In October 1994 the historic peace treaty between Israel and Jordan was signed. The IDF changed its deployment along the border and abandoned many of its bunkers. These bunkers were gradually adopted by new tenants: bats. The bats found here an alternative to their natural roosts – caves that have been taken over by people. The phenomenon was first noticed by Aviam Atar from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA), who, together with Dr. Eran Levin from the Mammal Center in the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) started investigating it. 12 bat species, some rare and endangered, were found to use the bunkers, in some cases one of the only meeting places for African, Asian and European species. It was also realized that the bats found it difficult to hang onto the smooth concrete and metal ceilings. Bat researchers Eran Levin and Eran Amichai from The Mammal Centre of SPNI , in collaboration with INPA and IDF’s Jordan Valley Brigade, with the support of Bat Conservation International (BCI) and The Hoopoe Foundation, have been working since the discovery to conserve the bats by adding gripping areas to the ceilings, protecting the bunkers at critical periods, research, monitoring, and public awareness projects. We invite you all to learn about our bats and watch them live on our web cam!
"Jordan River Bunker Bats" Is a collaborative initiative supported by several organizations: The Mammal centre of the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel. The Nature and Parks authority, The Jordan Valley IDF Brigade The Hoopoe Foundation
Bat Conservation International (BCI)
and The IDF District Coordination and Liaison.
Proffesional coordinator: Eran Amichai, SPNI and TLV University
The Live Cam is located in "Pasion" (Pheasant) bunker. This was the first Bunker that was found to be inhabited by bats. The camera is transmitting from the central room which was once used by the soldiers and is now being used by bats between May and November. The following species are known to inhabit this bunker: Trident Leaf-Nosed Bat Lesser Mouse-Tailed Bat Geoffroy’s Horseshoe Bat The camera is located in one of three rooms used mainly by Leaf-Nosed Bats.
At The beginning of April 2014, soldiers of the IDF's Jordan Valley Brigade "raided" 4 Bunkers and prepared them for the upcoming return of the bats.
Adapting bunkers to be used by bats includes roughing up the smooth ceilings of the bunkers by polyurethane foam, cement, hanging plastic nets, wires and any other holding points. Long term monitoring of these bunkers proves that these activities does improve the use of bunkers by bats.
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Trail cameras placed near the bunker reveals the secret life of the local animals such as Grey Wolves and Mountain Gazelles.