Apodemus hermonensis (Filippucci Simson & Nevo 1989) Hermonian Mouse
Hebrew name: יערון חרמוני, ya’aron hermoni
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.