The IDF is lending its security apparatus to preserve wildlife in Israel. 

In a recently launched project, IDF soldiers from the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, including spotters, will help protect Israel’s wildlife and nature.

IDF spotters have more than 100 cameras at their disposal in Judea and Samaria and in the Jordan Valley, where their primary mission is to identify security breaches, such as enemy infiltrators, and to call in forces to thwart them.

But now the IDF spotters will also help prevent animal abuse.

In recent days, soldiers from the corps spotted a group of hunters armed with hunting rifles. Due to a quick response by the soldiers, the hunters were caught and handed over to the police for criminal prosecution.

“The first goal is to identify hunters and antiquities thieves in the spotters’ scanning sector. The second is to gather information about animals in the scan sector for the purposes of research and preservation,” said Maj. Mani Abramov, a deputy commander of the IDF Nitzan Battalion.

As part of their new mission, the spotters will scan areas under their supervision for any unusual activity and will summon other IDF units in the area or, if necessary, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) and other environmental protection agencies. The military’s partnership with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and the INPA began in 2014 as part of the “Nature Defense Forces” project.

The spotters use thermal binoculars, enabling optimal vision. They also undergo training that includes joint field tours with park rangers and lectures on pertinent subjects. The Combat Intelligence Collection Corps plans to expand the project to include other battalions.