Carnivore Diversity in the Late Quaternary of Israel

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During the past 70,000 years, Israeli carnivore faunas have varied only slightly in richness (number of species), but widely in diversity (including the relative abundances of the different species). Human population growth, sedentism, and the beginning of agriculture are often considered to have caused habitat destruction toward the end of the Pleistocene that may have affected animal populations. However, patterns of changing carnivore diversities from three sites in the Mediterranean region of Israel correlate well with changes in precipitation: Species diversity is higher during more humid phases and lower during drier phases. The environmental effect of sedentism may have accelerated the later drop in carnivore diversity but cannot account for fluctuations in diversity preceding it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalQuaternary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994


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