About 140 thousand travelers visited national parks and nature reserves in Israel on Saturday, according to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Some, like the marine inspectors at Yam Ataf Nature Reserve, had the pleasure of making new friends under the sea.
Marine unit inspectors were able to meet a pod of dolphins during an inspection tour.
“The common dolphin is an endangered species in the Mediterranean Sea,” said Avitar Ben Avi, one of the inspectors. “Israel’s coasts have been defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as important for common dolphins. I was happy to have documented some of them.”
“Israel’s coasts have been defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as important for common dolphins. I was happy to have documented some of them.”
Avitar Ben Avi
Banias Nature Reserve
The Banias Nature Reserve saw 4,200 visitors on Saturday, which also marked 13 years since the reserve’s opening.
Ofer Shanar, the reserve’s director, said that “the visitors enjoyed an experiential day for the whole family. I was happy to see many visitors who came on Saturday to learn about the reserve, took part in the activity and walked the trails.”
EIN HEMED National Park. (credit: YANIV COHEN/NATURE AND PARKS AUTHORITY)
Park attendance and special activities
Also on Saturday, 5,600 people visited Caesarea National Park, 4,500 people went to Yarkon Tel Afek National Park, 4,300 trekked to Masada National Park, and Ashkelon National Park had 3,700 visitors.
The parks held various educational activities for guests to learn more about the flora and fauna they held.
The Carmel Hai-Bar Nature Reserve visitors became acquainted with: fallow deer, gazelles, roe deer and eagles. They also learned the reasons why the fallow deer are endangered, and how the Israel Nature and Parks Authority restored them to their native habitats using the park’s wide open spaces.