The herpetofauna of Lebanon has been of interest in the past to many herpetologists from various countries. After the end of the Lebanese civil war, during which research activity in various fields, but particularly in this field, died down, there was a resurgence of interest in the country to fill in the gaps. We know of various researchers from Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Italy, who have visited the country for that purpose since 1993. I have started conducting work in this field as of the summer of 1992, soon after I settled back in Lebanon, despite the meager funding and limited time.
main interest has been the ecology of reptiles, and this where I have conducted
most of my research work. Most of my prospective publications are in this field.
I have for some time concentrated on lizards of high altitudes (Lacerta’s)
and insular populations such as those of L. laevis on the Palm Islets
off Tripoli, North Lebanon and Acanthodactylus populations in the
sandy areas of Sour, South Lebanon..
continue my study of Lebanese
reptiles and amphibians, including protected areas, mainly the Palm Island off
Tripoli, the Barouk Mountain, the sandy beaches of Sour, Ammiq Marshes in the
Beqaa as well as other areas of particular interest such as high altitudes in
Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon and North Beqaa’s semi-desertic regions. I have
been collaborating with colleagues from the Lebanese University, namely Dr. Suad
Hraoui-Bloquet and, more recently, with Italian herpetologists, Dr. Roberto
Sindaco from the Museo Regionale di Scienza, Turino, and Alberto Venchi,
University of Rome, in a collaborative study on Lebanese reptiles. These studies
are intended to complete the records of Lebanese herpetofauna with emphasis on
their geographic distribution. A book entitled “Amphibians and Reptiles of
Lebanon” is being authored by myself and Dr. Hraoui-Bloquet.
have also been interested in the use of protein electrophoresis to resolve some taxonomic relationships between some Lebanese lizards,
namely, Lacerta laevis and Lacerta cf kulzeri (considered
by some authors to be a subspecies of L. laevis). Biochemical as well as
morphological variation has been examined for this purpose. A similar approach
is used to study the variation in populations of the Hardun, Laudakia stellio
in Lebanon. For this sort of work I have been collaborating with colleagues in
the Biology Department with experience in electrophoretic methods.
have participated in investigating the impact of climate change on ecological
aspects in Lebanon as part of a team formed by the Lebanese Scientific Research
Council and the Ministry of Environment, funded by the UNDP. This included a
Environmental Impact Aassessment training program during June 1998.. The final
report was completed in early May 1999. The chapter in the report in which I
have taken part was entitled “Terrestrial
Ecosystems, Natural Habitats and Wildlife”
will continue to conduct research work in the above fields as well as expanding
into other fields such as ecological studies of amphibians in view of the wide
interest in their worldwide decline.