Positioned directly on the path of the Western bird migration route, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, through which 500 million birds migrate in the spring and fall, the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration (ICSBM) is located at the Armored Corps Memorial Center, which attracts some 400,000 visitors annually.

The center was founded by Dr. Yossi Leshem who was the Executive Director of the SPNI until 1995, and is a Senior Researcher in the Department of Zoology in the Faculty of Life

Sciences at Tel Aviv University. ICSBM – Latrun is the joint initiative of Tel Aviv University and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel.

The center deals with many cutting edge and creative educational projects:

  • Research: We are leading a series of research projects, for example tracking storks, pelicans, vultures and cranes by attaching satellite transmitters to them; using raptors (barn owls and kestrels) as biological pest controllers of rodents; research of bird migration using bird radars for military purposes (Navy and Air Force).
  • Flight Safety: Through joint research with the Israeli Air Force, we reduced the number of accidents due to bird strike by 76% and since 1984 saved the Israeli Government 700 million U.S. dollars (not to mention the lives of pilots). A team of new immigrant Russian scientists manage the bird radar set at Latrun, and transfer their bird migration findings to the Israel Air Force, 7 months a year. This information can be seen on our web site.

  • Education:A multi-disciplinary program we developed online, under the title Migrating Birds Know No Boundaries”, (www.birds.org.il) is implemented in more than 300 schools in Israel, 30 schools in the Palestine Authority and 30 schools in Jordan. We are currently striving to develop the site for usage in Europe and the U.S.A. The website has won 8 national and international prizes.
  • Environmental preservation and Eco-tourism: The Center bears special importance in establishing Israel as a world leader in the area of protecting migrating birds and their habitats. It also represents a national focus in developing a network of bird watching stations that will be based on research stations and field education, and exposing the subject of Ornithology to tourists and to the Israeli public.
  • International Cooperation: We are currently collaborating with organizations from the Palestine Authority and from Jordan for the purpose of promoting mutual ambitions. We are also collaborating with research institutions and nature reserves in Europe and North America, and with international organizations such as UNESCO for the purpose of declaring The Great Rift Valley "A World Heritage Site".

For further information, contact us:

Dr. Yossi Leshem

Telefax +972-3-6406010,
Tel: +972-3-6407963
Mobile phone: +972-52-3257722
E-mail : yleshem@post.tau.ac.il


Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI)
Resource Development & International Relations
2 HaNegev Street
Tel Aviv 66186