Ablepharus rueppellii festae (Peracca 1894) Juniper Skink
Hebrew name: חומט גמד, homet gamad
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: VU (B) – Vulnerable
Distribution area: The subspecies is endemic to the Golan Heights, Mt. Hermon and Mediterranean regions in Jordan (Schmidtler 1997). Is found on Mt. Hermon up to altitudes of 1500 m. Its distribution area in Israel is less than 1200 km2.
Historic distribution: Unknown.
Typical Habitat: Open or forested areas. Usually found under leaf litter, between grasses or under rocks.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Development for agriculture, settlement, transportation or military needs.
2. All-terrain vehicle, tank and armored personnel carrier off-road traffic.
Population Size: Unknown.
Fluctuations in Population Size: The species distribution area in Israel decreases as military and civilian development on the Golan Heights expands.
Isolation Between Subpopulations: Unknown.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Preserving remaining open spaces in their natural state.
2. Reducing off-road vehicle traffic.
3. Basic research on the life history of A. r. festae in nature in order to determine additional disturbance factors and necessary conservation steps.