A Nature and Parks Authority warden found a Hula painted frog on Tuesday, a species of frog that is unique to Israel and was thought to have become extinct more than 50 years ago. Hula Nature Reserve warden Yoram Malka found a similar frog in the same area two weeks ago, of the opposite gender.
“The discovery of the first frog hinted at the general area and hours of activity for this species,” Malka said. Malka invested great efforts in the last two weeks searching for other frogs of this variety.
The second Hula painted frog, a female, was found on Tuesday in swampy weeds, twenty centimeters deep, and at 13 grams weighs only half of her male counterpart. Nature and Parks Authority staff will be conducting tests in the days to come to try to learn more about the rare frogs, before they are re-released into the wild.
According to Dr. Dana Milstein, an ecologist with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the rare frog got its Hebrew name – agulashon shehor-gahon – from its black belly and round tongue, which, unlike that of other frogs, is not used to catch prey.
Malka’s first discovery two weeks ago shocked conservationists and scientists who deal with this field in Israel. The Hula painted frog had been one of the primary symbols of natural extinction in Israel after it had disappeared following the drying of Lake Hula in the 1950s.
“I saw something jump that didn’t look familiar,” said Malka. “I rushed over and caught a frog, and when I turned it over I saw that it had a black belly with white spots, the identifying mark of the painted frog. I immediately returned [with it] to the reserve’s office and took out the animal handbook, and I saw that what I had found look exactly like the painted frog that appears in the handbook.”
Dr. Sarig Gafni of Ruppin Academic Center’s School of Marine Sciences, an expert in amphibians, was immediately summoned to the reserve, and he arrived with the original scientific paper from 1940 in which the Hula painted frog was described.
“We went through the article, sign by sign, and checked all the indicators, including the distance between the eyes, and it is indeed a Hula Painted Frog,” said Gafni. “It’s very exciting; to me it’s like finding the Dead Sea Scrolls of nature conservation in Israel. We must remember that in the past, only three adult samples of this species had ever been found.”
For years Israeli researchers have been trying to locate the frog, searching in and around every spring and streambed in the area where the Hula marshes were dried up, but without success. Thus it was assumed that the act of drying up the Hula and the destruction of other natural habitats through pollution and development had sealed the fate of this unique species.
Milstein believes that the frog’s discovery is linked to environmental improvements in the Hula reserve. “In recent years, the water quality has improved, after they started to pour water from fish ponds and nearby springs into the reserve,” she said.
A road trip straight through Israel. Had no idea what the complexities and diversity of the cultures were, but I got deeper and deeper, seeing all walks of life living together in this amazing land. The conglomerate of things happening in that tiny, but EPIC country (it’s smaller than New Jersey!) packed a punch like a bustling beehive. I was overwhelmed and totally let Israel envelope me. I bonded with every flavor of person there… they were all Israeli. They were all beautiful people. (By the way, the title isn’t spelled wrong, lol…read it again
Shot with the 7D and edited with Sony Vegas
I edited this video with a fever, kidney infection, and $4 headphones! LOL.
Music by the amazing John Adams (Harmonielehre_ Part III – Meister)amazon.com/gp/product/B000TH4VOK/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk3
In conjunction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change currently occurring in Durban, South Africa, the Jewish National Fund will be hosting an official side event on adapting forest practices to the effects of climate change.
The program, called “Modifying Afforestation Practices in Adaptation to Climate Change,” will occur on December 3, and will share the techniques of the JNF – and Israel in general – toward keeping forests healthy in semi-arid regions, particularly when the regions encounter disasters such as last year’s Carmel fire.
“Our knowledge is required more and more today because of a desertifying world and water scarcity,” said Dr. Orr Karassin, board member of JNF, leader of the Israeli delegation to Durban and faculty director of the Open University’s sociology and public law departments.
“What we’re trying to do at this conference is share some of this knowledge with other countries, especially with developing countries,” she said.
Many developing countries in the southern hemisphere share Israel’s issues of land dryness, and could benefit from the JNF’s “low-tech” solutions for cultivating forests, as a result of far less deployable hitech strategies, according to Karassin.
Another issue that will be a target point at the event is how to effectively prepare forests for an ever-drying environment that is more and more susceptible to forest fires, she explained. The organization will be presenting a report that it has conducted in the past year following the Carmel fire.
“We are trying to share this knowledge and gain some knowledge from them, especially from the US,” she added.
Allowing for biodiversity and “natural re-growth but with containment,” is key to preserving forests after fires, according to Karassin.
“We’re trying to allow more diversity because we know today that biological diversity, ecological diversity, is a key component to an ecosystem,” she said.
Aside from speaking about the aftermath of fire, the event also intends to address different types of forest maladies that can endanger plant growth.
“Climate change is not only a human health issue but also an ecological issue,” said Karassin.
In recent years, walls and derelict building in Tel Aviv, mainly its center and south, have been covered with various images: from simple slogans and complex graffiti to carefully executed colorful compositions.
These works, some in large format, some small and hidden, are unique in the daring and innovation they demonstrate regarding street/art relations, and display the various styles of the artists and their techniques (aerosol, acrylic, pasting and stencils). The works, some colorful, some black and white, are all made clandestinely and illicitly, and their execution requires skill, talent, speed and excellent spatial perception. The exhibition presents the major street artists active in Tel Aviv, the various media and styles they use, and their different ways of dealing with the shift from the bustle of detail-laden streets to the Museum’s white walls.
AME72, Adi Sened, Broken Fingaz, Foma
Maya Samuels, 18, among 24 young scientists from all around the world invited to present their high school research work to this year’s Nobel Prize laureates in Sweden
Maya Samuels, 18, of the northern community of Yesod Hama’ala, is so excited she has been having trouble sleeping in the past few days.
Instead, she devotes every available moment to rehearse the lecture she will be giving Nobel Prize laureates in Sweden in about 10 days.
Samuels, who graduated from the Har Veguy High School in Kibbutz Dafna last summer, has been chosen to represent Israel in a gathering of young scientists from all around the world, who will present their research work to the 2011 Nobel Prize winners.
She was invited to the event thanks to a unique method she developed, which prevents paint from fading. This discovery carries important implications in the fields of art, textile, the coloring of exterior surfaces and printing.
Samuels conducted the research, under the guidance of Prof. Giora Ritbo, as part of her studies at the Science Education Center for Youth at Tel Hai College. Her discovery was selected out of 76 term papers of Israeli students at the Davidson Institute at the Weizman Institute of Science.
She will be joining 23 outstanding your scientists from all around the world, who have been chosen to present their work to the Nobel laureates.