Seasonal ponds, also known as winter ponds, are one of Israel's most fragile, sensitive, and rare habitats. These ponds are a unique type of weland habitat, filled with water for only part of the year. During the winter, water that sources these ponds come from rain, surface runoff, or groundwater, all allowing life to dwell and develop.
In the summer, the ponds dry up and lay dormant. Only species of plants and animals that are especially adapted to these extreme changes in their environment are able to survive. These includes plants, invertebrates, and amphibians, of which five of Israel's seven species are classified as endangered. Due to their sensitivity, winter ponds serve as excellend indicators for scientists to monitor the health of drainage systems.
A recent study estimated that 82% of Israel's winter ponds have been destroyed by human activity. SPNI is committed to ensuring that Israel's remaining seasonal ponds are preserved for future generations.
Take Action today- Protect the Ponds!
SPNI's Winter Pond Conservation Project embraces the organization's ethos of "educate, love, protect" in order to conserve Israel's 69 remaining winter ponds. SPNI works with schools and communities in organizing local activities, bringing them to the ponds so that they can learn about the surrounding nature that is often overlooked. By increasing awareness, the communities create connections to nature around them and strongly support SPNI's campaigns to save the ponds from destruction, whether by neglect or human development.
When working with local schools, SPNI takes students on two field trips to the ponds during the winter. During these trips, students study the various species living in the ponds and monitor population levels, remove invasive species so that Israel's endemic and indigenous species have room to thrive, and clean away the litter to make the ponds attractive recreational sites that are also safer for animals. Students make signs to mark the area of the pond so that during the dry season, people know that the ponds are an important ecosystem and not a potential construction site. SPNI also organizes community activity days, inviting parents of the students and other residents to celebrate the conservation work, learn about the ponds, and participate in fun activities.
Due to the lack of funding, SPNI is able to facilitate the local site adoption for only 20 seasonal ponds. If you would like to be a part of our activities in preserving one of Israel's rare and endagered habitats, or to find out more information, please contact us.