Political Geography and the Jordanian Gerbil

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  12.03.09 | 1:38 PM ET

Foreign Policy takes a look at a fascinating study that suggests political boundaries could have an impact on the development of animals living on opposite sides of the line. One of the test cases: Israeli and Jordanian gerbils. From the story:

A second study revealed that Israeli gerbils are more cautious than their Jordanian friends… The agricultural fields on the Israeli side of the border not only create a gulf between habitats and thereby cause an increase in the number of species in the region, but they also hail one of the most problematic of intruders in the world: the red fox. On the Jordanian side, the red fox is far less common, so that Jordanian gerbils can allow themselves to be more carefree.

(Via Kottke)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for Political Geography and the Jordanian Gerbil

Grizzly Bear Mom 12.04.09 | 1:36 PM ET

It seems to me that you have to have a certain standard of agriculture and stores of grain or whatever they consume before you attract rodents.  You would also have to have a certain number of rodents to attract foxes.  Wasn’t this documented in the children’s story “The country mouse and the city mouse” where the country cousin finds that indeed there is an abundance of food in the city-there is also a cat.

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