Lacerta kulzeri ssp. (Muller and Wettstein 1932)
Hebrew name: לטאת החרמון, leta’at hahermon
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: CR (B) – Critically Endangered
Distribution area: This species is limited to Mt. Hermon and high mountains in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. It is found at altitudes of 1500 m. and above (Hoofien 1980; Sivan & Werner 1992; Disi & Bohme 1996; Bosch 1998 & 1999). Was once included in the species L. laevis, but the Mt. Hermon population is now believed to be a not yet described subspecies of L. kulzeri (Bosch, pers. comm.).
Historic distribution: Unknown.
Typical Habitat: Rocky or stony habitats.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Tourist development on Mt. Hermon.
2. Unnecessary bulldozer use by the Israel Defense Forces.
3. Illegal collecting by reptile fans and for the pet trade.
Population Size: Unknown.
Fluctuations in Population Size: The species distribution area in Israel decreases as military and civilian development on Mt. Hermon expands.
Isolation Between Subpopulations: Since the species is found only on high mountains, the Mt. Hermon population is isolated from populations on other high mountains that are not continuous with Mt. Hermon.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Preventing further tourist development on Mt. Hermon.
2. Reducing military bulldozer activity and planning it in cooperation with the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority.
3. Intensifying supervision and enforcement by the Nature and Parks Authority on building, road construction and earthworks on Mt. Hermon.
4. Basic research on the life history of L. kulzeri ssp. in nature in order to determine additional disturbance factors and necessary conservation steps.
5. Examining the effect of grazing on L. kulzeri ssp. and its habitat to determine the amount of grazing necessary to preserve the species.
6. Preventing collection.