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
Awaiting release from the acclimatization area
Awaiting release from the acclimatization area

Dear Persian Fallow Deer Supporters,

After having been so excited by our latest release of 8 deer from the acclimatization center into the wild (following a resolution of the technical problems we had with the GPS tracking collars), we were devastated to once more discover that 5 deer had died relatively soon after having been released. Initial indications are that packs of feral dogs are once again hunting the deer. 

You may recall that some years ago, this conservation program was halted because of a high mortality rate due to feral dogs in the area. Feral dogs are domesticated stray dogs who, after abandonment, group together and revert to pack behavior. They can be extremely dangerous both in terms of attacks on animals and humans, and because they can spread disease. The program was resumed once the Ministry of Environment gave Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers the power to destroy feral dogs on sight however it appears that the problem has once again resurfaced in the Jerusalem hills. 

In light of this, further releases have been halted for now until we can investigate further in conjunction with the Israeli authorities. We will keep you posted. Wildlife conservation is a challenging pursuit but, with your support, we have high hopes for continued success.

With thanks and appreciation,

Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Zoo

Remains of a deer hunted by feral dogs
Remains of a deer hunted by feral dogs
GPS tracking map of released deer
GPS tracking map of released deer
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Baby Persian Fallow Deer
Baby Persian Fallow Deer

Summer is the perfect time to give you an update about the Persian fallow deer conservation program.

We are very excited to report that our captive breeding center at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has produced no less than 10 baby darlings this year. But what we’re most excited to tell you about is the fact that there was a birth within our acclimatization area in the Jerusalem hills – that means that a baby deer was recently born in the wild!

Currently we have 8 deer in the acclimatization area awaiting release into the wild proper. The release has been delayed due to technical problems with the new GPS collar tracking system but we hope to have these resolved very soon so that we will be able to obtain instant, accurate tracking data via the internet.

And that’s not all – we recently received a wonderful validation of the success of this project: members of the public sent in video images of an adult male Persian fallow deer in the Tzur Hadassah area near Jerusalem. From the images, our zoological team is able to tell that, not only was this magnificent male born in the wild (due to the absence of a tracking collar), but he has survived and thrived for at least 3 years! The importance of this sighting is not limited to the receipt of new information - we are also really happy to see that our education outreach efforts to the local community are paying off: the community not only supports our conservation initiative but is actively partnering with us! (You can view the video clip below.)

Thank you for your continued support of this very important wildlife conservation project. It is our privilege to be able to share these success stories with all of you.

Warm regards from us all,

Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Releasing a deer in May 2015
Releasing a deer in May 2015
Camera trap images of a released male
Camera trap images of a released male

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
A released deer in the acclimatization area
A released deer in the acclimatization area

Hello Persian fallow deer enthusiasts!

In our last report, we explained that we were planning a Spring release and indeed, on February 15th, we transported 6 deer to the acclimatization area at the Nahal Soreq Nature Reserve. After 3 weeks within the acclimatization area, 3 males and 3 females were released into the wild proper. From our monitoring, we know they are doing well. 

At present, we are tracking the deer with radio telemetry tracking collars which require our staff to physically patrol the release area with a base unit in order to monitor the progress of released animals. We are awaiting 2 GPS tracking collars donated via the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel. The importance of GPS collars is that we are able to obtain instant, accurate data via the internet. Of-course these collars are much more expensive and so we hope to add more in due course.

Our zoological team is planning a further release within the next month or so and we will provide you with an update in our next progress report.

Thank you for your continued support of this very important wildlife conservation project. Because of you the deer referred to in the Bible once again roam the Judean hills.

Warm regards from us all,

The Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

An anaesthetized deer monitored prior to transport
An anaesthetized deer monitored prior to transport
A precious cargo being delivered back to the wild
A precious cargo being delivered back to the wild
Entrance to acclimatization area at Nahal Soreq
Entrance to acclimatization area at Nahal Soreq

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Winter in the Zoo's Biblelands Wildlife Preserve
Winter in the Zoo's Biblelands Wildlife Preserve
Our herbivore keepers and veterinary team are busily preparing for the next release of Persian Fallow Deer into the wild at Nahal Soreq in the Jerusalem hills.
Over the last year the Zoo's core breeding group at the Biblelands Wildlife Preserve has produced 17 new fawns. Typically, yearlings (aged 1-1.5 years) are selected for release into the wild.
The next release will include 14 individuals (7 males and 7 females) and will be done in 2 rounds, the first being at the beginning of February (very shortly) and second during the month of April. This will be a soft reintroductions which will include 3-4 weeks spent in the acclimatization area prior to the deer being released into the wild proper.
Some exciting recent news is that our camera traps captured an image just yesterday of a young male without an ear notch (the marking proving that an individual has been captive-bred) - which would mean another successful wild birth and survival into adulthood!
Stay tuned for our next report which will be packed with pictures from February's release. And thank you for your continued interest in and support of this important wildlife conservation project.
Persian Fallow Deer core breeding group at the Zoo
Persian Fallow Deer core breeding group at the Zoo
The Nahal Soreq River Nature Reserve
The Nahal Soreq River Nature Reserve

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The beautiful Nahal Soreq in the Judean Hills
The beautiful Nahal Soreq in the Judean Hills

Since I last updated you on this exciting wildlife conservation program, our zoological team has been tracking the released deer and compiling and collating heaps of data about their behavior in the wild. This information is very important because of the rarity of the species in the wild and because so little is known about their natural behaviors.

Our team uses radio telemetry tracking devices to monitor the movement of the deer via their electronic tracking collars; and monitoring infra-red cameras are placed at various locations throughout their release range. Our team has been very interested to learn, through these techniques, about which areas are preferred by the deer and how far their range of movement extends.

In addition, the team is now employing a dual release system in order to establish whether survival rates are affected by first releasing captive-born animals into an acclimatization area. Now, some of the animals are released in stages via the acclimatization area, and others are released directly into the wild. The results of which method is more successful will be known in the future.

Another very interesting area of study related to this program is how the reintroduction of Persian Fallow Deer into this habitat may affect aspects of the surrounding ecosystem. It has already been established, by monitoring the camera traps, that many other species of fauna are also benefiting from the Persian Fallow Deer's protected nature reserve: species like jackals, wolves, wild boar and porcupines are now regularly showing up on captured images.

Thank you all so much for being a part of this inspiring conservatio project - stay tuned for more news in the future!

Warm Regards,

The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo Team

Boundary of Acclimatization Area
Boundary of Acclimatization Area
Daylight image from monitoring camera
Daylight image from monitoring camera
Tracking Deer with a Radio Telemetry Transmitter
Tracking Deer with a Radio Telemetry Transmitter
Night time image from monitoring camera
Night time image from monitoring camera
Hyena captured by infra-red monitoring camera
Hyena captured by infra-red monitoring camera
Wild boar captured by infra-red monitoring camera
Wild boar captured by infra-red monitoring camera

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

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
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.