Line in the Sand – How the Same Species Differ Across Borders

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A study from the University of Haifa looked at differences between rodent, reptile, and ant lion species in Jordan and Israel.  The researchers found that, despite identical environmental conditions, there were quantifiable differences between populations of the same species in the two countries.

“The border line, which is only a demarcation on the map, cannot contain these species, but the line does restrict humans and their diverse impact on nature,” says Dr. Uri Shanas.


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The study, done with participation of researchers from Jordan’s University of Haifa-Oranim’s Faculty of Sciences and Science Education, found that reptile species are more diverse in Jordan, a species of ant lion has a larger population in Israel, and that Jordanian gerbils are less cautious than those found in Israel.

Researchers have found that differences in agricultural practices are the dominant reason for the differences.

“The current studies clearly display the influence that man has on nature – for better and for worse. Over the past years, advanced agricultural technology has been transferred from Israel to Jordan; and we must strengthen our understanding of the influences that modern agriculture has on nature, so that we can assist in preserving the large variety of species in the Arava region,” Dr. Shanas concludes.

Read more: Israeli Rodents are More Cautious than Jordanian One

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