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Anderson’s Gerbil

Gerbillus andersoni allenbyi (Thomas 1918) Anderson’s Gerbil

Hebrew name: גרביל אלנבי, gerbil alenbi

Order: Rodentia
Family: Gerbillinae

Global Threat: VU (B1+2C) – Vulnerable
Regional Threat: VU (A1c,B) – Vulnerable

Distribution area: From the Western Negev north to Holon and along the Coastal Plain, Carmel and Zevulun Valley (north to Akhziv).

Historic distribution: In the past the species was found from the Agur and Shunera sands in the Western Negev and the Gaza Strip north up to the Carmel coast, and on the Rotem Plain in the Northern Negev (Mendelssohn & Yom-Tov 1988).

Typical Habitat: Semi-stabile to stabile sand covered with vegetation.

Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Sand quarrying.
2. Habitat destruction due to urbanization and road building along the Coastal Plain.
3. Multi-drive vehicle (jeeps and ATVs) and tank traffic on sandy areas. 

Population Size: Population density on the Coastal Plain south of the Carmel was 40-120 individuals per hectare, or 4000-12,000 individuals per km2 (Abramsky & Sellah 1982). The species distribution area extends over an area of ca. 1200 km2.

Fluctuations in Population Size: The population is decreasing with the reduction of suitable natural habitats.

Isolation between Subpopulations: Three populations – Zevulun Valley, northern Coastal Plain and southern Coastal Plain + Western Negev – are apparently isolated from each other by urban expanses.

Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:
1. Declaring a sand reserve, as large as possible, with links to the northern Sinai sands.
2. Formulating a management program, which will prevent vehicles from entering the sandy areas.