SPNI Sites

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) sites include Start-Up Nature wetlands that integrate innovative design to restore natural habitats and create a sustainable refuge for migratory birds, urban nature sites that exemplify our commitment to wildlife preservation and sustainable development in urban environments, and vibrant field schools for immersive environmental education in diverse regions across Israel.

Start-Up Nature

Hundreds of millions of birds migrate between Europe, Asia, and Africa twice each year. Today, Israel is the lone refueling station left on their grueling journey. But Israel’s habitats are disappearing. Without them, the consequences will be devastating. These sites are the first of this large rewilding initiative. Learn about how you can support our innovative project to help.


K’far Ruppin

Nestled in Kibbutz K’far Ruppin, SPNI’s Start-Up Nature wetland restoration pilot site started here. It’s success is a testament to ecological revival and innovation. This project, rooted in rewilding principles, intricately restores the marsh ecosystem of K’far Ruppin, creating a haven for diverse wildlife and a resting point for migrating birds. Visitors are not only immersed in nature’s resurgence, but also engage in an educational journey within this revitalized habitat.

Ma’agan Michael

The wetland ecosystem of Ma’agan Michael was thoughtfully rewilded in SPNI’s Start-Up Nature initiative, establishing a thriving sanctuary for a rich array of biodiversity. The 33-acre Ma’agan Michael plan includes four ponds, a visitor center, wheelchair-accessible trails, bird hides and blinds, and a migration research outpost. Visitors to the Start-Up Nature site in Ma’agan Michael get to witness firsthand the impactful transformation of this coastal haven and embrace the sustainable coexistence of ecosystems.

Urban Nature Sites

SPNI is actively involved in the preservation of critical wildlife habitats, including the Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO), the International Birding and Research Center Eilat (IBRCE), and Gazelle Valley. These sites play a vital role in wildlife conservation and research. JBO and IBRCE contribute to global bird monitoring efforts, while Gazelle Valley stands as an urban oasis, promoting biodiversity and serving as a model for sustainable urban development. SPNI’s commitment to these sites reflects its dedication to safeguarding Israel’s rich natural heritage.

Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO)

The Nili and David Jerusalem Bird Observatory, Israel’s first urban wildlife site, is located the heart of the busy city right next to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Although only 1.5 acres in size, the site acts like a magnet, attracting thousands of migrating songbirds to its pond and fruit trees. This makes it the perfect place to conduct research into migration via the bird ringing station, and for some seriously quality birdwatching from the Beracha bird hide at the Nyman Pond.

International Birding and Research Center Eilat (IBRCE)

The Eilat region serves as a vital migratory route for hundreds of millions of birds traveling between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Despite the challenges posed by human development, the International Birding and Research Center in Eilat (IBRCE) is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing bird habitats, renewing food sources, and actively participating in nature conservation efforts. Through extensive research on migratory bird conditions, environmental surveys, and outreach activities, IBRCE not only safeguards the bird sanctuary but also fosters regional cooperation with Jordanian and Palestinian partners to promote cross-border nature conservation and environmental awareness.

Gazelle Valley

Gazelle Valley is the biggest urban nature site in Israel. It is the best place to watch the mountain gazelles  species in their natural habitat. About 65 members of this endangered species are living in the park, leading a mostly natural lifestyle. Like in the wild, the gazelles  find food on their own, breed, raise their young, and fight over territory. Alongside the gazelles the park is home to dozens of species of birds, reptiles, insects, and plants, compiling a functioning urban ecosystem

Field Schools

Field Schools are an integral part of SPNI’s operations and a focal point for local eco-activities. They play a leading role in Israeli environmental tourism and education. SPNI Field Schools provide rustic to basic accommodation, kosher dining, and educational hiking and walking tours.


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