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