Eirenis levantinus (Schmidtler 1993) Asia Minor Dwarf Racer
Hebrew name: שלוון קולר, Shalvan kolar
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: CR (B) – Critically Endangered
Distribution area: Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel (Schmidtler 1993). In Israel is relatively common in high altitude areas on Mt. Hermon (Werner 1990; Sivan & Werner 1992) and rare in the eastern Upper Galilee: a few records exist from Nahal Keziv (Werner & Shaham, pers. comm.) and Nahal Bezet (Kaplan, pers. comm.). The southern distribution limit of the species is in Israel. The species was formerly known as E. modestus, but it is now accepted that specimens found south of the Amanos Mountains in southern Turkey belong to E. levantinus (Schmidtler 1993).
Historic distribution: Unknown.
Typical Habitat: Mountainous rocky habitats in the Mediterranean region.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Tourist development on Mt. Hermon.
2. Military infrastructure (opening routes, expanding outposts). 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: The western Galilee population is isolated from the Mt. Hermon population.
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 the E. levantinus in nature in order to determine additional disturbance factors and necessary conservation steps.
5. Examining the effect of grazing on the E. levantinus and its habitat to determine the amount of grazing necessary to preserve the species.