Scientists Rediscover Endangered Chameleons in a Madagascar Hotel Garden

Some endangered chameleons that had been lost for more than a century have been recently found by scientists.…
Endangered chameleon

Some endangered chameleons that had been lost for more than a century have been recently found by scientists. These chameleons were rediscovered in a Madagascar hotel garden. These scientists have been working as part of the“25 Most Wanted List” of missing species at Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).

These species of chameleons were first discovered in 1893 and the last time they were seen was 1913. These endangered chameleons are called Voeltzkow’s chameleon and they were re-discovered by Frank Glaw and his team of scientists from the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology.

The endangered chameleon was found in northwest Madagascar, Mahajanga region, the most bio-diverse habitat for chameleons on the island.  Over 15 Voeltzkow’s chameleons were rediscovered within two days of the expedition. These chameleons were lounging in a hotel garden in town.

Our efforts were entirely unsuccessful during most of the trip to find it where we thought it would most likely be.

That was really frustrating, but the rediscovery during the last few days of the trip immediately changed everything and brought us an incredibly happy ending.

Frank Glaw

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The expedition was meant to be a challenge since the closest chameleon relatives of Voeltzkow, Labord’s chameleons 4-5 months over the winter. As a result, the tie frame to find these chameleons was very short. Luckily, the team discovered 18 chameleons, 15 females and 3 males.

According to Klaw’s paper details, 100 years ago, the males were the only specimens available for study, and this limited the available details about these species. Klaw’s documentation gives science the opportunity to have the first description of a female Voeltzkow’s chameleon.

Both male and female are green with a few black and white on their body when calm, however, if they are angry, stressed, or experience hormonal changes when mating, they can have black and white stripes with three red dots on their back, or turn indigo with a pattern of indigo, white, and black stripes.

The Voeltzkow’s chameleon adds color and beauty to the planet and reminds us that even when all seems lost, a great adventure can rekindle hope even for species we haven’t seen since Woodrow Wilson was president.

GWC president, Don Church

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