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Hermonian Mouse

Apodemus hermonensis (Filippucci Simson & Nevo 1989) Hermonian Mouse

Hebrew name: יערון חרמוני, ya’aron hermoni

Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae

Global Threat: EN (B1+2c) – Endangered
Regional Threat: CR (B) – Critically Endangered

Distribution area: The Hermonian mouse is an endemic species first described from Mt. Hermon by Filippucci et al. (1989). The entire known population today is found in Israel. There is a possibility that the species exists in the Lebanese mountains as well. Lewis et al. (1967) collected a specimen on the Lebanese mountains, at an altitude above 1200 m., similar to the long-tailed field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) with a long tail, similar to the Hemonian mouse (in Harrison & Bates 1991).

Historic distribution: Unknown.

Typical Habitat: Rocky slopes on the cushion plant area on Mt. Hermon, at an altitude of ca. 2000 m.

Threat and Disturbance Factors:
1. Habitat destruction by military activity: construction of buildings, roads and fortifications and by ski activity: ski routes, lifts and buildings.
2. Predator population growth – beech martens and feral cats – as a result of increased food availability from army bases and ski site trash.

Population Size: The population in Israel ranges over an area of ca. 8 km2.

Fluctuations in Population Size: Unknown.

Isolation between Subpopulations: Unknown.

Necessary Steps for Species Preservation:

1. Preservation and enforcement within the Mt. Hermon Nature Reserve: preventing unnecessary construction of roads and fortifications.

2. Preventing trash disposal in open areas (open garbage dumps), which encourages growth of the predator population.