Endangered biblical animals are poised for a comeback in NATURE’s Lost World of the Holy Land.
Animals are a formidable presence in the Bible, which makes reference to more than a hundred species, some metaphorically and others literally. But many of those creatures are gone from the Holy Land today, or on the verge of extinction there.
The fleet-footed Nubian ibex, for example — the wild goat of the Bible — has been all but hunted out of existence. The Arabian oryx is relatively rare, as are Persian fallow deer. Ostriches once common to the deserts of the Middle East have vanished completely, and the vulture is in danger of following soon.
In a land rife with acrimony and violence, can there be hope of finding a commitment to wildlife preservation?
In fact, vigorous and inventive programs by Israeli and Arab conservationists are underway to stabilize and restore endangered animal populations, as NATURE highlights in Lost World of the Holy Land.
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Online content for Lost World of the Holy Land was originally posted April 2003.