Israel leopard- note photo i from 1980s copyright יוסי אוד yossi aud Creative Commons Attribution 2.5


Standing at the  meeting point of 3 continents, Israel had an incredible range of wildlife in historical times. It is true that much of this has gone, but some still remains, and visits that try to see what is left, will encourage its protection, and potentially, reintroductions as well. Species which survive but with only very few remaining, include the Israeli Leopard (shown above) and the sand cat. Recent local extinctions include the European water vole, the Asiatic cheetah(1959) and the Caucasian squirrel, however during the 20th century, the white oryx, Syrian brown bear, Asiatic lion, crocodile, red deer and Syrian wild ass all become extinct in the region. In the past, even Hippo and possibly Syrian elephant have lived in this country.

Jungle Cats, Golden Jackals, Wild Boar, Egyptian Mongoose, Bats, introduced Nutria and Eurasian Otters. It is questionable as to whether any Leopards still exist, though they have been photographed in the country in the last 20 years. Between 100 and 150 Arabian wolves are found across the Negev and the Arava. 

Thirty species of snake occur in Egypt, about half of them venomous. These include the Egyptian cobra, false smooth snake and horned viper. There are also many species of lizards (a tourist keeping their eyes open are likely to see at least a few lizards during a visit. Above the Aswan Dam, the shores of Lake Nasser are largely barren, but the lake does support the last remaining Nile crocodiles and African softshell turtle in Egypt.

The population of Israel is growing, putting pressure on what wildlife remains, however, there are many people working to protect the local wildlife. While most people would argue that there is not enough wildlife to do the equivalent of a safari, there is far more than much of Europe, and as always, tourism can only encourage protection of the areas that still remain.

There are also over 100 fish species that survive in the Nile.

Israel News

See Animals Wild
Skip to toolbar