Biological Bulletin. Number 53, Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, May 2006, Rabie‘<br />

Althani 1427. pp. 1-7. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Die Rohrkatze (Felis chaus).<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 54, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, June 2006, Jumada Al-Ulla 1427. pp. 1-8. Sharjah, United Arab<br />

Emirates. www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Rohrkatze.html<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). Mammalia<br />

<strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Mammals of Palestine. / Die Saeugetiere <strong>Palaestina</strong>s.<br />

Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, Twenty-fourth<br />

<strong>Year</strong>, July 2006, Jumada Al-Thania 1427. pp. 1-46. Sharjah, United<br />

Arab Emirates.<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>1.html (<strong>Part</strong> 1) &<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>2.html (<strong>Part</strong> 2)<br />

www.geocities.com/jaffacity/Mammalia_<strong>Palaestina</strong>3.html (References).<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> (2006). Mammalia Arabica. Eine<br />

Zoologische Reise in <strong>Palaestina</strong>, Arabien und Europa zwischen 1980-<br />

2006. / Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia<br />

and Europe between 1980-2006. Erste Auflage, Juli 2006, 484 pp.<br />

<strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Deutschland & Sharjah,<br />

United Arab Emirates.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). The Asiatic or<br />

Persian Lion (Panthera leo persica) in Palestine. In: Mammalia Arabica.<br />

A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980-<br />

2006. Erste Auflage, Juli 2006. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Rilchingen-<br />

Hanweiler, Deutschland und Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. pp. 147-<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). Eine Persönlichkeit aus<br />

<strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palästina / A Personality from <strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palestine: <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong> (Abu <strong>Ali</strong>) (1938-2006). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Number 56, Twenty-fourth <strong>Year</strong>, August 2006. pp. 8-19.<br />

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2006). The Common<br />

Weasel (Mustela nivalis, Linnaeus 1766) in Palestine and the East<br />

Mediterranean Region. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin.<br />

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Persian Lion (Panthera leo persica, Meyer 1826) in Palestine and the<br />

Arabian and Islamic Region. Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological<br />

Bulletin. Number 58, October 2006, Ramadan 1427 H. pp. 1-13.<br />

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.<br />

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Besuch im Neunkircher Zoo, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Deutschland / A<br />

Visit to Neunkirchen Zoo, Neunkirchen, Saarland, Germany. Gazelle:<br />

The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 59, November 2006. pp. 1-<br />

25. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. (in Arabisch / Arabic).<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2007).<br />

Fahed A‘rabi (Arabian Cheetah). In: Wikipedia-Arabic, Al-Mawsu'a Al-<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2007). Um<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

(2008). The Story of Sabrina, the Gaza Zoo Lioness. Gazelle: The<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2008). Zum 2. Todestag<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

(2008). The Sri Lanka leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya, Deraniyagala<br />

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(2008). Royal White Tigers (Panthera tigris, Linnaeus 1758) at Zoo<br />

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(2008). The Jaguarundi (Puma yaguarondi, Lacépède 1809) at Parc<br />

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(2008). Canis aureus palaestina <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008: A New Golden Jackal<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

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(2008). Iben Awa Al-Filistini (Palestine Golden Jackal). In: Wikipedia-<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher<br />

(2008). Carnivora <strong>Palaestina</strong>: The Carnivores of Palestine / Die<br />

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<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher (2008).<br />

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Reise in <strong>Palaestina</strong>, Arabien und Europa zwischen 2005-2008. <strong>ISBN</strong><br />

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English and German.<br />

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158


Canis aureus palaestina <strong>Khalaf</strong>,<br />

2008 : A New Golden Jackal<br />

Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<br />

Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Abstract: A new subspecies of Golden Jackal of the genus Canis<br />

(Carnivora: Canidae) from the Gaza Strip, Palestine is described. This<br />

subspecies is distinguished from the other three subspecies of Canis<br />

aureus living around Palestine, <strong>by</strong> its distinctive colouration on the fur<br />

and the moderate size. It is morphologically and geographically distinct<br />

from the other subspecies. The new subspecies was named Canis aureus<br />

palaestina <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008.<br />

On 10.07.2008, I received an e-mail (with attached photos) from<br />

Assistant Professor <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from the<br />

Biology Department, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine.<br />

The first photo showed three Golden Jackals in an enclosure at Rafah<br />

Zoo, Al-Brazil Suburb, Rafah City, Gaza Strip, Palestine. The second<br />

photo showed two Golden Jackals in an enclosure at Al-Wasat Zoo, Al-<br />

Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip, Palestine.<br />

Description and Distinctive Features:<br />

From the given photos, I began comparing with the other Golden Jackal<br />

subspecies. There are three Jackal subspecies living in the area around<br />

Palestine: The Syrian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus syriacus Hemprich<br />

and Ehrenberg, 1833), The Egyptian Golden Jackal (Canis aureus<br />

lupaster Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 1833) and the Arabian Golden Jackal<br />

(Canis aureus hadramauticus Noack, 1896).<br />

159


The Palestinian Golden Jackal subspecies is morphologically and<br />

geographically distinct from these three subspecies. The Palestinian<br />

Jackal is a small race of the Golden or Asiatic Jackal. It is smaller than a<br />

wolf, with relatively shorter legs and tail. It is larger than a fox and can<br />

be distinguished <strong>by</strong> its relatively smaller, rufous ears and shorter, blacktipped<br />

tail. It is similar to a small dog in appearance. The fur is rather<br />

short and coarse. The dorsal colour is usually variable black, yellowishgray<br />

or brown-yellowish tinged with rufous, grayer on the back, which is<br />

grizzled with varying amounts of black. A dark band runs along the back<br />

from the nose to the tip of the tail. This mane becomes wider on the<br />

back, extending into the lateral surfaces. There are two dark bands<br />

across the lower throat and upper breast. There is also a reddish phase.<br />

The under parts are almost white or yellowish-brown. The winter coat is<br />

longer and grayer. The tail is relatively short, usually with a black tip.<br />

The size of the Palestinian Jackal is moderate if compared with the<br />

larger Egyptian Jackal (Canis aureus lupaster) and the smaller Arabian<br />

Jackal (Canis aureus hadramauticus).<br />

Head and body 600-900 mm., female smaller than male; ear 70-89 mm.;<br />

hind foot 140-162 mm.; tail 200-300 mm; skull length 148-180 mm;<br />

weight 5-12 kg.<br />

The New Palestinian Golden Jackal Subspecies Canis aureus palaestina<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008, at Rafah Zoo, Al-Brazil Suburb, Rafah City, Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2008.<br />

160


Habitat:<br />

The Palestine Golden Jackal lives in hills, plains, around orange groves,<br />

in forests and on the outskirts of towns and villages.<br />

Distribution:<br />

Canis aureus palaestina is common throughout the northern half of<br />

Palestine and Israel to just south of Gaza Strip and Beer Al-Saba‘<br />

(Beersheba).<br />

Conclusion:<br />

After comparing the different jackal subspecies, and examining the two<br />

photos, and referring to many zoological references, and searching the<br />

Internet, I came finally to a conclusion that we are in front of a new<br />

subspecies of the Golden Jackal from the Gaza Strip, Palestine.<br />

I gave it the scientific name Canis aureus palaestina, new subspecies.<br />

The subspecies name ―palaestina‖ is Latin for ―Palestine‖.<br />

Canis aureus palaestina, new subspecies:<br />

Scientific trinomial name: Canis aureus palaestina <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008.<br />

Common Name: Palestine Golden Jackal.<br />

Location: Rafah and Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine.<br />

Date of capture: 2008.<br />

Acknowledgment: A Special thanks is due to the Palestinian<br />

Zoologist Assistant Professor <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from<br />

the Biology Department, Islamic University of Gaza, who sent the<br />

Golden Jackal photos, and gave me the opportunity to discover a new<br />

Palestinian Golden Jackal Subspecies.<br />

161


The New Palestinian Golden Jackal Subspecies Canis aureus palaestina<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2008, at Al-Wasat Zoo, Al-Bureij Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2008.<br />

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Waner, Trevor; Gad Baneth, Carmella Strenger, Avi Keysary, Roni King<br />

and Shimon Harrus (1999). Antibodies reactive with Ehrlichia canis,<br />

Ehrlichia phagocytophila genogroup antigens and the spotted fever group<br />

rickettsial antigens, in free-ranging jackals (Canis aureus syriacus) from<br />

Israel.<br />

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3W6F59D-<br />

3&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C<br />

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Wassif, K. (1954). On a collection of mammals from northern Sinai. Bull.<br />

Inst. Deserte d‘Egypte, 3 (for 1953): 107-118.<br />

Wayne, R.K.; O‘Brien, S.J. 1987. Allozyme divergence within the Canidae.<br />

Systematic Zoology, 36:339-<strong>35</strong>5.<br />

Wikipedia. Egyptian jackal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_Wolf<br />

Wildlife in Al Oja spring site. Palestine Wildlife Society.<br />

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&order=0&thold=0<br />

Wiley, L.R. (1958). Bible Animals: Mammals of the Bible. Vantage Press,<br />

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Wilson, Don E., and DeeAnn M. Reeder, eds. (1993). Mammal Species of<br />

the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2nd ed., 3rd printing.<br />

Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, DC, USA. xviii + 1207. <strong>ISBN</strong>:<br />

1-56098-217-9.<br />

Yakobson, <strong>Dr</strong>. Boris. Rabies in Israel. http://www.israelembassy.org.uk/web/pages/isr_rab.htm<br />

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Wildlife in the Northern Governorate of the Gaza Strip. Al-Azhar Bulletin<br />

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Israel. (pp. 389-410). In: The Zoogeography of Israel: The distribution and<br />

abundance at a Zoogeographical crossroad. (ed. Yom-Tov, Y. and<br />

Tchernov, E.), <strong>Dr</strong>. W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, viii + 600<br />

pp.<br />

Yom-Tov, Prof. Yoram (2003). Poaching of Israeli Wildlife <strong>by</strong> Guest<br />

Workers. Biological Conservation, 110: 11-20.<br />

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175


176


Rodentia <strong>Palaestina</strong> :<br />

The Rodents of Palestine<br />

قوارض فلسطين<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-<br />

Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Order: RODENTIA (Rodents or Gnawing Mammals):<br />

Family: Sciuridae (Squirrels and Marmots):<br />

1. Syrian Squirrel, Persian Squirrel, Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus<br />

anomalus syriacus, Ehrenberg 1828) [Type from Lebanon Mountains.<br />

Valid subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus in southern Turkey, Syria,<br />

Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine]:<br />

The Caucasian Squirrel is widespread in Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.<br />

The Syrian subspecies Sciurus anomalus syriacus is known from<br />

southern Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it was<br />

found in northern Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century, and was<br />

thought to be extirpated, but in 1967, it was rediscovered in Wadi Assal,<br />

several kilometers from Dan at the foot of Mount Hermon. It is also<br />

known from the occupied Golan Heights.<br />

Family: Hystricidae (Porcupines):<br />

2. Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica, Kerr 1792) and the<br />

Palestine Crested Porcupine (Hystrix hirsutirostris aharonii, Müller<br />

1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 123. Type from<br />

Emmaus, Palestine. Synonym] and (Hystrix hirsutirostris schmidtzi,<br />

Müller 1911) [Sitzungsber. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., 1911: 126. Type from<br />

Ain Dschuheijir, northwestern Dead Sea, Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Indian Crested Porcupine is distributed in India, Iran, Iraq, Syria<br />

and southern Arabia. In Palestine, it is fairly common throughout the<br />

country.<br />

177


Family: Capromyidae (Coypus):<br />

3. Nutria or Coypu (Myocastor coypus, Molina 1782):<br />

The Nutria or Coypu is a large rodent, with partially webbed hind feet<br />

and a rather bare cylindrical tail. It is amphibious and inhabits marshes,<br />

ponds and rivers. A native of central and southern South America, it was<br />

introduced into Palestine, for the purpose of fur farming, but some<br />

escaped or were set free, and are now feral in the Huleh and Beit Shean<br />

Valleys, coastal plain (Ma‘agan Michael, Ma‘ayan Zvi, Alexander<br />

River) and in the Naqab Desert (Ein Yahav) (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

Family: Cricetidae (Hamsters):<br />

4. Syrian Gray Hamster (Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens, Wagner<br />

1848):<br />

The Gray Hamster is distributed in Greece, eastwards through Asia<br />

Minor, Arabia, southern Russia, the Ukraine, the Caucasus,<br />

Transcaucasia, Russian Turkestan, Chinese Turkestan, Iran,<br />

Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Kashmir and southwest Siberia. The Syrian<br />

subspecies Cricetulus migratorius cinerascens is known from Syria,<br />

Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, where it reaches the southern limit of its<br />

range in the northern half of the country, on Mount Hermon, the<br />

occupied Golan Heights, Upper Galilee and the Mediterranean region.<br />

5. Syrian Hamster, Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus, Waterhouse<br />

1839) [Type from Aleppo, Syria]:<br />

The Syrian Hamster is distributed in Rumania and Bulgaria,<br />

southwestern republics of the U.S.S.R., Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon<br />

and Palestine. Tristram (1884) reported seeing this species in northern<br />

Palestine. Aharoni (1930) reported that this species is known from<br />

Metullah, and later (1932) listed three specimens collected <strong>by</strong> Siehe at<br />

Mersina (southern Lebanon). A specimen at the Hebrew University of<br />

Jerusalem is from Qiryat Saide (Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

Family: Arvicolidae (Voles, Lemmings and Muskrats):<br />

6. Syrian Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris hintoni, Aharoni 1932):<br />

The Water Vole is distributed in Eurasia, Asia Minor and northern<br />

Arabia. The Syrian subspecies Arvicola terrestris hintoni is known from<br />

Asia Minor, Turkey (Lake Antioch). In Palestine, its presence is a<br />

178


mystery. It has been reported as common near the Banias, but the only<br />

specimens known are skulls found in owl pellets in the vicinity of Lake<br />

Huleh at Yessod Hama‘ale and near Melaha.<br />

7. Hermon Snow Vole (Microtus nivalis hermonis, Miller 1908) [Ann.<br />

Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 1: 103. Type from Mount Hermon, Palestine.<br />

Valid subspecies].<br />

The Snow Vole is distributed in Europe, southwestern Turkestan, Iran,<br />

Asia Minor and northwestern Arabia. The Hermon subspecies Microtus<br />

nivalis hermonis is known from Lebanon and Palestine, where it is<br />

found on Mount Hermon from 1,650 m. to just under 2,000 m. above sea<br />

level.<br />

8. Mediterranean Vole, Günther‘s Social Vole, Levant Vole (Microtus<br />

socialis guentheri, Danford and Alston 1880) and the Philistine Vole<br />

(Microtus philistinus, Thomas 1917) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 8, 19:<br />

450. Type from Ekron, Palestine. Synonym of Microtus guentheri]:<br />

The Mediterranean Vole is distributed in Greece, Asia Minor to northern<br />

Arabia, Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Li<strong>by</strong>a. The subspecies Microtus<br />

socialis guentheri is found in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine,<br />

where it is widespread throughout the northern half of the country, south<br />

to Mishmar HaNegev.<br />

The occurrence of Günther‘s Social Vole in Palestine was first<br />

discovered not in Palestine, but in the British Museum in London, when<br />

a specimen of the snake Caelepeltis lacertina, collected <strong>by</strong> Tristram in<br />

1863 on the Plain of Gennesaret, was found to contain a perfect<br />

specimen of Günther‘s Social Vole in its stomach.<br />

Family: Spalacidae (Blind Mole Rats):<br />

9. Palestine or <strong>Jaffa</strong> Mole Rat, Greater Mole Rat, Blind Mole Rat<br />

(Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) or (Spalax leucodon<br />

ehrenbergi, Nehring 1898) [Schriften Berl. Ges. Naturf. Fr. Berl., (for<br />

1897), p. 178, pl. 2. Type from <strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Greater Mole Rat is distributed in Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt and Sinai, eastern<br />

Europe, Asia Minor, southern Russia and Arabia. The Palestinian<br />

subspecies Spalax microphthalmus ehrenbergi is known from Iraq,<br />

Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread on Mount<br />

Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights, from the Galilee to the northern<br />

179


Naqab Desert. Four sibling species (chromosomal forms) interbreed and<br />

hybridize in Palestine.<br />

Family: Gerbillidae (Gerbils, Jirds and Sand Rats):<br />

10. Arabian Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani arduus, Cheesman<br />

and Hinton 1924) and Cheesman‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus cheesmani, Thomas<br />

1919):<br />

The Cheesman‘s Gerbil is distributed in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq and<br />

Iran. Qumsiyeh (1996) collected four specimens of Cheesman‘s Gerbil<br />

from near Disi in Wadi Rum, Jordan. The species is known from 30 km.<br />

west of Badanah, and 5 km. west of Turaif, both in northern Saudi<br />

Arabia, close to the Jordanian border. The species may occur in the<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

11. Wagner‘s Gerbil, Rough-tailed Dipodil (Gerbillus dasyurus, Wagner<br />

1842) and (Gerbillus dasyurus dasyuroides, Nehring 1901) [Type from<br />

the mountains of Moab, Jordan. Perhaps a valid subspecies]:<br />

The Wagner‘s Gerbil is distributed in Arabia, Egypt (Sinai) and possibly<br />

Africa. It is known from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine,<br />

where it is found in the southern half of the country, from the northwest<br />

end of the Dead Sea and south from Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e (Beersheba).<br />

12. Lehmann‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus dasyurus leosollicitus, <strong>von</strong> Lehmann<br />

1966):<br />

The Lehmann‘s Gerbil is known from Syria and probably Lebanon. In<br />

Palestine, it is found in the northern half of the country, from Upper<br />

Galilee (Rosh Hanikra), Mount Carmel (Haifa), the coastal plain (Wadi<br />

Ara), and the Judean Hills (Jerusalem).<br />

13. Lesser Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus, Olivier 1801) and the<br />

Asyut Gerbil (Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis, Setzer 1960):<br />

The Lesser Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in Africa, from Egypt<br />

eastwards to Iraq and Iran, south through the Arabian Peninsula and<br />

Sinai (Nabeq). The Asyut subspecies Gerbillus gerbillus asyutensis is<br />

known from Upper Egypt (southeast of Asyut, Eastern Desert). In<br />

Palestine, it has been recorded from the northwestern Naqab Desert, and<br />

is slightly larger in Wadi Araba.<br />

180


14. Greater Egyptian Gerbil (Gerbillus pyramidum, E. Geoffroy St.-<br />

Hilaire 1803) and (Gerbillus pyramidum floweri, Thomas 1919) [Type<br />

from Wadi Hareidin, South of Al Arish, northern Sinai. Valid subspecies<br />

in Palestine]:<br />

The Greater Egyptian Gerbil is distributed in North Africa, from<br />

Morocco eastwards to Egypt, and southwards to Asben and Sudan, and<br />

northwestern Arabia. The subspecies Gerbillus pyramidum floweri is<br />

known from the northern Sinai Desert (south of Al Arish) and Palestine,<br />

where there is a morphologically indistinguishable chromosomal cline<br />

from the northern Naqab Desert, up the coastal plain to Holon. An<br />

allopatric population is found as far north as Akka (Acre).<br />

15. Baluchistan Gerbil (Gerbillus nanus arabium, Thomas 1918):<br />

The Baluchistan Gerbil is distributed in Baluchistan, Arabia and Egypt.<br />

The subspecies Gerbillus nanus arabium is known from northwestern<br />

Arabia, southwestern Iraq, Oman, South Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,<br />

Egypt (Sinai), Jordan and Palestine, where it is widespread in the Naqab<br />

Desert, from the southern end of the Dead Sea (Sdom), south through<br />

Wadi Araba to Eilat.<br />

16. Pygmy Dipodil, Henley‘s Gerbil, Pygmy Gerbil (Gerbillus henleyi,<br />

de Winton 1903) and (Gerbillus henleyi mariae, Bonhote 1909):<br />

The Pygmy Gerbil is distributed in the North African Sahara, from<br />

Algeria through Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt and northwestern Arabia. The subspecies<br />

Gerbillus henleyi mariae is known from Sinai, Jordan and Palestine,<br />

where it has been found in the northern and central Naqab Desert,<br />

practically to Eilat.<br />

17. Anderson‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni, de Winton 1902) and<br />

(Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei, Thomas 1919):<br />

The Anderson‘s Gerbil is distributed in Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt, Jordan and<br />

Palestine. The subspecies Gerbillus andersoni bonhotei is found in the<br />

northern coastal plain of Sinai, Jordan and Palestine, where it occurs in<br />

the southern coastal plain and northwestern Naqab Desert. It intergrades<br />

with Gerbillus andersoni allen<strong>by</strong>i between Ashkelon and Kerem<br />

Shalom.<br />

18. Allen<strong>by</strong>‘s Gerbil (Gerbillus andersoni allen<strong>by</strong>i, Thomas 1918) [Ann.<br />

Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 9, 2: 146. Type from Rehobot, near <strong>Jaffa</strong>, Palestine.<br />

Valid subspecies]:<br />

181


The Allen<strong>by</strong>‘s Gerbil is endemic in Palestine, where it is confirmed to<br />

the narrow littoral zone of the Mediterranean, from Haifa south to<br />

Ashkelon, where it intergrades with the more richly coloured Gerbillus<br />

andersoni bonhotei.<br />

19. Bushy-tailed Jird (Sekeetamys [Meriones] calurus, Thomas 1892):<br />

The Bushy-tailed Jird is distributed in eastern Egypt, Sinai, Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it inhabits the western side of the Dead Sea, south<br />

through the eastern and southern Naqab Desert, as far as Eilat.<br />

20. Tristram‘s Jird (Meriones tristrami, Thomas 1892) [Ann. Mag. Nat.<br />

Hist. ser. 6, 9: 148. Type from the Dead Sea region, Palestine]:<br />

The Tristram‘s Jird is distributed in Asia Minor, Iran, Iraq, Syria,<br />

Turkey, Lebanon, Sinai (Al Arish), and Palestine, where the subspecies<br />

Meriones tristrami tristrami is common in the north in the valleys, and<br />

less common on the mountains and the coastal plain.<br />

21. Tristram‘s Syrian Jird (Meriones tristrami bodenheimeri, Aharoni<br />

1932): The Tristram‘s Syrian Jird is known from Syria, Lebanon and<br />

Palestine, where it is found on the occupied Golan Heights.<br />

22. Tristram‘s Desert Jird (Meriones tristrami deserti):<br />

The Tristram‘s Desert Jird is a previously unrecognized subspecies of<br />

Tristram‘s Jird, and inhabits the northern Naqab Desert, and the northern<br />

coast of the Sinai Desert. The Type locality is 5 km. south of Bi‘er Al-<br />

Sabe‘e (Beersheba). It was deposited in the Zoological Museum of Tel<br />

Aviv University. Body Measurements: Head and body 107-138 mm.; tail<br />

98-138 mm.; hind foot 29-30 mm.; ear 17-18 mm.; length of skull 39+<br />

mm.; tympanic bullae 12.5-14 mm. The upper parts are pale sandy-fawn<br />

with little red or black; the under parts are white. The tail has a blackish<br />

tip.<br />

23. Vinogradov's Jird (Meriones vinogradovi, Heptner 1931):<br />

The Vinogradov's Jird was recorded from Gaza, Palestine.<br />

24. Li<strong>by</strong>an Jird (Meriones li<strong>by</strong>cus, Lichtenstein 1823) and (Meriones<br />

li<strong>by</strong>cus syrius, Thomas 1919):<br />

The Li<strong>by</strong>an Jird ranges from Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt, Arabia, and southwestern<br />

Asia to Azerbaijan SSR and Pakistan. It has been reported from areas<br />

east of the Rift Valley in Jordan. The species was first reported from<br />

182


Beersheba and Nahr Al Rubin (near <strong>Jaffa</strong>) (Aharoni, 1932). However,<br />

these records actually belong to Meriones sacramenti (Zahavi and<br />

Wahrman, 1957). The species was also reported from northern Sinai at<br />

Bir Lehfan (14 km. south of Al Arish) (Wassif, 1954).<br />

25. Sundevall‘s Jird, Silky Jird, Sand Jird, Gentle Jird (Meriones<br />

crassus, Sundevall 1843):<br />

The Sundevall‘s Jird is distributed in North Africa from Morocco, east<br />

to Egypt and south to Asben and Sudan, throughout Arabia, Iran,<br />

southern Russian Turkestan, Afghanistan and Waziristan. The typical<br />

subspecies Meriones crassus crassus is known from Egypt (Sinai),<br />

Palestine, Jordan, northern and central Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and<br />

Oman. In Palestine, it is found in the southern half of the country, in the<br />

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, south to Eilat.<br />

26. Buxton‘s Jird, Palestine or Naqab (Negev) Jird (Meriones<br />

sacramenti, Thomas 1922) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 9, 10: 552. Type<br />

from 10 miles south of Bir As Seba (Beersheba), Palestine] and<br />

(Meriones erythrourus legeri, Aharoni 1932) [Z. Saeugetierkd., 7: 202.<br />

Type from Wadi el Abiad, southwest of Bir As Seba (Beersheba),<br />

Palestine. Synonym]:<br />

The Naqab (Negev) Jird is confined to Palestine, where there are two<br />

populations, a slightly larger one in the coastal plain as far north as the<br />

Yarkon River, and the other population is from the Naqab Desert (area<br />

of Beersheba).<br />

27. Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus, Cretzschmar 1828) and the<br />

Palestine Fat Sand Rat (Psammomys obesus terraesanctae, Thomas<br />

1902) [Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. ser. 7, 9: 363. Type from the Dead Sea<br />

region, Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Fat Sand Rat is distributed in North Africa, from Algeria to Egypt,<br />

south to Sudan and east across Arabia. The Palestinian subspecies<br />

Psammomys obesus terraesanctae occurs in Sinai, Syria, Jordan and<br />

Palestine, where it is found north and west of the Dead Sea, the central<br />

Naqab Desert and Wadi Araba, from south of Bi‘er Al-Sabe‘e<br />

(Beersheba) to Yotvata.<br />

183


Family: Dipodidae (Jerboas, Birch Mice, Jumping Mice):<br />

28. Greater Egyptian Jerboa, Oriental Jerboa (Jaculus orientalis,<br />

Erxleben 1777):<br />

The Greater Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in North Africa, Algeria,<br />

Tunis, Li<strong>by</strong>a, Egypt and Palestine, where it has been recorded from the<br />

northern Naqab Desert (northeast of Beersheba) and western Judean<br />

Desert (Arad).<br />

29. Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Thomas‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Muscat<br />

Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus vocator, Thomas 1921):<br />

The Lesser Egyptian Jerboa is distributed in southwestern Iran, Arabian<br />

Peninsula, North Africa and the Sinai Desert. The Muscat subspecies<br />

Jaculus jaculus vocator occurs in southeastern Syria, eastern Jordan,<br />

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Palestine, where it occurs in Wadi Araba and<br />

may penetrate the southern Jordan Valley.<br />

30. Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Sinai Lesser Jerboa (Jaculus<br />

jaculus macrotarsus, Wagner 1843):<br />

The Wagner‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern<br />

Iran, Arabia, North Africa, Sinai and Palestine, where the Sinai<br />

subspecies Jaculus jaculus macrotarsus is found in the northwestern<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

31. Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa, Palestine or <strong>Jaffa</strong> Lesser<br />

Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus schlueteri, Nehring 1901) [Schriften Berl. Ges.<br />

Naturf. Fr. Berl., p. 163. Type from the coastal region south of <strong>Jaffa</strong>,<br />

Palestine. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Schlueter‘s Lesser Three-toed Jerboa is distributed in southwestern<br />

Iran, Arabian Peninsula and North Africa. The Palestinian or the <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

subspecies Jaculus jaculus schlueteri is found along the southern coast<br />

of Palestine, as far north as <strong>Jaffa</strong>. It may intergrade with Jaculus jaculus<br />

macrotarsus in the northwestern Naqab and Sinai Deserts.<br />

Family: Gliridae (Dormice):<br />

32. Sinai Dormouse, Levant Garden Dormouse, Southwest Asian<br />

Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus melanurus, Wagner 1839):<br />

The Levant Garden Dormouse lives in Europe and Asia. The Sinai<br />

subspecies Eliomys quercinus melanurus is known from Asia Minor,<br />

184


Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Sinai and perhaps Africa. In Palestine, it<br />

occurs on Mount Hermon, the Huleh Valley (Dan) and the Naqab Desert<br />

(Wadi Naphekh).<br />

33. Golan Dormouse, Sooty Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus<br />

fuscus).The Sooty Garden Dormouse lives in the occupied Golan<br />

Heights and Jordan. The Holotype is deposited at the Zoological<br />

Museum of Tel Aviv University. Type locality is Bab El Hawa, Golan<br />

Heights. It was named after its sooty colour.<br />

34. Turkish Forest Dormouse (<strong>Dr</strong>yomys nitedula phrygius, Thomas<br />

1907):<br />

The Forest Dormouse is widespread across southeast Europe, Asia<br />

Minor, and Arabia and as far east as India. The Turkish subspecies<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>yomys nitedula phrygius is known from Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine<br />

and probably Lebanon. In Palestine, it occurs only in Upper Galilee.<br />

Family: Muridae (Rats and Mice):<br />

<strong>35</strong>. Broad-toothed Field Mouse, Big Levantine Field Mouse, Rock<br />

Mouse (Apodemus mystacinus, Danford and Alston 1877):<br />

The Rock Mouse is distributed in Greece, Yugoslavia, Crete, Iraq,<br />

Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, where the Turkish subspecies Apodemus<br />

mystacinus mystacinus is found in the northernmost part of the country<br />

on Mount Hermon, in Upper Galilee, the Huleh Valley, an allopatric<br />

population on Mount Carmel, and south to the Judean hills (Jerusalem).<br />

36. Wood Mouse, Common Field Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis,<br />

Melchior 1834) and the Persian Wood Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis<br />

arianus, Blanford 1881) and the Hermon Wood Mouse (Apodemus<br />

flavicollis hermonensis, Filippucci, Simson and Nevo 1989):<br />

The Wood Mouse lives in most of the western Palearctic region<br />

including all of Europe. The species was reported from the ―plains of<br />

Palestine‖ (Tristram, 1884). No specific localities were given <strong>by</strong><br />

Tristram or subsequently <strong>by</strong> Bodenheimer (19<strong>35</strong>, 1958). Specimens at<br />

the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are from Masada North, Moza,<br />

Sasa, and Horshat Ha‘arbaim (Horshat Tel). Specimens at the Museum<br />

of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (Cambridge,<br />

Massachusetts) were obtained from Shiba, Rasheya, and Ain Hersha in<br />

185


southern Lebanon (Allen, 1915). Filippucci, Simson and Nevo (1989)<br />

reported on populations in Galilee, Mount Hermon, and Tel Arad.<br />

37. Mount Hermon Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus iconicus, Heptner<br />

1952):<br />

The species is distributed in Iceland, Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and<br />

North Africa. The Mount Hermon subspecies Apodemus sylvaticus<br />

iconicus occurs in Asia Minor, northern Iraq, northwest Syria, Lebanon<br />

and Palestine, where it is found in the northern part of the country, at the<br />

base of Mount Hermon, Upper Galilee and Mount Carmel.<br />

38. Yellow-necked Field Mouse, Long-tailed Field Mouse (Apodemus<br />

flavicollis argyropuloi, Heptner 1948):<br />

The species lives in Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and Asia. The<br />

Armenian subspecies Apodemus flavicollis argyropuloi is known from<br />

Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, where it is found only in the north,<br />

on Mount Hermon, the occupied Golan Heights and Mount Carmel.<br />

39. Alpine Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus chorassanicus, Goodwin 1940):<br />

The Alpine Field Mouse lives in the western Palearctic region, Iceland,<br />

Europe, Asia Minor, Arabia and North Africa. The Apodemus sylvaticus<br />

chorassanicus is a pale coloured form, inhabiting rocky mountain slopes<br />

above the tree line. There is no reason to consider the alpine form on<br />

Mount Hermon as different from the alpine form in Iran, unless the two<br />

are shown to be different (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

40. House Mouse (Mus musculus, Linnaeus 1758) and the Syrian House<br />

Mouse (Mus musculus praetextus, Brants 1827):<br />

The House Mouse is Cosmopolitan. The Syrian subspecies Mus<br />

musculus praetextus is known from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan,<br />

Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt (Sinai). In Palestine, it is found mostly in<br />

cities and settlements throughout the country.<br />

41. Gaza or Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>,<br />

2007) [The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 66, June 2007,<br />

Jamada Al-Ulla 1428 AH. pp. 14-24. Type from Beit Lahia, North Gaza<br />

Strip, Palestine].<br />

The Gaza House Mouse or Palestine House Mouse (Mus musculus<br />

gazaensis) is a house mouse subspecies, which was discovered in 2005<br />

in an agricultural field in Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip, Palestine.<br />

186


The new subspecies was named "Mus musculus gazaensis" in June 2007<br />

<strong>by</strong> the Palestinian-German zoologist <strong>Dr</strong>. Sc. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong><br />

Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke <strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>. The subspecies name "gazaensis" is<br />

Latin for "Gaza".<br />

Description: The Gaza House Mouse is distinguished from the other<br />

subspecies of<br />

Mus <strong>by</strong> its light and dark brown colouration with white big patches on<br />

the fur.<br />

Distribution: Endemic to the Gaza Strip, Palestine (<strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke<br />

<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong>, August 2007).<br />

The New Palestinian House Mouse Subspecies Mus musculus gazaensis<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007 from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah<br />

Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2005.<br />

42. Egyptian House Mouse (Mus musculus gentilis, Brants 1827):<br />

The Egyptian House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

43. Oriental House Mouse (Mus musculus orientalis, Cretzschmar<br />

1826):<br />

The Oriental House Mouse was recorded in the Jordan Valley and the<br />

Naqab Desert.<br />

44. Macedonian Common Mouse, Wild Mouse, Short-tailed Mouse<br />

(Mus macedonicus, Petrov and Ruzic 1983):<br />

The Macedonian Common Mouse is distributed in Yugoslavia, Greece,<br />

Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Cyprus and Palestine, where it is found in the<br />

Mediterranean Zone.<br />

45. Porcupine Mouse, Common Spiny Mouse, Egyptian Spiny Mouse,<br />

Cairo Spiny Mouse, Sinai Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus dimidiatus,<br />

Cretzschmar 1826-1827):<br />

187


The Porcupine Mouse ranges from southern Iran, southern Asia Minor<br />

and Cyprus, Arabia, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, southern Algeria, south to<br />

Tanzania, and west to Niger. In Palestine, the Sinai subspecies Acomys<br />

cahirinus dimidiatus is widespread from Galilee to the coastal plain,<br />

Mount Carmel, the southern Judean hills (around Jerusalem), near the<br />

Dead Sea, and the Naqab Desert.<br />

46. Southern Spiny Mouse (Acomys cahirinus homericus, Thomas<br />

1923):<br />

The Southern Spiny Mouse occurs mainly in southern Arabia and Oman,<br />

but apparently is distributed in a kind of mosaic, influenced <strong>by</strong> the dark<br />

substrate of soil and rocks. In Palestine, it is found on the occupied<br />

Golan Heights (near Kibbutz Sneer).<br />

47. Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus, Wagner 1840) and the<br />

Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus harrisoni, Atallah<br />

1970) [Univ. Conn. Occas. Pap. Biol. Sci. Ser., 1(4): 202. Type from<br />

half a km south of Qumran Caves, near Ain Faschkha, West Bank of<br />

Jordan, Palestine. Perhaps a valid subspecies] and the Jordanian Golden<br />

Spiny Mouse (Acomys russatus lewisi, Atallah 1967) [J. Mammal., 48:<br />

258. Type from 3 km northwest of Azraq Shishan, Jordan. Valid<br />

subspecies]:<br />

The Golden Spiny Mouse is distributed in Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia,<br />

Yemen and Palestine, where the Sinai subspecies Acomys russatus<br />

russatus is found from the western side of the Dead Sea (Ain Faschkha),<br />

south through the Naqab Desert to Eilat. The Palestinian subspecies<br />

Acomys russatus harrisoni was described <strong>by</strong> the Palestinian Zoologist<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>. Sana Issa Atallah (1970) from the western shore of the Dead Sea.<br />

Harrison (1972) notes that ―the status of the population on the west<br />

shore of the Dead Sea in Israel is uncertain, possibly representing<br />

Acomys russatus harrisoni.‖ He also states that ―the material available is<br />

scarcely adequate to assess the full degree of individual variation in the<br />

species.‖ The distinctive characters of Acomys russatus harrisoni, of<br />

smaller size and paler colour, are based on only two specimens. Atallah<br />

(1970) found the Palestine Golden Spiny Mouse on steep rock slides in<br />

semi-arid areas near the Dead Sea at Ain Faschkha, where it is strictly<br />

diurnal, with peaks of activity in the morning and evening. Acomys<br />

russatus lewisi was found along the edge of the basalt desert, where it<br />

adjoins a rocky limestone plateau, as well as in gardens around human<br />

habitations (Atallah, 1967). The Jordanian Golden Spiny Mouse occurs<br />

188


northwest of Azraq Shishan in the Syrian Desert, and was also noted <strong>by</strong><br />

Atallah (1967) from Azraq ed <strong>Dr</strong>uz. Body Measurements: Head and<br />

body 100-115 mm.; ear 13-18 mm.; hind foot 15-19 mm.; tail 57-75<br />

mm. (Ferguson, 2002).<br />

48. Common Rat, House Rat, Black Rat, Ship Rat (Rattus rattus,<br />

Linnaeus 1758) and the Alexandrian House Rat (Rattus rattus<br />

alexandrinus, E. Geoffroy St.-Hilaire 1803) and the Arabian House Rat<br />

(Rattus rattus flaviventris, Brants 1827):<br />

The Common Rat originates from Asia Minor and the Orient; it has<br />

spread throughout the World, and is most common in warm countries.<br />

The subspecies Rattus rattus rattus is found in Lebanon, Palestine,<br />

Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain. In Palestine, it occurs<br />

throughout the country, wherever there is human habitation.<br />

49. Brown Rat, Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus, Berkenhaut 1769) and<br />

the Egyptian Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus maniculatus, Wagner 1848):<br />

The Brown Rat originates from Japan and the Far East, and it has spread<br />

throughout the World. The typical race is found in Iraq, Lebanon,<br />

Bahrain and Palestine, where it has established itself in the port cities,<br />

from Haifa and <strong>Jaffa</strong> to Eilat.<br />

50. Palestine Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat (Nesokia indica bacheri,<br />

Nehring 1897) [Zool. Anz., 547: 503. Type from Ghor es Safi, Holy<br />

Land. Valid subspecies]:<br />

The Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat is distributed in Egypt, Syria, northern<br />

Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, western Pakistan, northern India,<br />

Russian and Chinese Turkestan. The Palestinian subspecies Nesokia<br />

indica bacheri is known only from Jordan (southeast of the Dead Sea),<br />

and from Palestine, where it occurs in Sdom and Ein Bedda, the Naqab<br />

Desert (Ein Avdat), Wadi Araba (Ein Yahav) to Eilat.<br />

Introduced and Domesticated Mammals:<br />

51. Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus, Linnaeus 1758):<br />

Guinea pigs are South American rodents that were domesticated for<br />

meat and pelts at least 3000 years ago. Unlike the nutria, the time since<br />

domestication and the way guinea pigs are reared in captivity would<br />

probably prevent any establishment of feral populations. Guinea pigs<br />

give birth to one to four young following a gestation period of about 2<br />

189


months. They have been known to live 8 years in captivity. Domestic<br />

guinea pigs have been used for research since the 18 th century<br />

(Qumsiyeh, 1996).<br />

My Daughter Nora with our Siberian Dwarf Hamster ―Lucy‖. Foto: Ola<br />

Mostafa <strong>Khalaf</strong>, Sharjah, U.A.E., 21.08.2008.<br />

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Israel. (pp. 389-410). In: The Zoogeography of Israel: The distribution<br />

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Tchernov, E.), <strong>Dr</strong>. W. Junk Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands, viii + 600 pp.<br />

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205


Mus musculus gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>,<br />

2007 : A New House Mouse<br />

Subspecies from the Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine<br />

By: <strong>Dr</strong>. <strong>Norman</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> <strong>Bassam</strong> <strong>Ali</strong> Taher <strong>Khalaf</strong>-Sakerfalke<br />

<strong>von</strong> <strong>Jaffa</strong><br />

Abstract: A new subspecies of house mouse of the genus Mus<br />

(Rodentia: Murinae) from the Gaza Strip, Palestine is described. This<br />

subspecies is distinguished from the other subspecies of Mus <strong>by</strong> its light<br />

and dark brown colouration with white big patches on the fur. The new<br />

subspecies was named Mus musculus gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007.<br />

On 29.05.2007 I received an e-mail (with attached photos) from <strong>Dr</strong>.<br />

Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from the Biology Department, Islamic<br />

University of Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestine.<br />

The 2 photos showed a live ―small rodent‖ from the Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine. <strong>Dr</strong>. Abd Rabou asked me ―for classification‖. He wrote that<br />

these photos which were taken <strong>by</strong> him show a ―small rodent having<br />

white spots on its back‖.<br />

Later on 06.06.2007 <strong>Dr</strong>. Abd Rabou wrote that this ―patched species was<br />

caught in Beit Lahia, North Gaza in an agricultural field in 2005.‖<br />

My first impression when I saw the photos, was that of a spiny mouse<br />

(Acomys spp.), because it seemed like it was having the stiff guard hairs<br />

on its coat; but this assumption proved to be wrong. I also thought that it<br />

could be a hybrid or a mutant rodent.<br />

The most distinctive feature of this rodent is the light and dark brown<br />

colouration with white big patches on the fur.<br />

<strong>Dr</strong>. Abd Rabou sent the photos also to Prof. Yoram Yom-Tov from the<br />

Zoology Department, Tel Aviv University for Identification. Prof. Yom-<br />

206


Tov wrote that this rodent ―is a mutant (partial albino) of house mouse<br />

(Mus musculus).‖<br />

After examining the photos, and referring to many zoological references,<br />

and Middle Eastern zoologists and wildlife experts, and searching the<br />

Internet, I came finally to a conclusion that we are in front of a new<br />

subspecies of house mouse from the Gaza Strip, Palestine.<br />

I gave it the scientific name Mus musculus gazaensis, new subspecies.<br />

The subspecies name ―gazaensis‖ is Latin for ―Gaza‖.<br />

Mus musculus gazaensis, new subspecies:<br />

Scientific trinomial name: Mus musculus gazaensis <strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007.<br />

Common Name: Gaza House Mouse, Palestine House Mouse.<br />

Location: Agricultural Field, Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip,<br />

Palestine.<br />

Date of capture: 2005.<br />

Distinctive Features: The most distinctive feature is the light and dark<br />

brown colouration with white big patches on the fur. No measurements<br />

are available.<br />

The New Palestinian House Mouse Subspecies Mus musculus gazaensis<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007 from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah<br />

Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2005.<br />

207


The New Palestinian House Mouse Subspecies Mus musculus gazaensis<br />

<strong>Khalaf</strong>, 2007 from Beit Lahia, North Gaza Strip. Foto: <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah<br />

Nazmi Abd Rabou, 2005.<br />

Acknowledgments: Special thanks are due to the Palestinian<br />

Zoologist <strong>Dr</strong>. Abdel Fattah Nazmi Abd Rabou from the Biology<br />

Department, Islamic University of Gaza, who sent the rodent photos for<br />

identification, and gave me the opportunity to discover a new Palestinian<br />

house mouse subspecies; and my thanks are also due to the Kuwaiti<br />

wildlife expert Eng. Abd Al-Rahman Abd Allah Al-Sirhan Al-A‘try, the<br />

webmaster of the website Wildlife of Kuwait, and to Prof. Yoram Yom-<br />

Tov from the Zoology Department, Tel Aviv University, for their<br />

valuable comments on the photos.<br />

208


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