Friday, November 23, 2007

41,000 Cranes at Lake Huleh

Lake Huleh is located north of the Sea of Galilee.  Most of the Huleh basin was drained in the 1950s, but a small portion of the lake was preserved to become Israel's first national nature reserve.  This is the beginning of an article from KKL-JNF (link to specific article down at time of writing):

Cranes have become familiar guests at Hula Lake. During Israel’s autumn and winter months—October to March—there are an average of 10,000—30,000 cranes at the lake every day. Recently, a new daily record was set at Hula Lake—41,600 cranes in one day, as compared to last year’s record of 32,000, a 30% increase!

Watching the cranes is indeed a magnificent sight but besides the food placed for them in the lake area, they also eat seeds in nearby fields and cause a great deal of damage to local agriculture. With the increase of cranes remaining in the region, the importance of the crane-feeding project also increased, including leaving them food in agricultural areas earmarked for this purpose.

Zamir Carmi, field crops coordinator for Upper Galilee, noted that the crane-feeding project is a joint endeavor of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund [KKL-JNF] and other green organizations, but there is a budget deficit of 400,000 shekels [US $103,000], and the farmers have to chase the cranes away from the fields by running after them, playing loud music and waving brightly colored flags.

Lake Huleh birds, 70-21tb
Cranes on Lake Huleh

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