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West Jerusalem, Israel

David D.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | Edri N.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | Yakobson B.A.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | Bombarov V.,Kimron Veterinary Institute | And 7 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

Classical swine fever (CSF) re-emerged in Israel in February 2009 after an absence of 62. years. The outbreak occurred on a domestic pig farm in northern Israel and affected domestic pigs and wild boar. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis of a 190 base pair fragment of the E2 glycoprotein gene, the Israeli CSF virus strain belonged to genotype 2.1 and was genetically most similar to a Chinese CSF virus strain. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Bino G.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Dolev A.,Galilee Technology Center | Yosha D.,Israel Mammals Research Center | Guter A.,Israel Mammals Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2010

1. Carnivore overabundance that results from exploitation of human derived resources can have numerous detrimental effects on local human populations and ecological communities. Experimental studies on the responses of overabundant carnivores to reductions of such resources are necessary to understand the effectiveness and impacts of resource reduction. 2. We conducted controlled experiments in two villages in which we drastically reduced the availability of anthropogenic food sources in half of each village. Spatial and numerical responses of radio-collared red foxes Vulpes vulpes were recorded and contrasted with those of radio-collared foxes in three similar untreated villages and pristine areas in the region. In total, we looked at survival rates of 134 foxes. 3. Prior to the resource manipulation, home range sizes (0.47 and 0.56 km 2) and population densities (30 and 36 foxes km -2) in the two villages were comparable to documented low and high-end values, respectively. 4. Fast and distinct spatial responses were observed in response to the resource manipulation, and were manifested in either increased home range size or home range shifts. In one village, foxes exposed to reduced resource availability more than doubled their home range size. 5. Survival rates of individuals in the treated areas were drastically reduced. Actual fox mortality in the two treated areas reached 100% and 64% within 12 months of the onset of resource manipulation. Estimated monthly survival in the two treated areas declined from 0.96-0.98 and 0.98-0.99 (~0.69 and 0.78 derived annual survival) before treatment to 0.80-0.83 and 0.92-0.94 (~<0.01 and 0.42 derived annual survival) after treatment, respectively. By contrast, average monthly survivorship in pristine areas was nearly 0.97 (~0.69 annual survival) and in the untreated areas and other non-treated villages was 0.95-0.99 (~0.54-0.89 annual survival). 6. Synthesis and applications. This study demonstrates that sound waste disposal measures are very effective in controlling populations of overabundant carnivores. Contrary to common notion, the response of foxes to reduced resources was fast, manifested more by reduced survival than by successful dispersal into adjacent pristine areas. The results offer support to the Resource Dispersion Hypothesis regarding both home range size and density (suggested by the sharp decrease in survival) as a function of the spatial and temporal dispersion of resource. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society.

Magory Cohen T.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | King R.,Nature and Parks Authority | Dolev A.,Israel Mammal Research Center | Boldo A.,Nature and Parks Authority | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2013

The golden jackal and red fox are among the wildlife species protected by Israeli law as enforced by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. In 1964, as a part of a management program to control rabies in Israel, a poison eradication campaign was launched to exterminate golden jackals, considered to be the main reservoir of the disease. The program resulted in the near-complete extermination of jackals in Israel, while foxes were only mildly affected. Jackals have since regained their original numbers and have recolonized southern Israel. We here examined the population structure of the golden jackal and red fox in Israel, 48 years after the poison eradication campaign. DNA from 88 golden jackals and 89 red foxes representing five different geographic regions was extracted and amplified at 13 microsatellite loci in order to characterize the populations on a genetic level. High genetic diversity was found among the jackal and fox populations. A possible migration route through the Jordan Rift Valley was suggested for both species by the genetic similarity of populations in northern and southern Israel. However, in both species, the animals from the center of Israel were distinctive from those north or south, indicating the relative isolation of central populations, likely due to fragmentation or a high abundance of food resources. Genetic profiles obtained for the golden jackal and the red fox in Israel may aid in their conservation management and in the study of zoonotic diseases. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Kapota D.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Dolev A.,Nature and Parks Authority | Bino G.,University of New South Wales | Yosha D.,Society for Protection of the Nature | And 3 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2016

Animals disperse in response to poor resource conditions as a strategy of escaping harsh competition and stress, but may also disperse under good resource conditions, as these provide better chances of surviving dispersal and gaining fitness benefits such as avoiding kin competition and inbreeding. Individual traits should mediate the effect of resources, yielding a complex condition-dependent dispersal response. We investigated how experimental food reductions in a food-rich environment around poultry-growing villages interact with individual-traits (age, gender, body-mass) in two sympatric canids, red foxes and golden jackals, to jointly affect emigration propensity and survival during dispersal. Sub-adult foxes emigrated more frequently from the food-rich habitat than from the pristine, food-limited habitat, while adult foxes showed the opposite trend. During dispersal, adults exhibited lower survival while sub-adults did not experience additional mortality costs. Although fox mortality rates increased in response to food reduction, dispersal remained unchanged, while jackals showed strong dispersal response in two of the three repetitions. Jackal survival under food reduction was lowest for the dispersing individuals. While resources are an important dispersal determinant, different age classes and species experience the same resource environment differently and consequently have different motivations, yielding different dispersal responses and consequences.

Geffen E.,Tel Aviv University | Kam M.,Ben - Gurion University of the Negev | Hefner R.,Nature and Parks Authority | Hersteinsson P.,University of Iceland | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2011

Mating with close kin can lead to inbreeding depression through the expression of recessive deleterious alleles and loss of heterozygosity. Mate selection may be affected by kin encounter rate, and inbreeding avoidance may not be uniform but associated with age and social system. Specifically, selection for kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance may be more developed in species that live in family groups or breed cooperatively. To test this hypothesis, we compared kin encounter rate and the proportion of related breeding pairs in noninbred and highly inbred canid populations. The chance of randomly encountering a full sib ranged between 1-8% and 20-22% in noninbred and inbred canid populations, respectively. We show that regardless of encounter rate, outside natal groups mates were selected independent of relatedness. Within natal groups, there was a significant avoidance of mating with a relative. Lack of discrimination against mating with close relatives outside packs suggests that the rate of inbreeding in canids is related to the proximity of close relatives, which could explain the high degree of inbreeding depression observed in some populations. The idea that kin encounter rate and social organization can explain the lack of inbreeding avoidance in some species is intriguing and may have implications for the management of populations at risk. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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