Characterizing core and corridor use by Nubian ibex in the Negev Desert, Israel

Yehoshua Shkedy, David Saltz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Corridors have become a key element of conservation efforts. To identify and characterize corridors used by Nubian ibex (Capra ibex nubiana), we analyzed sighting data recorded for the past 20 years in the Israel Nature Reserves Authority data banks. We categorized each recorded sighting as belonging to a corridor or a core zone based on the total number of sightings in its vicinity. We identified three main core populations, a natural corridor connecting two of them, and a corridor that was not evident connecting the third population. Ibex inside and outside core zones were sighted on steeper terrain than expected by chance; this was more pronounced inside the core zones than outside them. We hypothesize that because ibex outside core zones must move rapidly and directionally across unfamiliar habitats, they must use more moderate terrain. Although ibex sightings in core zones were mostly in the vicinity of water, we found no relationship between the location of the sightings and proximity to water sources in the corridor. Hence, water does not appear to be an important factor in movement through corridors. It was more common to observe ibex out of the core zones during the summer. Males, which can be twice the size of females, were found traveling alone in corridors more often than in core zones. There was no difference between males and females in the steepness of terrain in which they were sighted outside core zones. Our data show that protecting ibex habitat in core zones and corridors is important to ibex conservation in Israel's arid zones. In addition, protecting this habitat may benefit other rock-dwelling species in the area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-206
Number of pages7
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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