Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park

Zichron Yaakov, Israel

Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park

Zichron Yaakov, Israel
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Landau S.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Azaizeh H.,AMR Research | Muklada H.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Glasser T.,Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2010

The Damascus and Mamber breeds of goats thrive in Middle Eastern Mediterranean regions where the tannin-rich (20% of polyethylene glycol-binding tannins) brush species Pistacia lentiscus L. (lentisk) is ubiquitous. In light of the increasing recognition of the anthelmintic activity of plant tannins, we examined the effect of offering lentisk foliage for 24 days on fecal egg excretion in 5.5-month-old Damascus and Mamber kid goats (n=28) following infection with 10,000 L3 larvae of mixed gastro-intestinal nematodes (GIN). Lentisk foliage was consumed with or without a daily supplement of 20. g polyethylene glycol (PEG; MW 4000). Lentisk tannins showed a strong protein-depletive effect that was totally reversed by the addition of PEG. At the peak of infection, kids of the two breeds lost weight unless they were fed with lentisk without PEG. Fecal egg counts (FEC) were lowest - and did not differ from 0 - in kids fed lentisk without PEG, highest in the controls fed hay as roughage, and intermediate in kids fed lentisk and PEG (241, 1293, and 705 eggs per gram, respectively, SEM 180; P<0.001); therefore, the anthelmintic activity of lentisk was only partly attributable to tannins. The suppressive effect of lentisk on FEC ceased when feeding was discontinued, suggesting that female parasites were not killed but their fertility was reversibly impaired. Damascus kids showed lower FEC than their Mamber counterparts, inferring that the effect of foraging on tannin-rich species is only additive to genetic differences between goat breeds in their sensitivity to GIN infection. On the basis of our results we would expect yearlong lentisk grazing to result in no or very low GIN infection, and Damascus goats to have some advantage over Mamber goats where chemical control of GIN is unfeasible. There appears to be a trade-off between the benefits of lentisk tannin as drug and its side-effects (protein depletion) when given at high level; how goats balance this trade-off requires further elucidation. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

PubMed | Hebrew University of Jerusalem, FH Dresden, National Museum of Natural History, Desert Research Institute and 3 more.
Type: | Journal: Global change biology | Year: 2016

The arid and semi-arid drylands of the world are increasingly recognized for their role in the terrestrial net carbon dioxide (CO

Evlagon D.,Forestry Section | Kommisarchik S.,Forestry Section | Glasser T.,Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park | Hadar L.,Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park | Seligman N.G.,Agricultural Research Organisation
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2010

The difficulty of determining the intake of browse grazed by goats is widely recognized. We suggest that a reasonable estimate of the amount of edible browse available to goats grazing shrubby Mediterranean vegetation can be derived from actual grazing data of goat herds that have obtained most of their annual maintenance requirements from pasture dominated by shrubs or shrubby trees. We have conducted such estimates on three forests in the Hills of Judea, two of which were grazed by milking herds and one by a herd producing mainly kids. The estimated long-term annual carrying capacity of the shrubby vegetation ranged between 457 and 725 grazing days per ha of shrub cover for the milking herds and 735 grazing days per ha for the non-milking herd. Assuming an average daily DM intake of 1.5. kg/goat/day, the amount of browse DM consumed from the woody vegetation was estimated to be between 686 and 1103. kg/ha of shrubby vegetation. In the literature, estimates of annual DM production of new growth of shrubby vegetation range widely between 200 and 2000. kg/ha, but as most estimates do not indicate the cover of the woody vegetation, the actual amounts produced by a unit area of shrubby vegetation could well be higher. The browse ingested by the goats in the Judean Hills is evidently somewhere between half to one-third of the annual above ground DM production. The estimates derived in the present study define a range of useable browse production on Mediterranean woodland that is derived from actual, long-term use of shrubby pasture by commercial goat herds. They indicate that the nutritional value of the pasture for goats is, as a rule, more than double that for sheep or cattle. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Arviv A.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Arviv A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Muklada H.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Kigel J.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | And 5 more authors.
Applied Animal Behaviour Science | Year: 2016

Nitrophilic thistles such as milk thistle (Sylibum marianum) and Syrian thistle (Notobasis syriaca) encroach rangeland areas where animals gather and defecate, in particular around watering and feeding points. High densities of milk and Syrian thistles (MST) diminish forage yields and detract from the amenity value of these areas. The aims of the present study were: (i) to test the safety of feeding MST to adult goats; (ii) to determine if preconditioning adult goats to MST, by feeding it indoors together with concentrate, enhances preference for MST when they graze MST-rich pastures; and (iii) to test for generational transfer by comparing the propensity to consume MST and the preference for MST over clover hay for weaned kids that previously suckled from does that were, or were not, preconditioned to consume MST fed as green fodder. We found that eating MST was not toxic to adult goats. Over six observation sessions of one hour, preconditioned goats devoted 50% more time to consuming MST than non-conditioned counterparts (30.3% versus 20.6%, respectively; P = 0.0005), and kids that experienced the preconditioning period together with their does tended (P = 0.08) to show a greater preference for MST over clover hay than their counterparts born to non-conditioned adults. Although the efficacy in depleting the seed bank has yet to be verified, from the point of view of the animal, goats may be used in targeted grazing of milk and Syrian thistles. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Levin N.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Watson J.E.M.,University of Queensland | Watson J.E.M.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Joseph L.N.,University of Queensland | And 10 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

Active and dynamic management of biodiversity is of utmost importance in the face of increasing human pressures on nature. Current approaches for site selection of protected areas often assume that both conservation features and management actions are fixed in space and time. However, this approach should be revised to allow for spatio-temporal shifts of biodiversity features, threats and management options. Our aim here was to demonstrate a novel approach for systematic conservation planning at a fine scale that incorporates dynamic ecological processes (e.g., succession), biodiversity targets and management costs. We used the new 'Marxan with Zones' decision support tool to spatially redistribute the major structural types of vegetation within a privately-owned nature park in Israel and facilitate the achievement of multiple conservation targets for minimum cost. The park is located in the Mediterranean climate region of the eastern Mediterranean Basin, one of Earth's richest biodiversity hotspots. This small park alone (4.5km2) holds 660 species of native plants and six structural types of vegetation. The region has been subject to manifold human pressures such as grazing, clearing and fire for millennia and is currently threatened by a range of modern human-related activities (e.g., invasive alien species). By spatially redistributing the six structural vegetation types under three scenarios, representing different conservation objectives (no change, equal distribution - evenness of structural types, preference to early succession stages) within three budget frameworks, we identified a set of near-optimal conservation strategies that can be enacted over time. The current spatial distribution of structural types and the cost of changing one structural type into another via management actions had a major impact on the spatial prioritization outcomes and management recommendations. Notably, an advanced successional stage (dense Mediterranean garrigue) tended to dominate a large portion of the landscape when the available budgets were low because it is a relatively inexpensive structural type to maintain. The approach presented here can be further applied to spatially prioritize conservation goals in the face of shifting environments and climates, allowing dynamic conservation planning at multiple spatial scales. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Glasser T.A.,Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park | Landau S.Y.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Ungar E.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Muklada H.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization | Perevolotsky A.,Israel Agricultural Research Organization
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2012

In May, 2002 fourteen Damascus goats were bought and held at the Ramat-Hanadiv Nature Park on Mt. Carmel, in central Israel. The main purpose of purchasing the goats was to collect scientific information regarding grazing behaviour of different goat breeds and seasons and apply it in the management of the nature park. The research aimed at bridging the agricultural and ecological aspects of grazing in Mediterranean shrubland and reconciling the needs of both farmers and landscape managers. Fecal NIRS calibrations were developed using the MPLS routine of the Win-ISI II software in order to determine dietary quality and botanical composition of free-grazing goats' diets. Reference values for calibration were obtained by a NIRS-oriented observation method that combined focal observation, digital recording and computerized 'reconstruction' of the diet. Further on, the equations were used for determining dietary composition of three goat breeds (Damascus, Boer and Mamber) in different seasons. These data were implemented in the context of a yearly grazing program at the park. Due to the relatively poor results of the Boer goats, they were excluded and the herd has expanded (to 150 head) with Mamber and Damascus goats. The herd forages daily at specific locations in the park with specific management goals, such as suppression of P. lentiscus (approx. 20% tannins) or consumption of forest understory vegetation. Most scientific results are implemented in the park and herd management. The herd serves as a semi-commercial herd, since milk and cheese are produced, as well as for agro-tourism activities.

Massada A.B.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Massada A.B.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Kent R.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Blank L.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Remote Sensing | Year: 2012

In Mediterranean regions, the combination of disturbances, life histories, plant regeneration traits, and microhabitat variability form highly heterogeneous vegetation mosaics which shift in space and time. Consequently, structure-based forest management is emerging as a superior alternative to management of vegetation formations in such areas. Delineation of management units in these areas is often based on manual interpretation of aerial imagery coupled with field surveys. Here, we propose an alternative approach that is based on segmentation of remotely sensed height and cover maps derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imagery. A large suite of alternative segmentation maps was generated using multiresolution segmentation (MS) with different parameters, and an area-fit approach used to select the map that most successfully captured a reference set of structural units delineated manually. We assessed the feasibility of this approach in a nature reserve in northern Israel, compared the resulting map with a traditional vegetation formations map, and explored the performance of the segmentation algorithm under various parameter combinations. Pronounced differences between the structure and formation maps highlight the suitability of this approach as an alternative to the existing methods of delineating vegetation units in Mediterranean systems, and possibly in other systems as well. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

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