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Location Israel
Central coordinates 35o 33.00' East  32o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iv, B1i, B1iv, B2, B3
Area 7,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel

Site description The Jordan valley from Lake Kinneret to Tirat Zvi, west of the Jordan river. The highest point of the site is 209 m below sea-level. Most of the area is cultivated fields, date-palm plantations and fish-ponds. Fish-ponds are mainly located near Kefar Ruppin (c.3 km north-east of Tirat Zvi), Afikim and Bet Zera.

Key Biodiversity Kefar Ruppin is an important breeding site for herons and egrets. Other notable wintering species include Circus aeruginosus (10-13) and during migration this species is also common (daily max. 75).

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Caracal caracal (rare).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Stork Ciconia nigra passage  1991  5,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra winter  1991  50-100 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia passage  1991  200,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis resident  1991  500-600 breeding pairs  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax breeding  1991  380-400 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta breeding  1991  480-510 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Levant Sparrowhawk Accipiter brevipes passage  1991  15,000 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus passage  1991  12,000 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola passage  1991  250 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Black-winged Pratincole Glareola nordmanni passage  1991  200 individuals  poor  A1, B2  Near Threatened 
Dead Sea Sparrow Passer moabiticus breeding  1991  100-125 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1991  232,000 individuals  good  A4iv, B1iv   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high not assessed negligible

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ge'on HaYarden HaHof Hashaqet Nature Reserve 67 protected area contained by site 67  
Ge'on HaYarden Hamadya Nature Reserve 53 protected area contained by site 53  
Ge'on HaYarden Kefar Ruppin Nature Reserve 11 protected area contained by site 11  
Ge'on HaYarden Mao'z Hayyim Nature Reserve 53 protected area contained by site 53  
Horshat Zaqum (Kefar Ruppin) Nature Reserve 4 protected area contained by site 4  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   major
Artificial - aquatic   minor
Grassland   minor
Shrubland   minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
fisheries/aquaculture minor
nature conservation and research 4%
rangeland/pastureland minor
military -

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by S. Blitzblau, reviewed by R. Frumkin.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Northern lower Jordan valley. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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