The Charter Group of Wildlife Ecology is a part of the Shamir Research Institute and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa. Our group general interests are wildlife ecology, management, ecosystem services, and outreach. We are especially interested in how wildlife and humans can coexist. For example, can predators be used in integrated pest management in agriculture to control pest species (rodents and insects). Two projects that we lead are whether barn owl can control rodents in crop fields or orchards and whether great tits can control coddling moths in apple orchards.
We study different small mammal populations (mainly social voles and house mice), diurnal (common kestrels) and nocturnal raptors (barn owls and long-eared owls), song birds (great tits and house sparrow), and invasive species (ringed-parakeet and common myna). We are also interested in how different biotic and abiotic factors affect breeding success in birds. We have been using artificial nest sites during the past 10 years to study management methods, competitive interactions (both native and invasive species species), reproductive behavior of breeding birds and the evolution of color traits in barn owls. In our research, we like to combine both low (i.e. intensive field work) and high tech (i.e. drones, tracking devices) methods to answer different scientific questions.
Lastly, we are also very interested in citizen science and STEM educational projects to introduce kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school students to scientific research.
Israel's leaders in:
Using barn owl as biological pest control agents of rodents in agriculture