Since we last reported to you, we continue to work towards the next release of a group of diving ducks in February/March 2018.
Currently, our zoological team – in consultation with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority – is considering whether to continue with the use of GPS tracking devices given the mixed results from the pilot release last year.
We are also considering two releases in February: one would be a soft release in a sheltered area with plenty of food (Afek, Israel); and the other a hard release in one of our previous release sites of either the Hula Valley or the Einot Gibbeton. The purpose of two types of releases would be to monitor how well the animals do in differing circumstances. Soft-release measures, including acclimatization, have been used for many species around the world, based on the reasoning that gradual and supported reintroductions should improve the success of animals released into an unfamiliar wild environment. However, experimental testing of soft-release methods is rare.
We will keep you posted in out next report. Thank you for your continued support of this important wildlife conservation program.
Nicole and the Avian Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
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