Sand Lizard

Lacerta agilis


Планинска гуштерица


Zhapi i ngathet

Back to species overview
<< Previous -Balkan Green Lizard
Balkan Whip Snake-Next >>
Not evaluated Data deficient Least concern Near threatened Vulnerable ENDANGERED Critically endangered Extinct in the wild Extinct
Assessment info
Habitat and Ecology
Use and Trade
Conservation Actions


Scientific name

Lacerta agilis


(Steindachner, 1870)


Lacerta boemica Suchov, 1929; Lacerta paradoxa Bedriaga, 1886; Lacerta stirpium Daudin, 1802; Seps argus Laurenti, 1768; Seps caerulescens Laurenti, 1768; Seps ruber Laurenti, 1768;

Assessment info

IUCN Red List Category and Criteria

EN – Endangered, B2ab(ii,iii)

Date assessed

November 2019


Sterijovski, B.

Arsovski, D.


Tomović, L.




Hofman, M.P.G.


The Sand Lizard is very patchily distributed across North Macedonia in only five mountain locations (Shar-Korab masiff, Jablanica and Baba Mt., Maleshevski Planini Mt., Osogovski and German) adding up to an area of occupancy (AOO) of only 224km2. Moreover, the valleys between these localities preclude any kind of gene flow among those populations of Sand Lizards, making them severely fragmented; consequently it is not a candidate for any kind of regional rescue effect without human intervention. This cold-loving species is particularly threatened by global climate change and the habitat shifts that follow, along with habitat degradation due to overgrowth of the high-mountain pastures it calls home; due to the ubiquitous nature of these threats in the habitats the Sand Lizard inhabits nationally, all five mountains it occurs on are treated as locations. Consequently, it is a nationally Endangered species. Globally and in Europe, this species has been assessed as Least Concern.


Current population trend



The national populations size of Sand Lizard in North Macedonia is not accurately determined. Where present seemingly relatively common, but the lack of monitoring studies precludes any population estimations. Their preference for high mountain habitats have made Sand Lizard populations severely fragmented, nationally. From field research observations are showing that eastern populations are smaller and less dense than those in the west of the country.

Habitat and Ecology



Habitat and Ecology

High altitude habitats almost always with some vegetation cover such as dense grass or shrubs in forest edges and high-mountain pastures. Mating occurs between April and June and females lay five to 10 eggs in June or July (Agasyan et al. 2010; Speybroeck et al. 2016).

Use and trade

Use and trade

There is no known use of or trade in this species



Overgrowth of high-mountain pastures (because of abandonment of traditional agricultural practices; observed on Shar-Korab massif, Bistra Mt. and Pelister Mt.) could be a threat to the species. Construction of ski-runs and roads could also be significant threats, as well as global climate change and the habitat alterations that follow. In eastern North Macedonia mining is taking its toll on this species via observed habitat destruction and increased road mortality on newly constructed roads through suitable habitat (observed in Osogovski Mt.).

Conservation actions

Conservation actions

It is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention and on Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive. Nationally, it is on the list of protected wild species.



Sillero, N., Campos, J., Bonardi, A., Corti, C., Creemers, R., Crochet, P.-A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Denoël, M., Ficetola, G.F., Gonçalves, J., Kuzmin, S., Lymberakis, P., de Pous, P., Rodríguez, A., Sindaco, R., Speybroeck, J., Toxopeus, B., Vieites, D.R., Vences, M. 2014. Updated distribution and biogeography of amphibians and reptiles of Europe. .p 1-31.

Sterijovski, B., Tomović, L., Ajtić, R. 2014. Contribution to the knowledge of the Reptile fauna and diversity in FYR of Macedonia. .p 83–92.

Uhrin et al. 2016. Distribution updates to amphibian and reptile fauna for the Republic of Macedonia. .p 201-220.

Speybroeck, J. Beuckema, W., Bok, B., Voort, J.V.D. 2016. Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc London. .p /.

Böhme, W., Lymberakis, P., Ajtic, P., Disi, A.M.M., Werner, Y., Tok, V., Ugurtas, I.H., Sevinç, M., Hraoui-Bloquet, S., Sadek, R., Crochet, P.-A., Haxhiu, I., Corti, C., Sindaco, R., Kaska, Y., Kumlutaş, Y., Avci, A., Üzüm, N., Yeniyurt, C., Akarsu, F., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J. 2009. Mediodactylus kotschyi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . .p /.

Panayiota Kotsakiozia, Daniel Jablonski, Çetin Ilgaz, Yusuf Kumlutaş, Aziz Avcıe, Shai Meirif, Yuval Itescuf, Oleg Kukushkinh, Václav Gvoždíkj, Giovanni Scillitanil, Stephanos A. Roussosm, David Jandzikc, Panagiotis. 2018. Multilocus phylogeny and coalescent species delimitation in Kotschy’s T gecko, Mediodactylus kotschyi: Hidden diversity and cryptic species . .p 177-187.

Gasc, J-P., Cabela, A., Crnobrnja-Isailović, J., Dolmen, D., Grossenbacher, K., Haffner, P., Lescure, J., Martens, H., Martinez-Rica, J.P., Maurin, H., Oliveira, M.L., Sofianidou, T.S., Veith, M., Zuiderwijk, A. 1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europaea Herpetologica & Museum Nationall d’ Histoire Naturelle (IEGB/SPN). Paris. .p 496.

Tzoras, E., Panagiotopoulos, A. 2019 Mediodactylus kotschyi (Kotschy’s Gecko). Saurophagy. .p 375.

Ajtić, R. 2014. Morphological, biogeographical and ecological characteristics of Kotschy’s gecko (Cyrtodactylus kotschyi Steindachner, 1870 Gekkonidae) from the mainland portion of its distribution range. .p 1-70.