Owing to the geographic location, two subspecies of grey wolf exist in the Middle-East, including Palestine. The Indian wolf (C. l. pallipes) inhabits woodlands and grasslands from the north Palestine to the Indian subcontinent, while the Arabian wolf (C. l. arabs) is endemic to the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula and Southern Levant, and it is critically endangered across most of its geographic range. Both subspecies of wolf are protected in few parts of their geographical range; however, both wolf species are facing persecution, especially the Arabian wolf. Wolves and many other mammals are not actively protected in Palestine. Likely reasons for this include the political situation in Palestine, week law enforcement, and the dearth of knowledge about the pivotal ecological roles played by predators among Palestinians. Moreover, the interest within Palestinian communities regarding the protection and conservation of nature and wildlife varies. Hunting, historically, have been a large part of Arab culture, and persists as a common occurrence across the Arab world, which primarily lead to the rapid decline in the populations of the Arabian wolf along its geographical range, including Palestine.
The Arabian grey wolf (Canis lupus arabs) is a critically endangered subspecies of the grey wolf that lives in the desert areas of Southwest Asia, northeast of Africa between the Red Sea in the west and the Persian Gulf in the east, including Palestine. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the occurrence, distribution, and status of the Arabian wolf in Palestine. Several techniques were used in this research, including conducting personal interview with local people at specific sites, field survey, using camera traps, and finally, opportunistic sampling. The project was able to to provide new information regarding the status of the Arabian wolf in Palestine, species distribution range, which will support conservation efforts to protect and conserve this endangered species. This study was the first at the national level to focus on the Arabian wolf in Palestine. Additionally, the study assessed the trophic impact of wolves on meso-predators such as jackals and foxes, and highlighted the conflict between human (e.g., shepherds and Bedouins) and apex predators (Arabian wolf, which is the only remaining apex (top) predator in Palestine).
Date: Oct 2020- Sep 2022
Donor: Centre for Compassionate Conservation