Cows and anemonies – a sMOOth relationship
Who helps the anemones bloom in Ramat Hanadiv’s Nature Park? You’ll never believe it!
The spring brings thoughts of flowers, and when we think about flowers in this country, we immediately recall the red queens – the anemones, of course. But no-one could imagine that the anemones’ blooming is particularly impressive when a herd of cattle is in the area. Yes, yes, it seems that wherever the cows graze there are more anemones.
During this season, visitors to Ramat Hanadiv’s Nature Park are able to once again meet the herd of cattle that grazes in the park. Cattle grazing is part of the multi-purpose management approach that has been implemented through the years in the park. It facilitates the prevention of fires as well as preventing the spread of fires to the neighboring residential areas. Such a management approach supports human intervention in the natural system in order to achieve ecological, landscape and social benefits, among others. This approach does not allow nature to “do its own thing” but rather intentionally creates a balance between “open” and “closed” landscape patches, and thus conserves the biodiversity typical of the region as well as preventing fires. This balance is created by means of controlled cattle and goat grazing, tree pruning and shrub removal in certain areas.
And what else did we discover? That cattle grazing enriches the plant community and habitat diversity in certain areas of the park. A long-term study at Ramat Hanadiv found that cattle grazing primarily enriches the anemone population. The conclusion of this study was that not only does grazing cause no direct harm to the anemone population, it is necessary for ensuring the long-term existence of anemone-rich landscapes. So all those who were worried that the presence of cows may harm the flowers, from now you will know: cows and anemones – a sMOOth relationship!