The Jerusalem Wilderness

The Jerusalem Wilderness

El-Bariyah  Most of the el-Bariyah area is classified as Irano-Turanian in climate, with a mountainous desert habitat. Essentially a treeless, thin-soiled, arid and dramatically eroding limestone plateau is dissected by wadi draining towards the Dead Sea. This region lies in the rain-shadow of the central highlands, from south east of Bethlehem to the regions of the south of Hebron. It can be reached either by Bethlehem district or from the south side of the Dead Sea region and go up to the high mountain and then to this wonderful area. This area is contact with Ain Gedi region from the southern eastern part region of the West  Bank.

This area has a unique geological formation, bio-geographic location, and an abundance of water from flash floods and permanent springs, these factors help to create a natural diversity within the desert habitat in this region.

El-Bariyah is consequently classified by the criteria of Birdlife international as one of the most important Bird Areas in the Western Palaearctic. Birds increasingly concentrate here in considerable numbers during breeding, on passage, and in winter, especially since el-Bariyah is on one of the major migration routes for many bird species worldwide.

El-Bariyah is also rich in cultural heritage. Archeological investigations have shown continuous occupation in different parts of it, extending from the Lower  Palaeolithic period to modern times. Evidence of habitation in early prehistoric times (100,000-10.000 BC) is particularly well-attested along the north side of Wadi Khareitun where three caves, “Iraq al-Ahmar, Umm Qal’a, and Umm Qatafa’, once provided homes in a wooded landscape overlooking a river. Umm Qatafa, across the wadi opposite ‘ Old Laura’
monastery, has a particular significance in providing the earliest evidence of the domestic use of fire inPalestine.

The animals of this area: The most important animals of this area are: Capra ibex, Gazella, Rocky Hyrax, Fox, Hyeana.

The birds of this region: The Large Raptors especially the Egyptian Vulture is one of the birds in this region and this bird stay in this area and it breads in it. There is also the Griffon Vulture that is founded in the western site of Al Fashkha and on theDead Sea.

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