- We study the relationship between the successional stages of biological soil crusts and the distribution of lizards in the 'Arava Valley (eastern Negev Desert). In the dry sandy habitat, four stages of the biological soil crust succession can be characterized by the degree of soil surface compaction. Both the geckos (Stenodactylus doriae) and the diurnal lizards (Acanthodactylus spp.) strongly preferred the fragile crust, where they dug 80% and 94% of their burrows, respectively. Land conservationists and managers should take these results into consideration when management plans for natural habitats and nature reserves are evaluated.