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Location Israel
Central coordinates 34o 55.00' East  31o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B1iv, B2
Area 60,000 ha
Altitude 100 - 300m
Year of IBA assessment 1994

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel



Site description Low hills and cultivated land on the western slopes of the Judean mountains, 100-300 m above sea-level. The largest towns within this area are Kiryat Gat, Rehovot and Bet Shemesh. There are water reservoirs and sewage ponds.

Key Biodiversity The wetlands attract wintering waterfowl. A raptor migration route passes over the area.

Non-bird biodiversity: Mammals: Canis lupus (V) and Gazella gazella (V).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris winter  1991  10 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  1991  20 individuals  good  B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala winter  1991  100 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B2  Endangered 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1991  500 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra passage  1991  200 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis resident  1991  300 breeding pairs  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis winter  1991  2,000 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus passage  1991  2,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  1991  10-15 breeding pairs  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  1991  30 individuals  good  A1, B2  Least Concern 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca passage  1991  30 individuals  good  A1, B2  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  1991  5 individuals  good  B2  Vulnerable 
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina passage  1991  10,000 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus passage  1991  350 individuals  poor  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus passage  1991  300 individuals  good  B1i  Not Recognised 
Himantopus himantopus resident  1991  250 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus winter  1991  1,000 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1991  12,500 individuals  good  B1iv   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Horesh Adullam Nature Reserve 619 protected area contained by site 619  
Ma'aynot Gibbton Nature Reserve 8 protected area contained by site 8  
Nahal Me'ir Nahal Nahshon Nature Reserve 9 protected area contained by site 9  
Sansan Nature Reserve 377 protected area contained by site 377  
Sha'ar Ha-Gay Nature Reserve 7 protected area contained by site 7  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   75%
Grassland   minor
Shrubland   20%
Artificial - aquatic   5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
Notes: Agric/cultiv
hunting minor
Notes: Hunting
urban/industrial/transport minor
Notes: Urban/industrial/utility
water management minor
Notes: Water supply

Acknowledgements Data-sheet compiled by R. Frumkin.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Judean foothills. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife