The Shezaf nature reserve
The birth of the Shezaf Nature Reserve, the only acacia-savannah protected area in Israel, is a direct result of the Arabian Babbler Research Project. Part of the Syrian-African Rift Valley, the thirteen thousand acre reserve is a haven for wildlife, including large mammals such as striped hyenas, Arabian wolves, caracals, the reintroduced wild ass, and desert gazelles. Many bird species, including Arabian Babblers, Hoopoes, Little Green Bee-Eaters, Desert Larks, Desert Finches, and Great Gray Shrikes (among others) can be seen regularly. The reserve is also home to the largest resident population of the Negev subspecies of Arabian warblers. Israel is the second largest migration route in the world, and the reserve is an important stopover site along this pathway.
The reserve is threatened by increasing habitat fragmentation from development and agriculture. It is a unique ecosystem and an important ecological corridor, situated in a hyper-arid environment. To learn more, contact the SPNI (Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel).