Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 183–192 | Cite as

Conservation and management of the mediterranean coastal sand dunes in Israel

  • Kutiel P. 


The aims of this study are to review the current situation of the Israeli Mediterranean coastal sand dunes, to examine the causes for this situation, and to propose options for future conservation and management of the protected dune areas based on ecological, environmental, landscape and recreational demands and interests. The coastal dunes of Israel are characterized by diverse plant communities, with 173 plant species occurring on sand (8.2% of the total flora of Israel) including many endemic species (26% of all endemic species in Israel). Most of the species are annuals. The importance of the coastal strip as a centre of floral and faunal speciation is also manifested in the existing sand-bound animals. However, many species are rare. This is mainly due to the extensive industrial and urban development along the coastal plain and the direct and indirect destruction of the remaining open dune areas by tourism, recreation and sand mining. Only ca. 17% of the Israeli coastal dunes are still of good or reasonable ecological value, while < 5% of this area has been designated as protected area. Management policies differ from place to place and depend on local objectives. These objectives derive mainly from the knowledge and data that exist for each location, and its statutory status. Since 1995 several projects, which aim to develop integrated management tools for nature conservation and recreation uses for all coastal sand dunes in Israel have been conducted. These projects are summarized in the present paper.


Endemism Rare species Recreation Sand mining Tourism 


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Copyright information

© EUCC; Opulus Press Uppsala 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kutiel P. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Environmental DevelopmentBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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