| SIX NEW BREEDING BIRD SPECIES IN ISRAEL DURING 1995-2002 |
NIR SAPIR A1
A1 Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, P.O. Box 653, Be'er Sheva 84105, Israel
The diverse breeding bird fauna of Israel comprises elements from various zoogeographical regions. This is predominantly attributed to the zoogeographic position of Israel and its high habitat diversity. In this article I provide information on six bird species new to breeding in Israel since 1995: green-backed heron (Butorides striatus), purple gallinule (Porphyrio porphyrio), painted snipe (Rostratula benghalensis), thick-billed lark (Rhamphocoris clotbey), wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), and common mynah (Acrido-theres tristis). The data provided here on the breeding habits of each species vary in extent. A recently fledged wallcreeper comprises the only indication of the species' breeding in the country, or near its borders. In the cases of the purple gallinule and the painted snipe, adults were found rearing their young, while the green-backed heron and, especially, the thick-billed lark were studied throughout their entire breeding period. The common mynah is a recently introduced species whose local breeding features have not yet been thoroughly studied. The wallcreeper has a Central Palearctic distribution, while the remaining species or subspecies have a desert distribution within the Palearctic or a Paleotropic distribution. It is striking that most of the local breeding events of these species are closely connected to human-induced habitat modifications. With the addition of these six new breeding species, the total number of bird species found to breed in Israel is now 210, although some of these species no longer do so.
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