For a country of such small size, Israel boasts an unexpectedly rich variety of animal, bird and plant life. Sitting as it does at the south-western edge of Asia, the south-eastern edge of Europe and he north-eastern end of the African continent, species of flora and fauna from all three continents can be found in the land.

Israel’s terrain is made up of five vegetation zones: Euro-Siberian – with plantlife found in Europe, Russia and Siberia; Mediterranean – with conditions similar to those in other countries on the Sea; Irano-Turanian – with land similar to the steppe-lands that stretch through Iran, Turkestan and Inner Asia to Inner Mongolia; Sahara-Arabian – pure desert of the kind found in the Sahara, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of southern Iran; and Sudanese – tropical vegetation, confined to small enclaves and oases. This widely diverse landscape offers ideal home environments for a particularly rich assortment of plant, animal, bird and insect life.

We will visit these different regions in these pages in the coming days, and zoom in for a closer look at some of the life the land of Israel has to offer.