Incredible Israel, December 2022 (Alex Meyer)

Tomer Ben-Yehuda welcomed my wife and I to Israel for our daughter’s first international trip! Doubling as a guide and friend, Tomer showed us around and even managed to finally see some mammals in his home country. 3 days mammaling (7 total), 18 species including Striped Hyena, Onager, 3 Gazelles, 2 Hedgehogs and a Pipistrelle in a peartree.

Israel Trip Report.pdf

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  • Jon Hall

    Great stuff Alex, especially the Hyena. Very happy to see the Hard Boys back in action (so to speak)

  • tomeslice

    It was so much fun! Thank you for coming here and dragging me off my couch to go do some mammal watching!
    For some reason it’s easier for me to book a ticket to Uganda, Paraguay or Madagascar for mammal watching than it is for me to find a day off and drive down South.

    I love the pictures you put up! Even though in pictures where I appear there is a constant downward progression from the picture of us at El Vacino to the picture of us in the desert where I’m all allergied-up with a runny nose 🤣.

    Also, for future travelers – I think the 3rd species of hedgehog should be easy, along with a couple of other Israeli mammals – according to a newly-acquired buddy of mine – Ecology student Jonathan Ben Simon.

  • Vladimir Dinets

    Wow, well done!
    There are various theories as to the exact provenance of onagers reintroduced in Israel. Some locals claim that they are the only animals in existence to have a small genetic contribution from Syrian onager (the subsp. native to the area). Don’t know if it’s true.

    • Jonathan240

      The Israeli populations of onagers is a mixture of E. h. kulan and E. h. onager that were bred in captivity in Hai-Bar Yotvata and then reintroduced.

      E. h. hemippus was the local subsp. but it’s extinct…

      • Vladimir Dinets

        Yes, that’s what most published sources say. But I heard a different version when I worked in Hai Bar.

        • Jonathan240

          I wouldn’t count on the people there with zoology… There Israeli population is based on 11 individuals that were brought from Iran (during the late 60s, before the revolution and when Israel and Iran were in close relations…). Six of those were onager and five were kulan.

          • Vladimir Dinets

            At least some of them are fine zoologists. What they told me was that some of Iranian animals came from a zoo population with a Syrian onager among the founders.

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