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Encyclopedia > Biodiversity in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip

This article is about the fauna and flora in the geographical region of Israel and the Disputed Territories (the West Bank and Gaza Strip). This geographical area extends from the Jordan River and Wadi Araba in the east, to the Mediterranean Sea and the Sinai desert in the west, to Lebanon in the north, and to the gulf of Aqaba, or Eilat in the south. Fauna is a collective term for animal life of any particular region or time. ... Simplified schematic of an islands flora - all its plant species, highlighted in boxes. ... A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states, or over the possession/control of land by one state after it has conquered it from a former state no longer currently recognized by the occupying power. ... This article is about the Jordan River and its valley in western Asia. ... The Arabah (Standard Hebrew Wadi Arava; Arabic Wadi Arabah) is the section of the Great Rift Valley lying between the Dead Sea in the North and the Gulf of Aqaba/Gulf of Elat in the South. ... Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea. ... Sinai Peninsula, Gulf of Suez (west), Gulf of Aqaba (east) from Space Shuttle STS-40 For other uses of the word Sinai, please see: Sinai (disambiguation). ... Aqaba (Arabic: العقبة al-ʻAqabah) is a coastal town with a population of 101,290 (2000) and 2% of Jordans population in the far south of Jordan (). It is the capital of Aqaba Governorate. ... North Beach, Eilat, from southwest North Beach, Eilat, from east Eilat (Hebrew אֵילַת, Standard Hebrew Elat, Eylat), pop. ...


The area is part of the Palearctic ecozone, located in the Mediterranean Basin, whose climate supports the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub biome. This includes the ecoregions of the Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests and the Southern Anatolian montane conifer and deciduous forests. The Palearctic or Palaearctic is one of the eight ecozones dividing the Earth surface (see map). ... Ecozones are global divisions which have their own characteristic interplay of climatic factors, morphodynamics, soil-forming processes, living conditions for plants and animals, and production potentials for agriculture and forestry. ... The Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around and surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. ... Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub is a temperate biome, characterized by hot, dry == Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub eco-regions occur in the worlds five mediterranean climate zones, on the west coast of continents in the mid-latitudes: the Mediterranean Basin, California, Central Chile, Southwest Australia, the Cape Province... In ecology, a biome is a major regional group of distinctive plant and animal communities best adapted to the regions physical natural environment, latitude, altitude, and terrain. ... An ecoregion, sometimes called a bioregion, is a relatively large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities. ...


There are five different geographical zones and the climate varies from semi-arid to temperate to subtropical. The region is home to a variety of plants and animals; at least 47,000 living species have been identified, with another 4,000 assumed to exist. 116 species of mammals are native to Israel, as well as 511 bird species, 97 reptile species, and seven amphibian species. There are also an estimated 2,780 plant species.

Contents

Israel

Geography

Main article: Geography of Israel

Israel is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bounded on the north by Lebanon, on the northeast by Syria, on the east and southeast by Jordan, on the southwest by Egypt, and on the west by the Mediterranean Sea. Map of Israel Israel is located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. ... Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea. ...


Climate

Israel divides into three major climate zones:


1- The Mediterranean climate zone, characterized by long, hot, rainless summers and relatively short, cool, rainy winters. The rainfall may go from as much as 400mm for a year (in the south), to 1,200mm for a year (in the northernmost end of Israel). The Mediterranean landscapes of Israel include several kinds of forest, garrigue, scrubland, marsh and savanna-like-grassland. The fauna and flora are mostly of European origin. A Mediterranean climate is one that resembles those of the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. ... Garrigue is a type of low, soft-leaved scrubland found around the Mediterranean Basin, generally near the seacoast. ... Scrubland is an uncultivated region covered with scrub vegetation. ... Freshwater marsh in Florida In geography, a marsh is a type of wetland, featuring grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, cat tails, and other herbaceous plants (possibly with low-growing woody plants) in a context of shallow water. ... A savanna or savannah is a grassland with widely spaced trees, and occurs in several types of biomes. ...


2- The Steppe climate zone. It is a narrow strip (no wider than 60km, and mostly, much narrower) between the Mediterranean zone and the Desert zone.The rainfall varies from 400mm for year to 200mm for year. This climate zone includes mostly low-grasslands and hardy forms of scrub. The fauna and flora are mostly of Asian and Saharan origin. A steppe in Western Kazakhstan in early spring In physical geography, a steppe (Russian: - step, Ukrainian: - step, Kazakh: - dala), pronounced in English as step, is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally considered as being... Scrub has a number of meanings: Look up scrub in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


3-The Desert climate zone, which is the largest climate zone of Israel, covering the whole Southern half of the state and extending to the Dead Sea region (the Judean Desert) and southern Jordan Valley in the Northern half. The rainfall varies between 200mm for year in its Northern border and 32mm for year in the Southernmost tip. This dry climate zone grows scattered shrub vegetation or desert-grassland in its' wetter parts. In the more arid regions, the vegetation is confined to dry riverbeds and gullies and, in some places, it is almost absent. In some of the greater vallies, desert-scrub and acacia-woodland are to be found. The fauna and flora are mostly of Saharan origin. Sudanian flora is present as well. A dune in the Egyptian desert In geography, a desert is a landscape form or region that receives little precipitation. ... Species About 1,300; see List of Acacia species Acacia tree in the Serengeti, Tanzania Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees of Gondwanian origin belonging to the Subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described from Africa by Linnaeus in 1773. ...


As well as the major three, two mocroclimate zones are present in Israel:


1- The Mountain Microclimate on Mt. Hermon (North-end of Israel), which is the only place in Israel to get covered with snow every year. The flora and fauna are European, much of which are of Alpine-type. Broad-leaf forests, garrigue and Alpine scrub are the vegetation types.


2-The Tropical (Sudanian) Microclimate in the springs of the Judean Desert. Refers mostly to Ein-Gedi spring and Arugot creek. Due to the high aquifer in the region, and the steady, hot climate of the Judean desert, a tropical savanna-related flora (not rainforest, as many think) of East-African origin has established in the area of the springs. The fauna is that of the Desert zone. An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, or permeable mixtures of unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) (see also groundwater). ...


The climate is determined by Israel's location between the subtropical aridity of the Sahara and the Arabian deserts, and the subtropical humidity of the Levant or eastern Mediterranean. The climate conditions are highly variable within the state and modified locally by altitude, latitude, and the proximity to the Mediterranean sea.


West Bank and Gaza Strip

Geography

The West Bank and Gaza Strip can be divided into five distinctive regions:

  1. Jordan Valley
  2. Eastern Slopes
  3. Central Highlands
  4. Semi-Coastal
  5. Coastal

Climate

The West Bank and Gaza Strip, like most of Israel-proper have a Mediterranean climate. A Mediterranean climate is one that resembles those of the lands bordering the Mediterranean Sea. ...


Selected images

Taxonomification

The following is a taxonomical classification up to Phylum level of all species found in the area.

  • Regnum Protista
  • Regnum Fungi
    • Plyla:Ascomycota - Basidiomycota - Glomeromycota - Myxomycota - Zygomycota - Chytridiomycota - Anamorphic fungi
  • Regnum Plantae
    • Phyla: Anthocerophyta - Bryophyta - Charophyta - Chlorophyta - Cycadophyta - Equisetophyta - Ginkgophyta - Gnetophyta - Hepatophyta - Lycopodiophyta - Magnoliophyta - Ophioglossophyta - Pinophyta - Psilotophyta - Pteridophyta
  • Regnum Animalia
    • Subregnum: Parazoa
      • Phylum: Porifera
    • Subregnum: Agnotozoa
      • Phyla: Orthonectida - Placozoa - Rhombozoa
    • Subregnum: Eumetazoa
      • Superphylum: Radiata
        • Phyla: Cnidaria - Ctenophora
      • Bilateria: Protostomia
        • Phyla: Acanthocephala - Annelida - Arthropoda - Brachiopoda - Bryozoa - Chaetognatha - Cycliophora - Echiura - Entoprocta - Gastrotricha - Gnathostomulida - Kinorhyncha - Loricifera - Micrognathozoa - Mollusca - Myzostomida - Nematoda - Nematomorpha - Nemertea - Onychophora - Phoronida - Platyhelminthes - Priapula - Rotifera - Sipuncula - Tardigrada
      • Bilateria: Deuterostomia
        • Phyla: Echinodermata - Hemichordata - Chordata - Xenoturbellida

Online databases

The following are online well prepared databases about the biodiversity in the Palestine Israel area.

  • Flora of Israel Online, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem[1]
  • BIOGIS: Israel Biodiversity Information System[2]
  • Botanical Garden University E Book[3]
  • Biodiversity of Jordan and Palestine[4]

External links

Books
  • Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. A Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1983-2004. ISBN 3-00-014121-9 By: Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa. First Edition, July 2004, 452 pp. Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany.
  • Aquatica Arabica. An Aquatic Scientific Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980-2005. ISBN 3-00-014835-3 By: Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa. First Edition, August 2005, 376 pp. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Germany & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
  • Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980-2006. ISBN 3-00-017294-7 By: Norman Ali Khalaf-von Jaffa. First Edition, July 2006, 484 pp. Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Germany & Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Magazines and Bulletins
  • Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin (ISSN 0178-6288) Author & Publisher: Norman Ali Bassam Khalaf-von Jaffa (since 1983).
Articles
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Leopards of Palestine Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 41, May 2005. pp. 1-9.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). Der Arabische Leopard (Panthera pardus nimr) Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 42, June 2005. pp. 1-8. (in German).
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2005). The Jaffa Amphipod (Ampelisca jaffaensis, Bellan-Santini & Kaim-Malka, 1977) from Jaffa, Palestine Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 43, July 2005. pp. 1-5.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Der Asiatische oder Persische Löwe (Panthera leo persica) Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 49, January 2006. pp. 1-5. (in German).
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Felidae Palaestina: The Wild Cats of Palestine Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 52, April 2006. pp. 1-15.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Der Asiatische oder Iranische Gepard (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 53, May 2006. pp. 1-7. (in German).
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali (2006). Die Rohrkatze (Felis chaus) / The Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 54, June 2006. pp. 1-8. (in German).
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Mammalia Palaestina: The Mammals of Palestine.Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 55, July 2006. pp. 1-46.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Asiatic or Persian Lion (Panthera leo persica) in Palestine.In: Mammalia Arabica. A Zoological Journey in Palestine, Arabia and Europe between 1980-2006. First Edition, July 2006. Norman Ali Khalaf, Rilchingen-Hanweiler, Germany and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. pp. 147-149.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). Ornithomimid Dinosaur Tracks from Beit Zeit, West of Jerusalem, Palestine.Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 56, August 2006. pp. 1-7.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Common Weasel (Mustela nivalis, Linnaeus 1766) in Palestine and the East Mediterranean Region.Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 57, September 2006. pp. 1-7.
  • Khalaf-von Jaffa, Norman Ali Bassam Ali Taher (2006). The Asiatic or Persian Lion (Panthera leo persica, Meyer 1826) in Palestine and the Arabian and Islamic Region.Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin. Number 58, October 2006. pp. 1-13.
  • Bird Species in Israel [5]
Societies
  • Palestine Wildlife Society [6]
  • Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority [7]
Nature Conservation Projects
Natural Reserves
Bird Watching
  • Birding Israel: the world of birds, birding tours and birdwatching in Israel [8]
  • International Center for the Study of Bird Migration [9]
  • The Israeli Center for Yardbirds [10]
  • The Jerusalem Bird Observatory [11]
Biologists
Photographers
  • Rittner Oz. Amazing collection of great images of small creatures in the area with fine scientific classification. [12]
  • Ilia Shalamaev: Excellent photographs of wildlife in the area. [13]
  • Vadim Onishchenko [14]
  • The Edge[15], A searchable collection of nature photos. Search for Palestine, Israel in the database. Site created by Niall Benvie
Neighbouring Countries
  • The Arabian Oryx Website [16]

 
 

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