Psammophis aegyptius (Marx 1958) Egyptian Sand-Racer
Hebrew name: ארבע-קו מצרי, arba-kav mitzri
Global Threat: NE – Not Evaluated
Regional Threat: EN (B) – Critically Endangered
Distribution area: Libya, Egypt, Sinai and Israel. In Israel the species is known only from the Eilat area and the southern Arava (Werner 1988). Apparently populates only large wadis (dry riverbeds). The northern distribution limit of the species is in Israel.
Historic distribution: Unknown.
Typical Habitat: Rocky dry riverbeds in the desert.
Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. All-terrain vehicle traffic trampling snakes and their habitat.
2. Tourist and industrial development and pollution in wadi beds in the Eilat area.
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 with additional development or pollution in wadi beds in the Eilat area.
Isolation Between Subpopulations: Unknown.
Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Limiting all-terrain vehicle (military and civilian) traffic in wadi beds to one defined route in each wadi.
2. Restricting development in the Eilat Mountains and their wadis.
3. Intensifying supervision and enforcement by the Nature and Parks Authority on collecting in the Eilat area.
4. Basic research on the life history of this species in nature in order to determine additional disturbance factors and necessary conservation steps.