Volunteering in Israel – Living with Desert Wildlife!

Posted by: Felix

I just graduated with an Ecology degree and got some time off, so I decided to spend my time volunteering in Israel at the Desert Wildlife Program. I have worked in a tropical Nature Reserve before and it would be interesting to learn about the desert wildlife through this opportunity.

Desert takes up almost 33% of the Earth land surface. Although it has much less species than tropical region, it is home to many endangered species and has an important role in evolution which has lead to the high diversity of animal life.

I always wanted to visit Israel, it is such a beautiful country, it’s multicultural, multi-faith, and the amazing people there really attract me. Israel as a desert country contains an extreme diverse flora and fauna; this is due to its geographical location. Israel is situated between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, therefore Asian and African species have mixed together and evolved into many endemic species that are only found in Israel. Unfortunately, due to hunting and loss of habitat, many species have become extinct or extinct in the wild.

The Desert Wildlife Program has successfully established a population for the Arabian Oryx and Scimitar Oryx that were originally extinct from the wild because of hunting for their horns. The population for Arabian Oryx is now high enough to release into the wild.

In the weekends, we traveled around Israel. We went snorkeling in the beautiful Eilat and swam with sergeant fish and parrot fish. I also went to Petra with some volunteers for 2 days, exploring the ancient Nabataeans civilisation; its awestruck architecture really amazed me.

Overall, it is a rewarding journey; I learnt a lot about some Biblical animals and experienced the harmony between different religions.