Mount Carmel

The Carmel Mt. biosphere reserve is located in the north west of Israel.

Designation Date: 1996
Surface area:
266 sq km
Administrative division:
Israel Nature and Parks Authority (NPA)


Human Activities

  • Tree cutting by local citizen as part of the forest andmaquee management.
  • Agriculture: from very intense in transition zones totraditional / ecological in buffer zone.
  • Picnic areas, hiking trails, traditional and craft marketsare located at buffer and transition zones.
  • Recycling activities takes place in many of the settlements.
  • Education programs dealing with nature protection

Ecological Characteristics

The reserve represent maquee in semiarid environment (hard-leaf woody vegetation), at the mountain area and two types of shoreline: rocky and sandy, one is highly diverse and unique representing one of the last Kurkar reefs in the world while the other is essential for logger head and green sea turtles as a nesting substrate.

The Carmel Mt. is highly diverse geologically. Lime stone, Dolomite and Chalk are the mainrocks and at least four different underwater volcanic eruptions can be detected allowing geologist to determine precise age and geological processes.

The maquee and its biodiversity are represented in three core areas based on different vegetation types: native Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), Kermes Oak (Quercus calliprinos) and Mt. TaborOak (Quercus ithaburensis), each as a dominant species addressing unique vegetation diversity in its environment.

The highlights of the biodiversity in the reserve are the fire salamander (Salamandra inframaculata) which the Carmel BR is the south point in the world where the species can be found. It responds to the arid conditions by positioning larva to winter temporal pools while the rest of the year it hides among rocks.

Roe deer and fallow deer are reintroduced along with Griffon vulture Egyptian vulture and therare Bonelli's eagle.

Among the flowers the Lilium candidumblooms in isolated cliffs and more than 10 species ofOrchids can be found in the reserve.

Protection Classifications

The core zones are nature reserves. Major parts of the buffer zone are national parks or KKL forests.

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