Thursday, March 27, 2008

  • Thursday, March 27, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is the sort of story that almost never gets told about Israel.

From Science Alert (Australia):
Each northern spring an awesome aerial torrent of 500 million birds pauses at a tiny fleck of a sanctuary at the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba, en route from the heart of Africa to the vastnesses of Europe and Asia.

Many birds have flown non-stop from the Central Highlands of Ethiopia, devouring their own muscle and intestines in the 40-hour flight. When they sink to rest at Eilat, in southernmost Israel, they are at the very limits of their endurance. Without this stopover on their ancient migratory path, most of the birds would never complete their journey. Food from its lakes and vegetation is vital to rebuilding their strength for an onward trek that, in some cases, bears them as far as Wales or the Bering Strait.

For 15 years a stoic, courageous and grittily determined Israeli ornithologist, Dr Reuven Yosef, has fought with all the means at his disposal to keep intact this remaining claw-hold on survival for the world’s dwindling migratory bird populations.

Flash floods, savage vandalism, a suicide bombing, landmines and relentless development are among the challenges he has faced in striving to hold open this everconstricting highway of the natural world. If it closes, ornithologists warn, a major route will be sundered and many of the 280 migratory bird species of Europe, Asia and Africa using it may vanish.

Dr Yosef ’s visionary International Birding and Research Centre, Eilat (IBRCE) gained worldwide recognition with an Associate Laureateship in the Rolex Awards for Enterprise. Developed from an old rubbish dump and lovingly restored to 64 hectares of lakes, wetlands, visitor facilities and natural vegetation to harbour birds, the Centre is today acknowledged as one of the world’s ornithological wonders, inspiring projects as far afield as Kenya, Tibet, China, Mongolia and North America.

...Gradually the dry salt marshes fringing the sea succumbed to a concrete plague of hotels, promenades, marinas and gaudy attractions. A strip of wasteland lying between the town and Jordanian border to the east, beneath the smoky thunder of low-flying passenger jets, became a rubbish tip. Nobody wanted it, except a keen-eyed Indian-born ornithologist, Reuven Yosef, who saw its pivotal significance to the wildlife of the planet.

...Wounded and invalided out of the army, he took up studies as an aspiring ornithologist at Ben Gurion University and then at Ohio State University in the US, carrying out field research at the Archbold Biological Station in Florida, famous for the study of migratory birds. While there, he was invited to set up a nature reserve near Eilat that would enhance the town’s appeal to visitors.

Yosef was delighted, both at the chance to help protect bird migration in a world where it faced growing pressures from human activity, but also at the opportunities for scholarship the site presented – sampling each year an astonishing cross-section of the world’s avifauna.

Of the 120 000 hectares of salt marshes that once sustained billions of birds on their migratory journey, only a few hundred remained. The land was poisoned by mining activities extending back almost 3000 years. The rest was a garbage dump, filled with heaven-knew-what. Raising money from friends and supporters, Yosef purchased 64 hectares, and with the help of local earthmoving contractors, effluent from the sewage works, fresh water from the local desalination plant and brackish water from the local saltworks set about creating several lakes – fresh and saline – and restoring vegetation.

Gradually the sanctuary became a welcoming haven to the exhausted airborne travellers, offering seeds and brine shrimp to nourish and restore them. With the birds came scholars from around the globe to study the unending avian throng, 100,000 visitors a year to witness one of Nature’s marvels and 60,000 wide-eyed schoolchildren to learn about a phenomenon that, without great care, their own children may never see.

Not only is he saving untold numbers of bird species, but he is helping Israel gain a hundred thousand bird-loving tourists annually.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at- elderofziyon.com


translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options



One time donation:



subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive