A Warning About The New 2014 Madagascar CITES Quota Species

This is a warning about the new Madagascar chameleon quota species. Many of you are going to see (especially in North America) many new Calumma and Furcifer species for sale. These species are extremely neat and exotic species. However they are not beginner species similar to Furcifer pardalis, Furcifer lateralis, Furcifer oustaleti or even a somewhat more advanced Furcifer verrucosus. Many of these species and almost all of these species were not bred in the USA/North America before the CITES 1995 ban. Some or even most could be said to be on a difficulty level of breeding that is close to or on par with Parsons Chameleon. When these chameleons become available take care with your choices for purchase as this even holds true in regard to the Furcifer species on this list.

To start the Parsonii like chameleons to the best of my knowledge are the most difficult to breed (Calumma parsonii parsonii and oshaughnessyi). Next there are the Elephant Eared Chameleons, Calumma malthe and brevicorne, in regards to difficulty to breed. Then lastly before I stop is Furcifer petteri, willsii and bifidus. I have heard Furcifer antimena was not overly difficult to breed along with Calumma nasutum and boettgeri. However I have heard a lot of conflicting claims from the mid 1990's.

These chameleons before the ban were known for their difficulty to captive breed. Some of the best breeders in North America during the early 1990's had limited accomplished results with these species. If you are considering to buy a pair or two you should prepare for a challenge/ a demanding task if you want to keep and breed these species.

Kind Regards
Jeremy A. Rich

Comments

Another warning, when buying Parsons Chameleon I highly recommend buying juveniles only not wild caught adults. It is a concept called fecundity and applies to the conservation of long lived and late maturing species of chameleons such as Calumma parsonii parsonii. The idea is if a juvenile is collected from the wild they can be replaced in one to two years by next years hatchlings. While if an adult is collected where they reach adult size at a later age in the wild than in captivity. It could take five to ten years due to fecundity and recruitment to happen for replacement adults to replace removed adults in the wild. By buying only younger Parsonii this problem won't become a problem since breeding adults are never removed and breeding populations should stay stable if some of the juveniles are left to mature.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
Motherlode Chameleon;bt2124 said:
...The idea is if a juvenile is collected from the wild they can be replaced in one to two years by next years hatchlings. While if an adult is collected where they reach adult size at a later age in the wild than in captivity. It could take five to ten years ....

Very good point
 
With these species being imported I still highly recommend chameleon enthusiasts to travel to Madagascar to observe these species in their natural habitat. Chameleons are great to watch in captivity. However they are absolutely best seen in the wild.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
If your in the hobby and are interested in breeding not just because you are passionate about chameleons in general, the first hand experience with biology at home, or the academic opportunity to study an amazing family of reptiles. You are leaning towards looking for a species that have got financial opportunities for financial gain such as seen with the cash cow of the hobby Furcifer pardalis. The new Madagascar quotas species are going to provide a new list of species that are going to offer many new species that can provide greater financial opportunity especially if the North American markets mirror the markets in Europe at all. Even though these species are known for their difficulty to breed.

There of course are going to be available Calumma parsonii parsonii and the prospects of all the species color phases (Orange Eyes, Yellow Lips, Yellow Giants, Cristifers, and possibly Green Giants). There is the Elephant Eared Chameleons Calumma brevicorne, malthe and crypticum along with Furcifer campani that seem to go for prices about the same as Panthers Chameleons from what I have seen and expect. Then lastly there are two species Calumma oshaughnessyi (I have seen sold at much higher prices that Orange Eye Parsonii) and Furcifer bifidus that could end up selling regularly at prices higher than Calumma parsonii parsonii. If people think the hobby is lacking species that are not lucrative enough to keep and breed to keep the hobby going these 11 new quota chameleons I just listed if done properly should solve that problem.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
I think and want with the regards specifically to Calumma parsonii parsonii, due to the prospects of problems of fecundity issues of collecting slow growing adults plus recruitment from possible over collected areas, that CITES Calumma parsonii parsonii quotas should only be for juvenile and sub adult Calumma parsonii parsonii. There is the prospects of removing to many breeding adults from one area that take too long to replace and can have a large negative impact on wild populations especially over long periods of time of collecting. If only juveniles are collected they can be replaced in 1/one to 2/two seasons and if breeding adults are left in an area recruitment won't be an issue. Plus it keeps the Madagascar forest rich in general and good collecting for Calumma parsonii parsonii for the Malagasy. Especially if breeding adults Calumma parsonii parsonii are producing babies every year.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
A note. On the Island of Madagascar there is 2/two seasons, a summer (November-April) and a winter (May-October). Chameleon imports are known to be at their best health from Madagascar's summer period. Madagascar's summer period is the hot and wet season. This being when the island is thriving with plant and animals life. While Madagascar's winter is the cool and dry season. For those of you planning to buy a healthy wild caught chameleons from Madagascar, this is something to consider.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
Some of the new quota species were considered by some chameleons keepers, when the these species were avaiable to hobbyist before the first Madagascar Chameleon Ban of 1995, as species that could never be bred in captivity. Now after 6 years and with some time, chameleons allowed, patients advances in the hobby, and some experimenting, most of these difficult to breed new quota Madagascar chameleon species have been bred. I keep a log and record of species documented as captive bred or captive hatched and to date the Madagascar 2012 and 2014 new quota species that have been bred and hatched. These species are from the genus Calumma: Calumma brevicorne, Calumma boettgeri, Calumma malthe, Calumma nasutum, Calumma parsonii parsonii, Calumma parsonii cristifer, and Calumma oshaughnessyi. While the new quota species that have been bred from the genus Furcifer are Furcfer antimena, Furcfer bifidus, Furcfer campani, Furcifer petteri and Furcfer viridis. The species according to my records that have had new quotas and not been hatched are Calumma gastrotaenia, Calumma guillaumeti, Calumma marojezense, Furcifer angeli and Furcfer willsii. As well there are under the radar species (or species that have imported as one species and are actually another) that have been bred in captivity during the last six years including Calumma fallax and Calumma linotum. While Calumma crypticum is an under the radar species that has not been bred. This is a six year status report on the new quotas. Best Regards
 

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