The Arabian Wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) is a keystone carnivore in Palestine (27,000 km2). During the last 15 years, dozens of the Arabian Wolf managed to cross the Green Line or the de-facto borders that isolate the Gaza Strip from the rest of Palestinian Territories occupied by Israel since 1948 and infiltrate the Gaza Strip (365 km2). The current study investigates the concerns associated with the sporadic occurrence of the Arabian Wolf in the eastern Gaza Strip - Palestine. The current study, which lasted 10 years (2013-2022), was based on various procedures including field observations, frequent visits to local zoos, meetings and discussions with local farmers, breeders of domestic animals and wildlife hunters, constant follow-up of news and social media and photography. According to old Gazans, the Arabian Wolf was present in the Gaza Strip 7-8 decades ago, and after that its numbers decreased to zero. After the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the uprooting of its settlements in late 2005, dozens of Arabian Wolf and other carnivores crept intermittently through gaps in the border to the east of the Gaza Strip. The Arabian Wolf often arrives at night, looking for food, and it returns again in the morning hours to the Gaza Envelope. Many individuals have been captured or killed by Gazans at night using live traps "Maltash", leghold traps "Fakh", or even rifles and cartridges. Some healthy specimens have been sold and kept in cages at local zoos. Many plausible factors encouraged the infiltration of Arabian Wolves and other canids into the eastern Gaza Strip, such as the abundance of wildlife prey attracted by solid waste dumps, sewage treatment plants, and agricultural production activities of various crops, in addition to the abundance of animal pens and poultry farms. The concern of Gazans living in the eastern regions of the Gaza Strip stems from the attack of Arabian Wolves and other predators on animal pens and poultry farms, the probable spread of rabies, and the possibility of Arabian Wolves attacking humans, especially children. To avoid the damage of Arabian Wolves and predators sneaking across the border, some Gazans built protective fences, and to avoid being attacked by these animals, some Gazans, especially the young, refrained from going out at night. In conclusion, Arabian Wolves and other carnivores are an important and vital part of the Palestinian ecosystems that must be protected sustainably.
Abdel Fattah N Abd Rabou. Concerns associated with the sporadic occurrence of the Arabian wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) in the eastern Gaza Strip – Palestine. Int. J. Fauna Biol. Stud. 2023;10(1):07-18.