Chameleon Specialist Group Fundraiser: Conserving the Most Range Restricted Chameleon

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Hi Everyone,

Last year with the help of the chameleon community, and in no small part to the members of Chameleon Forums (https://www.chameleonforums.com/supporting-chameleon-conservation-chameleon-specialist-group-fundraiser-109719/), the IUCN/SSC Chameleon Specialist Group (CSG) raised money to assess the extinction risk of the remaining chameleon species for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These assessments have now been completed (see summary thread here: https://www.chameleonforums.com/iucn-red-list-assessments-chameleons-updated-136412/) and they reveal several species to be at very high risk of extinction. None, however, are at greater risk of extinction than Chapman’s chameleon (Rhampholeon chapmanorum)! Now, we need your help to put chameleon conservation experts on the ground to perform the first survey of this species since 1998, the last time this species was seen in the wild!

During the recent IUCN Red List assessments, GoogleEarth satellite images were used to examine the extent of forest where this species is found. The images show that less than one square kilometre of its original forest habitat remains, and the figure is probably closer to 0.5 km2! This small range makes Chapman’s chameleon one of the most restricted vertebrate species on Earth. It is considered Critically Endangered because there is a high risk of extinction within the next decade due to additional forest loss. The prediction is that if the forest is completely destroyed, the species will become extinct. The small remaining patch may already not be large enough to support a heathy population, but we have no recent information to suggest whether the chameleon is still surviving in this tiny remnant of forest or not. The last time the chameleon was seen in the wild was in 1998, and no further surveys have been undertaken since that time.

A survey of the remaining forest fragment urgently needs to be carried out to determine if a small population still survives. To avoid imminent extinction, strong conservation measures must be put in place as soon as possible. Undoubtedly, the remaining forest must be fully protected and allowed to re-grow.

As a result, the IUCN Chameleon Specialist Group is taking on the responsibility of ensuring that this species receives the attention it deserves so that it does not go extinct. The first step is to conduct a survey of the forest to determine if the species still survives there, and to assess whether the forest is healthy enough to support the population. The CSG will also collaborate with regional experts to engage the Malawian government to assist in carrying out recommendations to protect this species and its remaining habitat.

To meet that end, the CSG has developed a fundraising campaign to build money to support a survey of the remaining forest on the Natundu Hills. This campaign will enable a small team of experts to travel to the Natandu Hills and search for this species in 2015. The CSG will then survey the remaining habitat to assess the condition of the remaining population and whether the forest is healthy enough to support it. The team will then survey nearby healthy forests to determine whether any of these areas may be suitable for relocation of chameleons from the Natandu Hills.

Please visit this page and consider donating to this cause:
Chapman’s Chameleon: Conserving the World's Most Range Restricted Chameleon

Thank you all for your help on this project!

Chris
 
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Brad

Administrator
Staff member
Conservation Award

Chameleon conservation is a very important topic that should be of interest to all chameleon enthusiasts. We must do everything we can to preserve the diverse life found on our planet. I want to thank the Chameleon Specialist Group (CSG) for taking this initiative, and I also want to strongly encourage forum members to consider a small donation if possible. Chameleon Forums assumes a responsibility to help, so we will be issuing a Conservation Award to members that donate to this cause.


Conservation Award

If you would like an award please follow the instructions below.

1. Contribute to the Chameleon Specialist Group Fundraiser at Rockethub.

2. Email Chris Anderson ([email protected]) with the following information:
A. Your username at Chameleon Forums.​
B. The email address associated with your Rockethub account.​

3. Wait for the information to be verified and for the award to be added to your forum account.



Photo Contest: Winners of our monthly photo contests may choose to donate their prize to this conservation effort.

It should be noted that two members of the CSG, Chris Anderson and Niels Pedersen, are active at Chameleon Forums and we thank them for their dedication to the animals we love.


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Thank you for your contribution to this effort:
absolutbill, azrael, BackwaterReptiles, Brad, CarlC, Carlton, Chase, Dave Bolamperti, deerharvester, Drcrossfire, ferretinmyshoes, frikitiki, FlChamMom, JamesC, kplatvoet, Lathis, laurie, lindseymeder16, Masked Gecko, NHenn, nick barta, Norcal55, OwenPowell, pigglett79, ponders, Trace and Ziggystardust

 
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Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
I contributed! With efforts like this, every dollar is a step in a positive direction. If you have even $25 to spare, please consider supporting the animals we all love. :D
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chris

Worthy cause however are you going to be apart of this survey or is this fundraiser to support other Chameleon Specialist Group members that are going to be apart of this survey?

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
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Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Thanks everyone for your support and donations so far! Long way to go yet, but definitely off to a good start!

Chris

Worthy cause however are you going to be apart of this survey or is this fundraiser to support other Chameleon Specialist Group members that are going to be apart of this survey?

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
At this point we are not intending on me being part of the team we'll be sending. The expense to get me there from the US is just too high and there are other individuals (both CSG members and critical collaborators) with more immediately applicable expertise that we need to have on the ground. Depending on what they find and what the resultant recommendations that are made for the long term protection of this species are, it is possible I may become more directly involved down the road, but for now my role is strictly a supporting one.

Chris
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Its been a little over 48 hours since we announced the fundraiser and we've managed to get over $1000 in donations so far. Obviously we still have a ways to go in order to hit out fundraising goal of $5000, but this is a great start! Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and helped spread the word on this fundraiser!

I also wanted to draw attention to the fact that if you have a reptile-related businesses (or businesses in general) that you'd like to have recognized for supporting chameleon conservation, the CSG has a Corporate Sponsor option for this fundraising initiative where your company can donate different amounts and be recognized as a "Proud Supporter of the Chameleon Specialist Group & Chameleon Conservation". In addition to rewards outlined on the fundraiser page, you will receive a custom sponsor badge to post on your company website and Facebook page so your customers know that your company supports the CSG in this effort. Dragon Strand just became the first Corporate Sponsor of this conservation effort! More information on the Corporate Sponsorship option can be found on the fundraiser's page: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/50682-chapman-s-chameleon-conserving-the-world-s-most-range-restricted-chameleon

Thanks again!

Chris
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its been a little over 48 hours since we announced the fundraiser and we've managed to get over $1000 in donations so far. Obviously we still have a ways to go in order to hit out fundraising goal of $5000, but this is a great start! Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and helped spread the word on this fundraiser!

I also wanted to draw attention to the fact that if you have a reptile-related businesses (or businesses in general) that you'd like to have recognized for supporting chameleon conservation, the CSG has a Corporate Sponsor option for this fundraising initiative where your company can donate different amounts and be recognized as a "Proud Supporter of the Chameleon Specialist Group & Chameleon Conservation". In addition to rewards outlined on the fundraiser page, you will receive a custom sponsor badge to post on your company website and Facebook page so your customers know that your company supports the CSG in this effort. Dragon Strand just became the first Corporate Sponsor of this conservation effort! More information on the Corporate Sponsorship option can be found on the fundraiser's page: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/50682-chapman-s-chameleon-conserving-the-world-s-most-range-restricted-chameleon

Thanks again!

Chris
Donation on the way Chris! Thanks so much for letting us know about this. I hope we can make a difference for this little creature.
 

OldChamKeeper

Chameleon Enthusiast
****! My last name is Chapman. I didn't even know this thing existed.

Can we parlay my surname into a 2.2 pair so I can help the species continue?
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Hi everyone,

So it turns out that the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (TODAY!!!) is Giving Tuesday, a movement to create a national day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. In the spirit of that movement, please consider donating to the IUCN Chameleon Specialist Group's fundraiser for Chapman's pygmy chameleon. We are currently at 63% of our fundraising goal. It would be great if we could increase that today!

Here's a link to the fundraiser: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/50682-chapman-s-chameleon-conserving-the-world-s-most-range-restricted-chameleon

Thanks!

Chris
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
Bump bump!

Sometimes it may feel like if you can't make a significant contribution, you can't make a difference. Supporting conservation efforts just such as this are the proof that every single dollar counts.

Even if this particular fundraiser is not where you want to donate money, consider how much good even 10$ can make for a local animal rescue. 10$ might make the difference between an extra night of food and shelter for an unwanted pet (with the extended chance if adoption!) or being put down because of lack of resources.

Consider our four footed, winged, clawed, finned, and zygodactyl friends for Giving Tuesday!
 
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