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      Biosphere Reserve Information



Photo: Mount Carmel BR
  General Description   The Mount Carmel massif is situated in the northwestern part of the country, rising from the Mediterranean Sea to about 500 meters above sea level. The mountain is rich in its biological, geological and geomorphologic diversity with contrasting landscapes, a mixture of agricultural areas and prehistoric and archaeological sites. Mount Carmel is mainly covered with Mediterranean oak shrubland (Quercus calliprinos) and locally some mixed pine (Pinus halepensis) forests. Its batha and garrigue vegetation as well as coastal zones are of special interest from a conservation point of view.
Most parts of the mountain have been long used by man, thus natural ecosystems have undergone overgrazing, cutting and burning for centuries. The marketing of local products and tourism (about 2 million visitors per year) are major economic activities in the biosphere reserve, providing income for its 200,000 inhabitants (1996). Several visitor centers offer excursions and educational programmes.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, woodlands or scrubs
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mediterranean shrub-land forest dominated by Quercus calliprinos; mixed pine forest with Pinus halepensis; coastal plain and sea shore; woodland with Quercus ithaburensis and Ceratonia siliqua; agroecosystems; forestry ecosystems
  Location   3240'N; 3500'E (at central point)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   26,600
  Core area(s)   1,400
  Buffer zone(s)   18,500
  Transition area(s) when given   6,700
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +500
  Year designated   1996
  Administrative authorities   Nature and National Parks Protection Authority
  Brief description   Climate, hydrological and geomorphological descriptions and establishment of Carmel climate models
Fire ecology, forestry management
Study on chemical composition of soils
Recreational use of Mount Carmel and visitors characteristics
Studies on sociology, ethnology and religions (Univ. of Haifa)
Collaborative research with Berchtesgaden BR (Germany)
Prehistory and archaeological excavations
Wildlife reintroductions - follow up of salamander breeding center and endangered deer ethology, feeding station for vultures and other biological subjects
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, geomorphology, hydrology, modelling, soil.
  Biodiversity   Amphibians, ethology, fires/fire ecology, rare/endangered/threatened species, reintroduction, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Archaeology/Paleontology, forestry, recreation, social/socio-economic aspects, traditional practices/ethnology/traditional knowledge.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues.
  Contact address   Naftali Gedalyahu
Nature and National Parks Protection Authority
P.O. Box 36
30090 Usfiye
  Telephone   (972.4) 822 8983
  Fax   (972.4) 832 2287
  Web site
  Contact address   Abraham Haim
University of Haifa at Oranim Campus

36006 Tivon
  Telephone   972-4 983 87 02
  Fax   972 4 98 32 167

Last updated: 29/01/2002

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