Israeli wildlife are already threatened by illegal hunting and development projects that result in a lack of available land for animals to roam in. Now, according to Haaretz, they face being snared by fencing placed by wine vineyard growers in the Judean Hills near Jerusalem.
Fencing vineyards in Judean Hills
According to the article, animals like gazelles who “run by instinct” get caught in the fencing placed around vineyards, where they are then injured or eaten by predators like hyenas, jackals or wild “feral” dogs. The Barkan winery, who have been fencing in their vines, say they are doing this because wildlife are eating the tender green plants.
A suggestion has been made by the Society for Protection of Nature (SPNI) to sheathe the young grape vines with plastic to discourage animals like gazelles from eating them. Barkan spokesmen have replied that they are prepared to try leaving a few vineyard plantings unfenced to see what happens. If the gazelles eat the growing green parts, then they will replant and fence the areas, on SPNI’s account.
The Barkan vineyards are located in areas of the Judean Hills that are passages for wildlife. Real estate developers are also cutting off parts of the open areas for wildlife and this has resulted in even less open spaces available. The situation is even more complicated when agriculture guest workers poach wild animals to eat for food.
Oryx and other hoofed animals are having fencing problems in Arabia
Israel is not the only country where fencing agricultural crops have been proven to be dangerous for wildlife. It was reported last year on Green Prophet that “protective fencing” erected in Saudi Arabia is very dangerous for wildlife and even results in species like Arabian Oryx and gazelles starving to death because their normal food supplies are cut off.
Regarding the Barkan winery, SPNI is calling for a boycott of the company’s products until it stops fencing in wild animals’ feeding range.
Fencing photo: Dov Greenblatt, SPNI
More about wild animals at risk:
Plight of North African Wild Ass, the Stripe-less Zebra
Israeli wild animals killed by economic development
Thai Migrant Workers Poach Wildlife for Food in Israel
Protective Fencing Causes Mass Starvation of Saudi Wildlife