Yoram Yom-Tov

Yoram Yom-Tov
Tel Aviv University | TAU · Department of Zoology

Professor

About

231
Publications
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Introduction
Yoram Yom-Tov is an emeritus professor at the Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv University. He does research in terrestrial zoogeography, ecology and behavioural ecology of birds and mammals.

Publications

Publications (231)
Article
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Populations at the warm edge of distribution are more genetically diverse, and at the same time are more susceptible to climate change. Between 1987–1996, we studied Tawny Owls in Israel, the species’ global southern edge of distribution and a country undergoing a rapid land cover transformation for over a century. To assess the potential impacts o...
Article
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The Endangered mountain gazelle Gazella gazella was once widespread throughout the Levant. Over the past 100 years its population fluctuated greatly as a result of various anthropogenic threats and disturbances. We review the dynamics of the mountain gazelle throughout this period in Israel, its last remaining stronghold, with c. 5,000 individuals....
Article
The Mediterranean coastal dune habitat of Israel is diminishing rapidly, mostly due to massive urbanization , changes in habitat characteristics caused by dune stabilization and the presence of Acacia saligna, an invasive species brought to Israel for the purpose of dune stabilization. In this study we document the effect of sand stabilization on t...
Article
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The kiore (Rattus exulans) was introduced by Polynesians to many Pacific islands (hence the name Polynesian rat) in the past 3000 years. In the Pacific region, this species is known to vary in size in relation to latitude, island size and number of competing rat species. In this study, we use recently estimated settlement dates of Pacific islands t...
Article
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Studies in Passerines have found that migrating species recruit more new neurons into brain regions that process spatial information, compared with resident species. This was explained by the greater exposure of migrants to spatial information, indicating that this phenomenon enables enhanced navigational abilities. The aim of the current study was...
Chapter
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We updated the list of species for which conspecific brood parasitism (CBP) has been reported, and it contained 256 species. We used this list to examine the effects of four factors on the rate of CBP (defined as the percentage of species where CBP was observed in a family), namely, phylogeny, geographic distribution, mode of reproduction (i.e. alt...
Article
New neuronal recruitment in an adult animal’s brain is presumed to contribute to brain plasticity and increase the animal’s ability to contend with new and changing environments. During long-distance migration, birds migrating greater distances are exposed to more diverse spatial information. Thus, we hypothesized that greater migration distance in...
Article
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We studied the effect of the two environmental indices, the Sub-Polar Gyre (SPG), and winter and summer North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), together with mean annual winter and summer temperatures and geographic location on mandible size and body mass of Arctic foxes in Iceland (6,345 and 2,732 specimens, respectively) during the year of their death....
Article
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Aim: In this paper we explore global links between tree canopy height and species richness of amphibians, birds and mammals. We follow the ideas first laid out by MacArthur and MacArthur in 1961 who found that in the eastern USA higher tree canopies supported more bird species, which they attributed to an increase of available niches as forests gro...
Article
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We report that two species of mouse-tailed bats (Rhinopoma microphyllum and R. cystops) hibernate for five months during winter in geothermally heated caves with stable high temperature (20°C). While hibernating, these bats do not feed or drink, even on warm nights when other bat species are active. We used thermo-sensitive transmitters to measure...
Article
Evidence suggests a possible correlation between learning abilities of adults and new neuronal recruitment into their brains. The hypothesis is that this brain plasticity enables animals to adapt to environmental changes. We examined whether there are differences in neuronal recruitment between resident and migrant birds. We predicted that migrants...
Article
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Although 90 % of all bird species are monogamous, many species practice alternative reproductive strategies as extra-pair copulations, intra-specific brood parasitism, and quasi-parasitism. In territorial monogamous species, both partners hold and defend the territory from intruders. Often, the intruders are males and usually the local male banishe...
Article
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We develop a model to evaluate the profitability of controlling rodent damage by placing barn owl nesting boxes in agricultural areas. The model incorporates the spatial patterns of barn owl predation pressure on rodents, and the impact of this predation pressure on nesting choices and agricultural output. We apply the model to data collected in Is...
Article
Several life history parameters of desert and nondesert (mesic) passerines were compared for five large regions: South Africa, North Africa, southwest North America, Pakistan and northern India, and Australia. Desert and mesic passerines do not differ in their mean body mass, length of incubation and fledging periods, egg size, length of breeding s...
Article
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Migratory passerines were mist-netted during the spring and autumn migrations at two localities in Israel: Ein Fashkha, a desert oasis near the Dead Sea, and Elon, a maquis vegetation area in the western Galilee. In both localities, mean body mass of the blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) was significantly heavier in autumn, and heavier in the Galilee t...
Article
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Species richness in Israel was studied by correlating the number of species of mammals, birds, and reptiles in 30 × 30 km squares with several environmental factors. The most diverse areas in Israel (in terms of number of species) were transition zones between the Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian, and Saharo-Arabian regions. For mammals and birds, the...
Article
“[We are aware] of the general lack of information and knowledge regarding biological diversity and of the urgent need to develop scientific, technical, and institutional capacities to provide the basic understanding upon which to plan and implement appropriate measures.” (from the The United Nations “Earth Summit” Conference on Environment and Dev...
Article
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The climogram and conditions of activity of two species (Trochoidea (X.) seetzeni and Sphincterochila boissieri) of desert snails are described. Data on their reproduction are given: number of eggs in a clutch, length of incubation in field and laboratory, percentage of hatching, and certain morphological and chemical characteristics of the eggs. S...
Article
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This article summarizes the beneficial effect that human activity in Israel has had on certain birds and mammals since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. About 40 bird and 20 mammal species have increased in number and/or distribution during the last 50 years. They comprise about 20% of the breeding bird species, about 10% of the win...
Article
We studied the diets of the barn owl Tyto alba and the long-eared owl Asio otus in an arid region in the northern and central Negev Desert, Israel. The diet of the two owl species consisted mainly of small mammals, but the long-eared owl consumed a significantly larger proportion of birds in all seasons than did the barn owl. Seasonal differences i...
Article
The importance of male care and the nature of facultative adjustments in female care were assessed by experimentally removing males in pairs of orange-tufted sunbirds, Nectarinia osea, feeding broods of two or three chicks. The predation of all three-chick broods with female-only care suggested that male nest guarding is critical, especially becaus...
Article
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We used a recent passerine phylogeny and comparative method to evaluate the macroevolution of body and egg mass, incubation and fledging periods, time to independence and time with parents of the main passerine lineages. We hypothesised that passerine reproductive traits are affected by adaptation to both past and present environmental factors and...
Article
Using museum material, we studied temporal changes in skull size of 185 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes Linnaeus, 1758) and 71 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles Linnaeus, 1758) collected in Austria between 1866 and 2007. Four measurements were taken and combined into principal components by means of a principal components analysis. Akaike's information criter...
Article
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Competition has long been assumed to be a major driver in regulating ecological communities. Intra-specific competition is considered to be maximal as members of the same species use the same ecological niches in a similar way. Many species of animals exhibit great physiological, behavioral, and morphological differences between sexes (sexual dimor...
Data
Number of tracking nights and positions taken for 38 bats during 2007–2008. (DOC)
Data
Results of GWR models for the spatial dispersal of male and female bats in the first hour of foraging and afterwards. (DOC)
Article
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We used radio-telemetry, observations and physiological measurements to study the basic biology and energetic strategies of Asellia tridens in northern Israel from 2009 to 2010. Between late May and early November, the bats occupied abandoned man-made structures in this area. Parturition occurred between late June and mid-July, and juveniles were i...
Article
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In monogamous species, conspecific aggression is a primary tactic to deter intruders. Alternative reproductive strategies, such as extra-pair copulations or intra-specific brood parasitism that peak at the pre-egg laying period and are practised by intruders, pose a significant threat to the monogamous pair. Here, we addressed the question whether...
Article
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We studied the nesting biology of the Syrian woodpecker ( Dendrocopos syriacus) in Israel, emphasising its physiological aspects and the environment of the tree hole nest cavity (~ 2 litres in volume). Eggs (mean mass = 5.4 ± 0.4 g SD) are laid once a day during April and May to produce a mean clutch size of four (range 3-5). Active incubation star...
Article
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Prior to hibernation, mammals accumulate large amounts of fat in their bodies. In temperate mammalian species, hibernation is improved by increasing the levels of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in the body. The saturation of fatty acids (FA) in both white adipose tissue (WAT) and membrane phospholipids of mammals often reflects their diet comp...
Chapter
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During the past few years it has become clear that torpor and hibernation are not limited to high latitudes or cold climates. We studied summer roost selection and torpor patterns of a subtropical greater mouse-tailed bat, Rhinopoma microphyllum, on the edge of its distribution range. During summer, these bats exhibited complete sexual segregation,...
Poster
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A comprehensive survey as a means to finding cryptic species.
Article
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DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY Palestine was a neglected part of the Ottoman Empire. Its human population had been decimated by wars and disease, and much of its area was deserted and uninhabited. Mark Twain visited the country during the mid-1880s, and was dismayed: "Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.... The noted Sea of Galilee, where Roman fl...
Article
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At least four hypotheses have been suggested to explain the formation and maintenance of song dialects among birds: historic processes (epiphenomenon), genetic or local adaptation, acoustic adaptation, and social adaptation. We studied spatial and temporal distribution of dialect in the orange-tufted sunbird (Nectarinia osea), a small nectarivorous...
Article
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Background: The native rodents of Australia are commonly divided into two groups based on the time of their colonization of the Sahulian continent, which encompasses Australia, New Guinea, and the adjacent islands. The first group, the "old endemics," is a diverse assemblage of 34 genera that are descended from a single colonization of the contine...
Article
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Geographical and temporal variations in body size are common phenomena among organisms and may evolve within a few years. We argue that body size acts much like a barometer, fluctuating in parallel with changes in the relevant key predictor(s), and that geographical and temporal changes in body size are actually manifestations of the same drivers....
Article
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We studied the wing-length and body mass of the two populations of Reed Warblers (summer breeders and transients), and that of the resident Clamorous Reed Warbler, which exist in Israel. We found that, in all three groups, wing-length increases significantly with age for several years. Body mass also increased slightly (but significantly) with age....
Article
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Over 300 specimens of the Australian introduced Common brushtail possum, taken from throughout its range in New Zealand, were measured. A north-south trend in skull size was found, which conforms with Bergmann's rule. This trend probably evolved during less than 50 years (30-35 generations), and is not significantly different from the present Austr...
Article
The Egyptian mongoose, Herpestes ichneumon, uses its anal gland secretion to mark objects in its home range, presumably to communicate with members of its own or other groups. Chemical analysis (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) of the secretion showed that it contained a complex mixture of long-chain (C10-C22) carboxylic acids with varying deg...
Article
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Data are presented on the clutch size and laying dates of 3 species of buntings in England. The average laying date of the Reed Bunting, the Yellowhammer and the Corn Bunting are 21 May, 2 and 21 June, respectively, and their clutch sizes are 4.46, 3.49 and 3.82, respectively. The data on the clutch size are compared with those published in some ot...
Article
Examination of the gizzard contents of nestling crows in Scotland shows that young birds receive a wider variety of foods than older ones. Interesting differences in diet appear as between Scottish farmland and English woodland birds.
Article
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We studied the effects of body mass, status (resident or migratory) and diet on the breeding elevation range and timing of reproduction of the birds in the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, northwestern India. Most of breeding birds of Ladakh are Palearctic or breed at high elevations in the mountains. There is a small proportion of Oriental specie...
Article
Cattle on the Golan Heights are kept in enclosures and some of these enclosures have guard dogs. We studied the effect of such dogs on the behavior and breeding success of mountain gazelles Gazella gazella living within enclosures. We found that guard dogs have both direct and indirect effects on gazelles. Gazelles living in enclosures with dogs sp...
Article
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In many ant species, nuptial flight tends to be short in time and assumed to be synchronous across a large area. Here, we report that, in the upper Jordan Valley, northern Israel, massive nuptial flights of Carpenter ants (Camponotus sp.) occur frequently throughout the summer, and their alates form up to 90% of the diet of the greater mouse-tailed...
Article
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Maximum altitudes of soaring migration for White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus), White Storks (Ciconia ciconia), Lesser Spotted Eagles (Aquila pomarina), and Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus) were measured in central west Israel and compared to the upper boundary of thermal convection and thermal intensity as predicted by the convection model ALPT...
Article
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Philopatry to stopover site and changes in body condition of migrating Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus were studied in Bet Shean Valley, Israel, where warblers were netted throughout the year. Although the majority of birds were seen only once, the proportion of transients seen twice or more in different years is comparable to the figure for...
Article
Thirty-one pairs of long-legged buzzards (Buteo rufinus) have nested in the past in cliffs of the Judean mountains. During the past 40 years, nesting there has substantially diminished and many pairs of buzzards have moved to nest in trees of the Judean coastal plains, as opposed to common literature. Our main objective was to understand the breedi...
Thesis
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Thirty-one pairs of long-legged buzzards (Buteo rufinus) have nested in the past along the streams of the Judean mountains, which supplied them with a rocky nesting area. During the past 40 years, nesting in these areas has substantially decreased and many pairs of buzzards have moved to nest in trees of the Judean coastal plains. The literature in...
Article
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The greater mouse-tailed bat (Rhinopoma microphyllum) possesses a large geographical range, covering most of the arid and warm areas of the Old World. We studied the genetic variability of this species using two mitochondrial markers (the cytochrome b gene and the control region), from several Israeli colonies and from over most of the species' ran...
Article
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Animals are exposed to environmental factors that influence their life history and body size. Here we used the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) as an indicator of the complex links between largescale environmental variables that influence both marine and tundra trophic dynamics to demonstrate how they affect the fox's body size and abundance. The Arctic...
Article
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This is the first report of the diet composition of Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) in the northern and central Negev desert, Israel. The diet consisted of 71.3% small mammals, 26.5% birds, 2.0% invertebrates, and 0.1% reptiles. There were no significant differences among the seven localities studied or among seasons in percent rodents or invertebrates...
Article
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This paper presents a list, compiled from the literature, of bird species in which intraspecific nest parasitism (INP) occurs. INP was reported in 234 species: one Struthioniformes, two Tinamiformes, two Procellariiformes, six Podicipediiformes, five Ciconiiformes, one Phoenicopteriformes, 74 Anseriformes, one Falconiformes, 32 Galliformes, eight G...
Article
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The Australian avifauna is composed largely of two groups–the ‘old endemics’, species that originated in Gondwana and radiated in Australia and New Guinea, and the ‘new invaders’, species that originated in Asia and invaded Australia during the Pleistocene. In addition, several species were introduced by Europeans during the last 200 years. The old...
Article
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The magnitude and timing of the autumn and spring migrations of 35 species of medium-and large-sized raptors, White Pelicans Pelicanus onocrotalus and White Storks Ciconia ciconia were studied in Israel. Observations were carried out from the ground by a line of observers covering most of the width of Israel across the line of migration and by rada...
Article
The use of thermals during the spring and autumn migration across Israel by four species of soaring birds (White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus, White Stork Ciconia ciconia, Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina and Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus) was studied by monitoring them with a motorized glider, light aircraft and radar. This is the first study...
Article
We studied the timing of breeding of passerines inhabiting India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka using data provided in the Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Ali & Ripley 1968-74). The data were analysed for the whole area and separately for the ten zoogeographical subregions of India. Peak breeding months (defined as those in which 75% or mor...