Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land
Two young deer are released into the wild
Two young deer are released into the wild

Hello Persian Fallow Deer Supporters!

We are happy to report that, a few weeks ago, our team released nine deer into the wild at the Nahal Soreq nature reserve near Jerusalem. Six females and three males (nine in total), all of whom were born in the Jerusalem Zoo, have been placed in their natural habitat to thrive amongst stable wild group already established there. The new individuals will supplement and enlarge that group.

The released deer were fitted with GPS collars so that our team can track their progress in real time.

Enjoy the beautiful photos of these lovely animals being released during one of the most beautiful and colorful Spring seasons Jerusalem has experienced for some time!

Thank you for your continued support of this meaningful conservation program.

Team Fallow Deer

A vet cares for a deer sedated for transportation
A vet cares for a deer sedated for transportation
Zoo staff members release deer into the wild
Zoo staff members release deer into the wild
The deer enjoy the beautiful Spring habitat
The deer enjoy the beautiful Spring habitat
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Marked & unmarked male seen together Mt. Tayasim
Marked & unmarked male seen together Mt. Tayasim

Hello Persian Fallow Deer Supporters!

We are very excited because we are now receiving many more confirmed photographs of individuals born in the wild! The fact that the group has now survived in this area for the last 5-6 years and is breeding, shows that there is adequate food and water. The species surveys also show that they are the third largest mammal population in that area.

We are planning another release of 5 females and 3 males sometime during February as by then there will be sufficient new vegetation and the weather will be getting warmer. In the next release we will also be adding more GPS collars for more accurate monitoring.

The monitoring of the fallow deer has been more intensive over the last year because we now have a dedicated field coordinator. The plan for the coming year is to continue comparative monitoring using trail cameras at fixed points; adding of-course the data received from the GPS collars. We are also planning to examine possible limiting factors in relation to the spatial distribution of the population - water and food sources, roads, habitat, predators, hunters, roads and railroad tracks, housing development plans, recreation and leisure activities etc.

Thank you for your continued support – stay tuned for the next report which will have pictures about the next release event.

Team Fallow Deer

Females born in the wild near Ein Hod
Females born in the wild near Ein Hod
Unmarked females in Nes Harim
Unmarked females in Nes Harim
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Wild born deer sighted!
Wild born deer sighted!

Hello Persian Fallow Deer Supporters!

Since we last reported to you, we have received more exciting news from the field: no less than three young wild-born fallow deer were spotted in the Nes Harim area near Jerusalem. See the images below which were captured by our camera traps set up in the field.

We know these animals are wild born because of their age and the absence of tracking collars. They seem to be in good health and doing well.

Incredibly exciting news for this very special conservation program!

Thank you for your continued support – stay tuned for more news in the coming months – we are planning another release in early 2019.

Team Fallow Deer

We know they are wild born from their age
We know they are wild born from their age
And they seem to be doing very well in the wild!
And they seem to be doing very well in the wild!
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A fawn spotted crossing a road
A fawn spotted crossing a road

Hello Persian Fallow Deer Supporters!

Since we last reported to you, we have had 2 births in our breeding group here at the Jerusalem Zoo. Did you know that we have the largest captive breeding group of this species in the world?

In addition, we have received an important observation from the field – a fawn was spotted crossing a road in the Beit Shemesh area. Fawns usually move with groups so the likelihood is that there is a group of animals in that area. Very exciting news!

Thank you for your continued support – stay tuned for more news in the coming months.

Team Fallow Deer

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An image of a striped hyena from our camera traps
An image of a striped hyena from our camera traps

Since our winter release of a number of individuals in the hills surrounding Jerusalem, our team has been busily monitoring and tracking the wild fallow deer population.

As we have mentioned in the past, the reintroduction of certain key species into the environment often has a positive impact on other species. In our case, one such species is the striped hyena. Hyenas in Israel are a different species to those seen on the African Savannah – our hyenas are "Syrian striped hyenas", solitary animals that are common throughout Israel – in the southern desert, in the north as well as in the central highlands. Today we also find them in the Judean Hills around Jerusalem. In fact, the most recent footage from our camera traps show many hyenas in the area where we release the Persian fallow deer (Nahal Soreq). Hyenas are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, where they are referred to as tzebua or zevoa, though the species is absent in some Bible translations into English.

This hyena species is classified as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and we don’t have an accurate estimate of population numbers in Israel. During the years 1918-1948 strychnine poisonings were common in Israel (by farmers mainly) and, although the local population is thought to have recovered from this, the current nature reserves housing striped hyenas may be too small to ensure viable populations for the future. They are now a protected species within Israel but road accidents seem to be their most serious threat.

In light of this history, we are delighted to share with you some photographs from our camera traps which illustrate the wider positive environmental impact of the Persian fallow deer conservation program; together with a map detailing the distribution of the sightings.

Thank you for your continued support – stay tuned for more news!

Distribution map of hyena sightings
Distribution map of hyena sightings
A striped hyena in the Persian fallow deer area
A striped hyena in the Persian fallow deer area
A further sighting
A further sighting
Sighting on another occasion
Sighting on another occasion
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Organization Information

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel - Israel
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @BiblicalZoo
Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$15,775 raised of $20,000 goal
 
171 donations
$4,225 to go
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