Animals
 Israel
Project #17063

Bringing Biblical Deer to the Holy Land

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
Vetted
A young male deer is spotted in the wild
A young male deer is spotted in the wild

In our last report we were looking forward to another release of deer into the wild at Nahal Soreq near Jerusalem in October/November of this year. However, weather conditions have been unseasonably dry this year – you may have seen the news reports of the huge wildfires that recently swept across Israel, these blazes got out of control very quickly because of the dry conditions. Usually we have had our first rains and there is plenty of green grazing available to sustain the released deer. Our team have monitored the conditions near the release site and they are not sufficient to release the deer at present (newly-released deer require optimal conditions in order to provide the best chance of survival).

Accordingly, the release has been postponed to January/February of 2017.

Some of the deer in the next release will be fitted with GPS tracking collars which are far more accurate and easier to use than radio telemetry tracking collars.

In the meanwhile, we continue to receive reports of sightings from the local community and we hope you will be as excited as we are to view the above photograph of a young male sighted recently in the wild.

Thank you for being a part of this project– we appreciate your generosity and support!

With warm wishes from Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Deer are fitted with tracking collars for release
Deer are fitted with tracking collars for release

With almost 150 deer having been released into the Nahal Soreq area near Jerusalem in recent years, and upwards of 50 deer surviving in the wild today, we can be justifiably proud of the success of this wildlife conservation program. Thank you generous supporters – you help make these wildlife conservation efforts possible.

An exciting recent development is that our tracking data shows a greater dispersion range than we’ve ever seen before. Frequent sighting reports come in from members of the public also which is very encouraging – more so because we can sense that we have made a breakthrough in community attitudes to wildlife conservation. More adult males and females and wild-born fawns have been spotted over the summer months.

Our staff members track and monitor the released deer in various ways – including radio telemetry tracking collars, GPS tracking collars and camera traps.

We are now planning our next release of individuals into the wild which will take place in late October/early November. Stay tuned for more news!

Thank you for being a part of this project– we appreciate your generosity and support!

With warm wishes from -

Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

A released deer is spotted by an infra-red camera
A released deer is spotted by an infra-red camera
A wild-born fawn is spotted near Jerusalem!
A wild-born fawn is spotted near Jerusalem!

With almost 150 deer having been released into the Nahal Soreq area near Jerusalem in recent years, and upwards of 50 deer surviving in the wild today, this wildlife conservation program has seen its share of challenges and successes.

Our staff members track and monitor the released deer in various ways – including radio telemetry tracking collars, GPS tracking collars and camera traps. This month we received an exciting report from Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers who spotted and photographed a wild-born fawn.

Every piece of evidence that this rare species is reproducing and surviving in the wild is a source of great encouragement for our team and we are delighted to share this news with you – our generous supporters – who help make these wildlife conservation efforts possible.

 Thank you for being a part of this project– we appreciate your generosity and support!

With warm wishes from -

Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Links:

We recently compiled our annual report for 2015 regarding the status of this important and challenging wildlife conservation project and we are delighted to share with you that in 2015:

-        14 Persian fallow deer individuals were released into the wild at the Nahal Soreq Nature Reserve south of Jerusalem.

-        This number included 2 females equipped with state of the art GPS tracking collars to enable more accurate monitoring in the wild.

-        In addition, 15 fawns have been born in the Biblelands Wildlife Preserve exhibit at the Zoo.

-        We were delighted to receive a video filmed by a member of the public in the Tzur Hadassah neighborhood which shows an adult male Persian fallow deer in the wild. We have been breeding and releasing deer in the Jerusalem hills for some years now. We estimate that, as a result of this conservation program, there are now upwards of 50 deer roaming the hills of Jerusalem. This video is significant because the deer is not wearing a tracking collar which means that he was born in the wild and has survived for at least three years!

-        We also hosted Israel’s first National Persian Fallow Deer Conference at the Zoo where experts from all over Israel came together to discuss strategies for the future of this successful wildlife conservation program which has brought a Biblical species, previously thought to be extinct, back to the wild in Israel.

Thank you for being a part of this effort – we appreciate your generosity and support!

With warm wishes from -

Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

 

Links:

A released deer wearing a GPS tracking collar
A released deer wearing a GPS tracking collar

We are happy to report that a few weeks ago the first national conference was conducted at the Jerusalem Zoo regarding the Persian fallow deer reintroduction project. In consultation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and other wildlife conservation organizations in Israel, it was decided to continue with the reintroduction project in spite of the recent loss of some deer in the wild as a result of suspected attacks by feral dogs.

Unrelated to that incident, one deer was hit by a car while crossing a road but the motorist immediately informed us and our team were able to respond quickly and rescue the injured deer. She is now recovering here at the Zoo.

As these animals acclimatize to the ecosystem, the local community also has to adjust to changes in the landscape. This is why our continued outreach and education efforts with our local communities are so important and why the motorist that collided with the deer had knowledge of this conservation effort and so knew who to call for assistance.

These challenges are part of every wildlife conservation program and we thank our loyal supporters for sharing the ups and downs with us over the long term.

We invite you to watch our video segment below which shows how our keepers track and monitor deer released into the wild. 

With warm wishes for a happy and healthy 2016!

Team Fallow Deer at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Location: Jerusalem, Israel - Israel
Website: http:/​/​www.jerusalemzoo.org/​
Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$5,754 raised of $10,000 goal
 
72 donations
$4,246 to go
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