Israeli wildlife

Introduction to Israeli wildlife

Infant ibex

Young gazelle

If Middle Eastern wildlife conjures up images of camels and perhaps some snakes then you are in for a surprise. Israel's variety of native creatures is as diverse as its landscapes and micro-climates, shaped by the country's strategic location at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe.

Here you'll find two species of badger, one common from Western Europe, through Israel, to Japan, the other found in most of Africa, through the Middle East to India. Israel is home to both temperate and desert species of hedgehog, European and desert foxes, Mediterranean horseshoe bats, Caspian turtles, Be'er Sheba fringe fingered lizard, Indian crested porcupines, African softshell turtles, Arabian oryx, Mt Hermon mice, Egyptian mongoose, Cape Hares, Persian squirrels, Balkan emerald lizards, Asian garden dormice, and European otters.

Roughtail rock agama or hardon

I have no professional training in the field, but I love watching and photographing animals, and learning all I can about the local wildlife.

This site is based on my personal observations and the many things I've learnt from those more learned than I, mostly from visits to nature reserves, zoos and conservation centres, as well as as from my biblical studies. I began this website in 1999 simply because at the time I could find no similar English language resource on the web to share the wonders of my country's wildlife with my friends and relatives overeas.

On the following pages you'll find an overview of Israeli fauna designed to serve as a basic introduction to the local wildlife. I've included information on local conservation efforts and creatures featured in the bible. Where possible I've included suggestions on where to see certain species. There is also an extensive links section featuring Israeli nature reserves and species specific websites, this last in the process of being updated to feature the many new and informative Israeli wildlife sites.

Rock Hyrax
Rock Hyrax at Banias, northern Israel
Crab at the Ein Gedi oasis

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Copyright 2011 by Leiah Elbaum. Text and photographs on this page are by Leiah Elbaum. Last updated 2 February 2011.

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