‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

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A monograph published in 1991 by the Harrison Institute on the 150 terrestrial Arabian mammal species.

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David Harrison participated in a series of field surveys throughout Arabia, as here in the mountains of Oman.

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The Arabian tahr (Hemitragus jayakari) a rare endemic species restricted to Oman and UAE, whose endangered status was highlighted by the work of the Harrison Institute.

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The Egyptian spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus) a common rodent throughout much of western and peninsular Arabia.


The Mammals of Arabia


Host countries: Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Egypt (Sinai only), Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE and Bahrain.


Project objective:
to provide a comprehensive and detailed review of the mammals of Arabia.


Project outputs
included:
  • A comprehensive review of the 150 species of terrestrial wild mammals recorded from the region with detailed information on:
    • Synonymies
    • External, cranial, and dental, characters
    • Taxonomic variation
    • Distribution within Arabia
    • Habits, including reproduction and diet

  • Many surveys throughout Arabia, particularly in Oman, UAE, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Yemen

  • Promoting the conservation and protection of the endemic Arabian Tahr (Hemitragus jayakari)

  • Developing the world’s most comprehensive collection of Arabian mammal voucher specimens based at the Harrison Institute


Harrison Institute contact: Dr David Harrison hzm@btinternet.com and/or Dr Paul Bates – harrisoninstitute@btinternet.com


Principal Funder: Harrison Institute Trust


Dates: August 1953 – on-going


Publications from the project


Books and Monographs


Harrison, D. L. 1959. Footsteps in the Sand. Benn (London) pp. 254.

Harrison, D. L. 1964. The Mammals of Arabia. 1. Introduction. Insectivora. Chiroptera. Primates. pp 192. Benn, London.

Harrison, D. L. 1968. The Mammals of Arabia 2. Carnivora, Hyracoidea, Artiodactyla. pp.193-381.

Harrison, D. L. 1972. The Mammals of Arabia. 3. Lagomorpha and Rodentia. pp.382-670. Benn, London.

Harrison, D. L. 1981. Mammals of the Arabian Gulf. The Natural History of the Arabian Gulf. Allen & Unwin London. pp. 92.

Harrison, D. L. and P.J.J.Bates, 1991. The Mammals of Arabia. Second Edition. Harrison Zoological Museum Pub. pp.354.


Papers (in chronological order)

Hayman, R. W. and D. L. Harrison. 1950. Notes on some Mammals newly recorded from Arabia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 12(3): 417 - 419.

Harrison, D.L. 1955. On a collection of Mammals from Oman, Arabia, with the description of two new Bats. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 12, 8: 897- 910.

Harrison, D.L. 1956. Mammals from Kurdistan, Iraq, with description of a new Bat. Journal of Mammalogy 37: (2): 257- 263.

Harrison, D.L. 1956. Gerbils from Iraq, with description of a new Gerbil. Journal of Mammalogy 37 (3): 417- 422.

Harrison, D.L. 1956. Notes on some bats (Microchiroptera) from Iraq. Bonner Zoologische Beitrage 7 (1-3): 1-7.

Harrison, D.L. 1956. A Key to the identification of the bats (Chiroptera) of the Arabian Peninsula. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 127 (4): 447-452.

Harrison, D.L. 1957. Some systematic notes on the Trident Bats (Asellia tridens E.Geoffroy) of Arabia. Mammalia (Paris) 21: (1): 1-8.

Harrison, D. L. 1957. A Naturalist in Kurdistan. The Shooting Times : 748- 749.

Harrison, D. L. 1958. Observations on infant Jerboas, with special reference to the development of the tympanic bulla. Journal of Mammalogy 39 (3): 395-398.

Harrison, D. L. 1960. A new species of Pipistrelle Bat (Chiroptera: Pipistrellus) from South Israel. Durban Museum Novitates 5(19): 261-265.

Harrison, D. L. 1960. Across the Negev for a Mouse. The Wildfowler Magazine: 51- 53.

Harrison, D. L. 1961. On Savi’s Pipistrelle, (Pipistrellus savii Bonaparte, 1837) in the Middle East, and a second record of Nycticeius schlieffeni Peters 1859 from Egypt. Senckenbergiana Biologica 42 (1/2): 41-44.

Harrison, D. L. and R.E Lewis, 1961. The Large Mouse-eared Bats of the Middle East, with description of a new subspecies. Journal of Mammalogy: 42 (3): 372-380.

Lewis R.E. and D. L. Harrison, 1962. Notes on bats from the Republic of Lebanon. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 138 (3): 473; 2 Tabs; 1 Pl; 1 Map. April 1962.

Harrison, D. L. 1962. Bats, rats and hyraxes in the Middle East. The Shooting Times. 24th August, 1962.

Harrison, D. L. 1962. A new subspecies of the Noctule bat (Nyctalus noctula Schreber, 1774) from Lebanon. Proceedings of the Zoological Society 139 (2): 337- 339.

Harrison, D. L. 1963. A new bat for Israel, Eptesicus innesi Lataste, 1887, with some remarks on the affinities of this species. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 28 (2): 107-110.

Harrison, D. L. 1963. A note on the occurrence of the Greater Mouse-tailed Bat, Rhinopoma microphyllum Brunnich 1782, in Lebanon. Mammalia (Paris) 27(2): 305-307.

Harrison, D.L. 1963. Some observations on Myotis dogalensis Monticelli, 1887. (Mammalia: Chiroptera). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria. Genoa 63: 325-332.

Harrison, D. L. 1963. Report on a collection of Bats (Microchiroptera) from N.W. Iran. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 28 (5): 301- 308.

Harrison, D. L. 1963. Some observations on the White-toothed Shrews (Genus Crocidura Wagler, 1832) of Israel. Bulletin of the research council of Israel Sect.B 11B (4): 177-182; 1 Tab; 3 figs.

Harrison, D. L. 1963. On the occurrence in Israel of the Pygmy Gerbil Gerbillus (Hendecapleura) henleyi de Winton 1903. Mammalia (Paris) 27 (3):352-355.

Harrison, D. L. 1964. A new subspecies of Natterer’s Bat, Myotis nattereri Kuhl (Mammalia: Chiroptera) from Israel. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 29(1): 58-60.

Harrison, D. L. 1964. An Arabian Quest. The Shooting Times. June 4th 1964.

Harrison, D. L. and R.E.Lewis, 1964. Note on the occurrence of the Weasel (Mustela nivalis Linnaeus, 1766) (Carnivora: Mustelinae) in Lebanon. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde 29(3):179-181.

Harrison, D. L., R. E. Lewis and J. H. Lewis, 1965. On a collection of mammals from Northern Saudi Arabia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 144 (1): 61-74.

Harrison, D. L. 1965. Remarks on some Trident Leaf-nosed Bats (Genus Asellia Gray, 1838), obtained by the Israel South Red Sea Expedition 1962. Report No.5 Sea Fishing Research Station, Haifa: 38.

Harrison, D. L. 1966/7. Adapted for the desert. The Wildfowler Magazine. 1966/7: 23.

Harrison, D. L. 1967. Observations on a Wild Goat, Capra aegagrus (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) from Oman, E. Arabia. Journal of Zoology London. (1967) 151: 27–30.

Harrison, D. L. 1967. A note on the capture of a Southern Sheath-tailed Bat, Coleura afra gallarum Thomas, on a ship at sea. Mammalia Paris 31(1): 166-168.

Groves, C. P. and D. L. Harrison, 1967. The taxonomy of the gazelles (genus Gazella) of Arabia. Journal of Zoology London (1967),152: 381–387.

Harrison, D. L. 1967. A Naturalist in Oman. ‘Father of the bats’. The Shooting Times: 1166. Sept. 9th 1967.

Harrison, D. L. 1967. A Naturalist in Oman. On the Batinah Coast. The Shooting Times: 1194. 5 Sept. 16th 1967.

Atallah, S. and D. L. Harrison, 1967. New records of rodents, bats and insectivores from the Arabian peninsula. Journal of Zoology (London) 153 : 311–319.

Harrison, D. L. 1968. A new race of Baluchistan Gerbil, Gerbillus nanus Blanford, 1875 (Rodentia: Cricetidae) from Oman, with remarks on the Arabian forms of the species. Mammalia (Paris), 32(1): 60-63.

Harrison, D. L. 1968. Saving the Unicorn. The Shooting Times: 992-993. July 6th 1968.

Harrison, D. L. 1968. The large mammals of Arabia. Oryx 9 (5): 357-363.

Harrison, D. L. 1968. On three Mammals new to the fauna of Oman, Arabia, with the description of a new subspecies of bat. Mammalia, Paris 32(3): 317-325.

Atallah, S. and D. L. Harrison, 1968. On the conspecificity of Allactaga euphratica Thomas, 1881 and Allactaga williamsi Thomas, 1897 (Rodentia: Dipodidae) with a complete list of subspecies. Mammalia Paris 32 (4): 628-638.

Harrison, D. L. and C. J. Seton-Browne, 1969. The influence of soil colour on subspeciation of mammals in eastern Arabia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 48: 467-470.

Harrison, D. L. 1969. Fit to survive. Aramco World Magazine 21 (1): 30-33.

Harrison, D. L. 1970. Some observations on the status of the South Arabian House Mouse Mus musculus gentilulus Thomas, 1919 (Rodentia:Muridae). Mammalia Paris 34 (2): 244-247.

Harrison, D. L. 1971. Observations on some notable Arabian mammals, with the description of a new Gerbil (Gerbillus: Rodentia: Cricetidae). Mammalia Paris, 35(1): 111-125.

Harrison, D. L. 1973. Some comparative features of the skulls of Wolves (Canis lupus Linn.) and Pariah Dogs (Canis familiaris Linn.) from the Arabian peninsula and neighbouring lands. Bonner Zoologische Beitrage, 24: 185-191.

Harrison, D. L. and M. D. Gallagher. 1974. A Park to save the Arabian Tahr. Oryx, 12 (5): 547-549.
Harrison, D. L. 1975. Denizens of the desert. The Times. Sept. 15th 1975.

Harrison, D. L. 1975. Desert Coloration in Rodents: 269-275. In: I. Prakash and P. K. Ghosh, Rodents in desert Environments. Monographiae Biologicae, 28. 13. Dr W.Junk Pub. The Hague.

Harrison, D. L. 1975. Scientific Results of the Oman Flora and fauna Survey, 1975. Description of a new subspecies of Botta’s Serotine (Eptesicus bottae Peters, 1869, Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Oman. Mammalia, Paris, 39(3): 415-418.

Harrison, D. L. and M. D. Gallagher, 1976. Plan for Reserves in Oman. Oryx, 13(3): 287-288.

Harrison, D. L. 1976. A plan to save the Arabian Tahr. Asian Affairs 63 (N.S. 7): 33-34.

Harrison, D. L. 1976. The Oman Flora and Fauna Survey, 1975. Journal of Oman Studies 1: 181-186.

Gallagher, M. D. and D. L. Harrison, 1975. The terrestrial mammals of Bahrain. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 72(2): 407-421.

Harrison, D. L. 1976. Interim Report of the Oman Flora and Fauna Survey, 1975. Sultanate of Oman. Mammals: 12-14. Ministry of Diwan Affairs Pub. November, 1976.

Harrison, D. L. 1977. Protecting Oman’s Wildlife. Middle East International. No.70: 25-27. April 1977.
Harrison, D. L. 1977. The scientific results of the Oman Flora and Fauna Survey, 1975. Introduction. Pp. 9-11. Mammals obtained by the Expedition, with a Checklist of the mammals of the Sultanate of Oman. Pp. 12-26.

Harrison, D. L. 1978.  Into Oman’s Green mountain. Country Life.: 188-189. 26th January, 1978.

Harrison, D. L. 1978. A critical examination of alleged sibling species in the Lesser Three-toed Jerboas (subgenus Jaculus) of the North African and Arabian deserts. Bulletin of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History 6: 77-80.

Harrison, D. L. 1979. Interim Report on the results of the Oman Flora and Fauna Survey Dhofar 1977. Sultanate of Oman. Mammals: 49-51. Ministry of Diwan Affairs Pub. July 1979.

Harrison, D. L. 1979. A new species of Pipistrelle Bat (Pipistrellus: Vespertilionidae) from Oman, Arabia. Mammalia Paris, 43(4): 573-576.

Harrison, D. L. and M. C. Jennings, 1980. Occurrence of the Noctule, Nyctalus noctula  Schreber, 1774 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Oman, Arabia. Mammalia  Paris, 44 (3): 409-410.

Harrison, D. L. 1980. The Scientific results of the Oman Flora and Fauna Survey 1977 (Dhofar). The Mammals obtained in Dhofar by the 1977 Oman Flora and Fauna Survey. Journal of Oman Studies Special Report 2: 387-397.

Harrison, D. L. 1981. A new subspecies of Hare (Lagomorpha: Leporidae) from the Sultanate of Oman. Mammalia Paris, 44(4): 596-598.

Harrison, D. L. 1981. Of Tahrs and Unicorns. Country Life: 862-863. April 2nd 1981.

Harrison, D. L. 1982. Occurrence of the Pygmy  Gerbil, Gerbillus henleyi De Winton. 1903 (Rodentia Cricetidae) in the Sultanate of Oman. Mammalia Paris 45 (4): 508-510.

Harrison, D. L. 1982. An unusual dental anomaly in the Arabian Hyrax, Procavia capensis jayakari (Hyracoidea: Procaviidae). Mammalia  Paris 46 (3): 395-396.

Harrison, D. L. 1982. Observations on some rare Arabian Pipistrellus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae ) with special reference to the external male genitalia. Bonner Zoologische Beitrage 33 (2-4): 187-190.

Harrison, D. L. 1982. Introduction. Pp 23-25. In Lipscombe Vincett, B.A. Animal life in Saudi Arabia. P. Lipscombe Pub., Italy.  

Buttiker, W. and D. L. Harrison, 1982. Mammals of Saudi Arabia. On a collection of Rodents from Saudi Arabia. In Wittmer,W & Buttiker,W (Eds.). Fauna of Saudi Arabia 4 : 489-502. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration Pub. No. 4.

Harrison, D. L. 1983. The Mammals of Oman.  P.D.O News 1: 20-24. (English  Arabic)
AlKhalili, A. D. and D. L. Harrison, 1983. A rare hind limb deformity in the Spiny Mouse Acomys dimidiatus (Rodentia: Muridae) from Saudi Arabia. Mammalia Paris 47 (2): 269-270.

Harrison, D. L. 1983. Tha Mammal Fauna of Oman, with special reference to Conservation and the Oman Flora and Fauna Surveys. Journal of Oman Studies 6 (2): 3299-302.

Bates, P. J. J. and D. L. Harrison, 1984. Significant new records of shrews (Soricidae) from the southern Arabian peninsula, with remarks on the species occurring in the region. Mammalia Paris 48(1): 144-147.

Harrison, D. L. and P. J. J. Bates,1984. New geographical records of the Large Aden Gerbil (Gerbillus poecilops Yerbury & Thomas, 1895, Rodentia: Cricetidae) with observations on the osteology of the species. Mammalia Paris 48 (2): 299-302.

Harrison, D. L. and P. J. J. Bates. 1984. On the occurrence of the European Free-tailed Bat, Tadarida teniotis Rafinesque, 1814 (Chiroptera: Molossidae ) in Saudi Arabia, with a zoogeographical review of the Molossidae of the Kingdom. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 6: 551-556.

Harrison, D. L. 1985. Small mammal collection. In Stone.F. (Ed.) Studies on the Tihama. The Report of the Tihamah Expedition 1982 and Related papers:28-29. Longman Pub.

Gasperetti, J., D. L. Harrison and W. Buttiker. 1986. The Carnivora of Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 7: 397-461. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Meteorology and Environmental Protection Administration fauna Publication N0. 7. Pro Entomologia Basle Pub.
Sopin, L. V. and D. L. Harrison. 1986. On the taxonomic position of the Oman Wild Sheep (Ovis; Artiodactyla: Bovidae). Zool. Zhurnal Moscow 65 (6): 952-955. (In Russian).

Hutterer, R. and D. L. Harrison. 1988. A new look at the shrews (Soricidae) of Arabia. Bonner Zoologische Beitrage 39 (1): 59-72.

Makin, D. and D. L. Harrison, 1988. Occurrence of Pipistrellus ariel Thomas, 1904 (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) in Israel. Mammalia Paris 52 (3): 419-422 2 Figs.  1988.

Harrison, D. L. and D. Makin. 1988. Significant new records of Vespertilionid Bats (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Israel.  Mammalia Paris 52 (4): 593-596.

Gallagher, M. D. and D. L. Harrison, 1988. The Small Mammals of the Wahiba Sands, Oman. Journal of Oman Studies Special Report No. 31: 437-442.

Harrison, D. L. and P.J.J.Bates. 1989. Observations on two mammal species new to the Sultanate of Oman, Vulpes cana Blanford, 1877 (Carnivora: Canidae) and Nycteris thebaica Geoffroy, 1818 (Chiroptera: Nycteridae). Bonner Zoologische Beitrage 40 (2): 73-77.

Bates, P. J. J. and D. L. Harrison, 1989. New records of small mammals from Jordan. Bonner Zoologische Beitrage 40 (3/4): 223-226.

Harrison, D. L. and M. Brown. The Wild Mammals of Arabia. P.D.O.News 4/1991: 20-27. English & Arabic.

Harrison, D. L. Conservation of the Arabian Tahr (Hemitragus jayakari Thomas, 1894) in Oman. 1991. In McNeeley, J.A & V.M.Neronov. Mammals in the Palaearctic Desert; Status and trends in the Sahara-Gobian region. Russian Academy of Sciences. The Russian Committee for the Unesco Programme on Man and the Biosphere: 216-219.

Bates, P. J. J. 1994. The distribution of Acomys (Rodentia: Muridae) in Africa and Asia. Israel Journal of Zoology, 40: 199-214.

Gaucher, P. and D. L. Harrison. 1995. Occurrence of Bodenheimer’s Pipistrelle Pipistrellus bodenheimeri Harrison, 1960 (Mammalia, Chiroptera; Vespertilionidae) in Saudi Arabia. Mammalia Paris 59 (4): 672-673.

Snowden, P., P. J. J. Bates and M. R. Brown. 2000. Recent records of bats and rodents from Oman, including three species new to the country. Fauna of Arabia,18 : 397-407.

Harrison, D. L. 2004. Preface. In: Contributions to the knowledge of the mammals of the Middle East. Zoology in the Middle East. 33 (2004). Ed. Max Kaspere, K and R. Kinzelbach.