Trapelus savignii (Dumeril and Bibron 1837) Egyptian Sand Agama
Hebrew name: חרדון חולות, hardon holot
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: VU (A1c,B) – Vulnerable
Distribution area: Egypt, east of the Nile and in Sinai (Werner 1966). In Israel the species is found exclusively in the western Negev sands. Its eastern and northern distribution area limits are in Israel.
Historic distribution: In the past inhabited the Coastal Plain sands as well (north to Holon, Werner 1966).
Typical Habitat: Mainly in shifting or semi-stabilized sands. Sometimes inhabits areas on the fringes of sandy areas, in stable soils.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Habitat destruction by agricultural development, sand quarrying and reservoir construction.
2. Off-road all-terrain vehicle traffic. Most of the species distribution area is found in Israel Defense Forces training areas.
3. Recreational collecting.
Population Size: Unknown.
Fluctuations in Population Size: Unknown. The species distribution area in Israel decreases with every action that deleteriously affects sandy areas in the western Negev.
Isolation Between Subpopulations: Unknown. It is not clear what was the degree of continuity in the past between western Negev and Coastal Plain populations. Nevertheless, if this continuity ever existed, it was severed by agricultural development in the western Negev.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Protecting sandy habitats from agricultural encroachment, quarrying and reservoir construction.
2. Completing the declaration process of the Agur and Shunra nature reserves.
3. Enforcing the ban on off-road vehicular traffic in protected sandy areas. Reaching an understanding with the Israel Defense Forces to reduce off-road traffic in military training areas.
4. Intensifying supervision and enforcement of collection regulations.
5. Postponing ostrich reintroduction to sandy areas in the western Negev until their future impact on soil crusts and gecko populations is studied.
6. Basic research on the life history of T. savignii in nature in order to determine additional disturbance factors and necessary conservation measures.