Project background

The Mosor rock lizard (Dinarolacerta mosorensis) and the Prokletije rock lizard (D. montenegrina) are endemic and relic species of the Dinaric mountains in the Western Balkans, including Montenegro (Ljubisavljević et al., 2007a). The Mosor rock lizard is listed as vulnerable species according to IUCN criteria, owing to severely fragmented and limited distribution and a declining extent and quality of its habitats (Crnobrnja-Isailović et al., 2009). In Montenegro it is protected by law (Official Gasette 76/06). The specific status of the Prokletije rock lizard (stenoendemic of Prokletije Mountain Massif), has been established in 2007, formerly presenting a small isolated population of the Mosor rock lizard (Ljubisavljević et al., 2007a). In recent years, Montenegrin populations of the Mosor rock lizard have been subjected to a number of studies dealing with life-history, morphological and genetical variability (Ljubisavljević et al., 2007a; Ljubisavljević et al., 2007b; Polović & Ljubisavljević, 2007; Ljubisavljević et al., 2008; Ljubisavljević et al., 2010; Tomašević-Kolarov et al., 2010). However, the analyses of population parameters, habitat selection and threatening factors have not been conducted. On the other side, the Prokletije rock lizard is an unexplored species. These data are important for establishing monitoring programs and planning further conservation measures for both species and their fragile patchy habitats, since montane endemic species with limited dispersal abilities are expected to be especially vulnerable to global climate change. Awareness campaign on conservation of Dinarolacerta spp. and their importance to biodiversity of Montenegro is also required, due to limited knowledge or general public's ignorance toward Reptiles.