Chalcides guentheri (Boulenger 1887) Gunter’s Cylindrical Skink
Hebrew name: נחושית נחשונית, nehoshit nahshonit
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: VU (B) – Vulnerable
Distribution area: The subspecies is endemic to Israel and its vicinity – Jordan, southwest Syria and southern Lebanon (Werner 1992; Sivan, Disi & Amir 1998). It is found in central and northern Israel, in the Mediterranean region (Werner 1988), including the Golan Heights and Mt. Hermon, up to altitudes of 1500 m. (Sivan & Werner 1992). The southwestern distribution limit of the species is in Israel.
Historic distribution: Unknown.
Typical Habitat: Densely vegetated areas with a variety of grasses, shrubs, and woodland clearings and fringes (Bouskila & Amitai 2001).
Threat and Disturbance Factors: Reduction of natural habitats, principally resulting from development, urbanization and road building. The problem is particularly severe on the Coastal Plain.
Population Size: Unknown.
Fluctuations in Population Size: Unknown.
Isolation Between Subpopulations: There is apparently fragmentation into small populations along the Coastal Plain due to loss of natural habitats. The continuity between northern Israeli populations to those in the Judean Mountains is disturbed for the same reason. Data are lacking for Samaria, an area, which could function as a bridge between these populations.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Preserving natural habitats.
2. Basic research on the life history of this species in nature in order to determine additional disturbance factors and
necessary conservation steps.
3. Examining the effect of grazing on the C. guentheri and its habitat to determine the amount of grazing necessary to preserve the species.