Palestine Wildlife Society
Jericho Wildlife Monitoring Station
The Botanic Garden
Palestinian Environment still is a victim of continuous conflict arising in the region. This happens despite the fact that we, as Palestinian were trying ceaselessly to ameliorate the environmental situation and overcome some of the crucial concerned needs in the area according to the already existing possible technical and financial capacities.
Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS) is concerned with directing, rehabilitation and conservation of many species that reside in the area while promoting research activities as well as biodiversity conservation urgently needed in order to ensure the success of sustainability of high quality environment. One more crucial field that we emphasize on is Public Awareness that can be more promoted through educating and training environmentalists and public.
Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS) look hardly into proceeding concerned environmental activities in Jericho Wildlife Monitoring Station (JWMS) as we are seriously committed to fulfill the already putdown proposed activities. We hope all environmental agencies and donor funding countries will help us to assure better environmental situation and regional sustainability.
Palestine is considered to be one of the most important places for monitoring bird migration in the world; this is due to its geographical location that is situated on the western boundaries of the Asian continent directly on the southeastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, and on the eastern boundaries of Africa. This geographical location places Palestine at the juncture of the European, Asian, and African continent.
Hence, due to the significant importance of the area, as an area which consist of forms of wildlife and the environment, and also it importunate for many species which inhabited the area, or use it as a pass way for migration, it was necessary to put it on the top priorities of PWLS to conserve and rehabilitate it again, so that species would come back in live in it. In order to achieve that, the Jericho Site activities (JWMS) focus on the main points that can bring birth to the area again.
Jericho is one of the oldest cities in the world that is known for its historical, ecological and environmental importance. It does not only constitute part of the Great Rift Valley
(-400 m below the sea level) but it is also recognized as a bottleneck IBA based on IUCN & Birdlife International criteria. IBA's are sites of global biodiversity conservation importance, chosen using internationally agreed objective, quantitative and scientifically defensible criteria. Jericho is recognized as a valuable or sensitive site for it is the flyway (it is estimated that around 500 millions of birds a year cross this region) such as the Soaring migrants are birds that use a system of ascent on thermals of hot air, which rise from level ground, which has been heated by the sun, in order to gain necessary lift and hence assist them to soar up to altitude), as well as being exceptionally important for the habitats and ecosystems that it encompasses for the bird species dependant on them.
General Overview (The Site)
Jericho Wildlife Monitoring Station (JWMS) is an area of about 150 dunums surrounded by agricultural fields from its western boundaries and natural landscape from its eastern sites that reaches the Jordan River banks.
Being situated, close to the Jordan River between 3-4 km away, this site shares most of the physical environment that Jericho city fell into. Geologically, Alluvium and Chalk Formation cover most part of that area which is adjacent to the Jordan River, in which most part especially the eastern ones are associated with the Rogosols and Solon chalk soil types allow halophytic species such as Tamarix to grow in.
Its relatively placed far away from residence compound facilitate the abundance of some form of wild Fauna and Flora to inhabit that region
This area of the site is used to be a Botanical Garden under the supervision of the Palestinian Environmental Quality & Committee for the Promotion of Tourism in the Governorate of Jericho(CPTGJ) Between1997-2001), which had been funded by the Korean government after the fully control of the Palestinian Authority to that District.
Due to the significance of the area, as an area which consist of forms of wildlife and environment, and also its importunate for many species that inhabit the area, or use it as a stopover during migration, it was of great importance for Palestine Wildlife Society (PWLS) to put it as a priority to conserve this area and rehabilitate it again together with the (CPTGJ), so as to revitalize the area again. In order to achieve that, the project focuses on the main points that can bring birth to the area again, which would bring cause to support Conservation of Biodiversity in Jericho, Protect the desert area, promoting the Eco-Tourism, the establishment of the Bird Ringing Station, the Environmental Education Center, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center & Barn Owl Projects.
Brief description of the area:
At first, so many researches had been done to choose that area, which also represent a sufficient size, and with maximum potential to be restored as a birding habitats, which could also been considered as a protected area for natural habitat as well as characterizing the importance for the conserving variant resident and migratory birds.
In general, the area that we are working in is divided into sub-areas, each represents square area with different sizes, in which each square consist of different kind of plantation, some are organic of agricultural sites, others are replanted with endemic plants such as Acacia, Sadom Apple, and others,
Bird Ringing (banding) and Watching:
As JWMS lies within an area that is considered being a main migratory route along the Rift Valley, a comparative number of migratory bird species alongside with the resident ones settle in the area of Jericho and the nature garden as well, for the fact of the abundance of endemic plant species where some birds can use this for roosting and getting food from it and other sources there.
Thereby; mist nets are inserted between different habitat types along that area, so as to catch as much diverse bird species through different plantation that is involved.
Education Awareness Campaigns:
Development of educational programs for targeting local school students, where by providing field visits to the station itself, and encounter those students of such educational programs that will incorporate studying projects, reading materials, and hands-on interaction with the bird watching & ringing activities, in addition to tips in habitat management and restoration work.
Bird watching activities in the garden itself, turns to be an important educational tool and attractive movement not only for school students but also for schoolteachers and local guides that get benefit from such programs in helping to build environmental programs among their schools. Moreover; by the use of such field trips to the JWMS, the students are encountered to topics in ecology, ornithology, biodiversity, Conservation, habitat protection and research progress.
Educational works are not aimed only to school students for the Development of Environmental Leadership, but taking other sectors within the Palestinian Community such as, Tour Guides, Teachers, and Selectively Youth People.
Agriculture cooperation programs:
Recently, a program for getting used of environmentally friendly strategies, that implies getting use of biological control agents, had been interposed to (JWMS) and other parts in Jericho area. This program is aiming at solving practical management conflicts between Agriculture and Wildlife. Where nest boxes for Barn Owl had been interposed within the agricultural sites within this area.
This control agent does not prevent the pest from causing damage, but it reduces pest numbers to a level under which it is not economically beneficially to use chemical agents (that are harmful to the environment).
The JWMS activities are planned:
Nature (Biodiversity) Conservation: Habitat protection is one of the most important foundations for conserving biodiversity around the site, (as this site could play or considered to be a protected area into a smaller and simplified scale), A forestation programs for the endemic plant species (especially in sites for research value) will be of vital importance and as a tool for habitat and species protection.
Wildlife Research: Future plans for researches of the Flora and Fauna, will be administrated by PWLS staff or by outside researchers from other relevant GO’s, NGO’s and related Universities, that will benefit from the JWMS Facilities and services to specifically target Conservation Topics such as Entomology, Taxonomy, Botany & Desertification & Desert Ecology.
Bird Ringing (Banding) Watching: gathering information about bird migration through the whole region is essential as a part of Stopover site along (as a bottle Nick site) a migration route over the Jordan Valley.
Conflict Resolution with Agriculture: Finding long term solution for the myriad of conflict between agriculture and environment
Eco-tourism: is an important component of Creating Economic Sustainability through Nature Conservation. In order to create an eco-tourism industry within the region, JVWMS will provide better marketing and public relation in conducting programs and information for tourists. Moreover, creating facilities and opportunities for tourists that will include observation hides and ringing station and be able to learn about local and regional research projects.
We are ultimately looking into conservation of wetlands, biodiversity and coastal ecosystems in the Mediterranean area as a priority status in the long-term environmental policy of the Palestine Wildlife Society. In fact, our main target is the sound use and conservation of nature and biodiversity, within the context of a sustainable socioeconomic development of the Palestinian areas.
For that purpose, we are focusing our strategic environmental plans and activities on regional cooperation, technical assistance and international contribution. Hence, we are seriously committed to this scheme through Palestine Wildlife Society and our considerable Jericho Wildlife Monitoring Station work plans; achievements and future programs.
Hoping that our esteemed friends will consider our strong needs for their support and assistance financially and technically in order to protect the already existing projects and to promote the prospected plans and activities related. In fact, environmental sustain and protection in the area is the responsibility of all international community as a crucial needed process towards peace and stability in the whole region.
Send mail to
Laith Hazim Qumsiyeh
) with questions or comments about this web site.