Waves Birds and aircraftPetsDolphins Sharon

  • Issue: December 1996
  • Designer: K. Messing
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 294 - 296
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

Birds and Aircraft

From the dawn of history, Israel's unique location at the crossroads of three continents has made it a central focus of international political tensions. This location, on the other hand, also represents a "bottleneck' and junction for migrating birds unmatched by any other site in the world Research over the past two decades has shown that around 500 million migrating birds fly over Israel's modest airspace twice a year, attracting bird watching "pilgrims" from all over the world who corns to observe the natural wonder of bird migration.

Nevertheless, this massive migration has created a serious safety problem for Israeli military aircraft and has critically endangered the lives of air force pilots. A joint research project carried out by the Israeli Air Force, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, the Ministry of Science and Tel Aviv University used light aircraft, a motorized glider, drones, radar, and ground observers in combination to reduce the number of air collisions by 88%, saving the Air Force around $350 million and safeguarding the lives of its pilots.

Currently, Tel Aviv University in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Nature and the "Yad LeShirion" (memorial to the Armoured Corps between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem) organization is setting up a center for studying bird migration at the "Yad LeShirion" site in Latrun. The center will investigate a variety of topics related to migration, including research, education, eco-tourism, and nature preservation, with an emphasis on their contribution to the peace process in our region, based on the slogan: "Migrating Birds Know No Boundaries." Further details are available at the internet site: www.birds.org.il


The bond between animals and humans is thousands of years old. For almost as long as man has existed, animals have been regarded as a source of food, work power and companionship. Raising animals for social and amusement purposes began in ancient Egypt and spread all over the world. Pets provide their owners with company, serve as social status symbols in many societies, and help mankind in various ways.

The most common reason for having a pet in Western society is the need for companionship, and the unconditional love end affection given by the pet. While most domestic animals serve some sort of economic or practical purpose, the benefits of keeping a pet are a direct result of the bond between the animal and its owners. In recent years, awareness of the contribution made by animals to the physical and emotional well-being of human beings has increased. Research has shown that animals have a therapeutic effect on humans. In Western societies, the strongest and most-common bond between humans and animals is with dogs and cats.

In Israel, the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University has undertaken a new project called "Animals and Society" to research the mutual relations between humans and animals.


Scores of Cetaceans - dolphins and small whales - live along Israel's Mediterranean coastline and in the Gulf of Eilat. Dolphins and whales are sea mammals and not fish! Several dolphin pods populate Israel's coastline, each containing 4-5 dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), striped dolphins (stenella) and the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) are the species most often found. The dolphin population extends from Rosh Hanikra in the north to Dugit Beach in the south.

Many of the dolphins have developed close relationships with fishing boats, especially trawlers. They approach the boats hoping for a 'free meal' and snatch any fish protruding from the nets.

Mariners on navy vessels, fishing boats and yachts often sight these loveable creatures riding in their wake and playing in the water currents as if they were surfing. Curious dolphins initiate dolphin-human encounters. The Israel Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center, sponsored by the Center for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa and the Israeli Ministry for the Environment, has recently been established. This representd the first and only attempt in the Middle East so far, to set up an active organization whose aim is the preservation and study of the marine mammals of the eastern Mediterranean basin and the Gulf of Eilat. The.center is located on the grounds of the Maritime School, Mevo'ot Yam, at Mikhmoret.

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Coexistence: man and animals