Cold weather Jackson's

dandnepr

New Member
I live in Hawaii where we have many feral Jackson's. Near the top of a local mountain there is a thriving population at 4,500 feet elevation. Maximum daytime temperature is maybe 70, average 60. nightime it often freezes. They seem to do quite well in these temps and mating behavior is easily observed. It is a mile or more to get to a warmer region and the same Jacksons are observed daily so I doubt they are "commuting". If these particular ones can do well in this climate wouldn't keeping them on the non-tropical mainland be easy? at my mainland residence an unheated cage would stay within these temperatures even outdoors. I thought jackson's needed higher temperatures???
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Chameleons have a tendency to be active over a wider range of internal body temperatures then other lizards living in the same habitat. They start to show activity at temperatures where other lizards are still inactive. They are also very good at basking to increase their internal body temperature to a level that they are comfortable with. During the day, Jackson's chameleons in Kenya tend to maintain their body temperatures higher then ambient temperatures (about 77 degrees Fahrenheit). They hold an average body temperature of about 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with a preferred body temperature of about 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a significant drop in body temperature at night. In captivity, it is best to keep daytime ambient temps in the mid to upper 70s with access to basking spots for the chams to regulate their own body temperatures. Provided they were properly acclimated to them, it wouldn't be a problem for Jackson's to experience lower temperatures, as you described. They are able to regulate their body temperatures during the day with lower ambient temps and survive brief overnight drops in temperature such as you described but you should always be cautious about such low temperature extremes.

Chris
 

Billyjack187

New Member
Freezing temps in Hawaii? I lived there 14 years and never...EVER had freezing temps. Unless you are on the big island in the mountains where once or twice they get snow for a short while. Jacksons like a good temp gradient. I live in Colorado now and it gets cold enough during the summer, but a nightime heat source, I use a 75w for colder nights. And living at 7500 feet we get snow in June on occasion. Where you stay in Hawaii?
 

CammieNLeno

New Member
Freezing temps in Hawaii? I lived there 14 years and never...EVER had freezing temps. Unless you are on the big island in the mountains where once or twice they get snow for a short while. Jacksons like a good temp gradient. I live in Colorado now and it gets cold enough during the summer, but a nightime heat source, I use a 75w for colder nights. And living at 7500 feet we get snow in June on occasion. Where you stay in Hawaii?
Hawaii is the big island.

I assume you live in Kona?
 

dandnepr

New Member
I am on the southwest corner of the big island. My lowest nightime temp is 50f, (my house has never topped 90 in the day) but I am only at 2,200 feet. My friends live at 4,500 and 5,000 and they get freezes.
 

dandnepr

New Member
I am going to try raising the most cold tolerant babies I can find up high. selective breed for cold if posible. many, many amateur breeders here.
 

Chamero

New Member
Hey, Im almost done with my new outdoor cage but am now stuck with which type of chameleon to get. Jackson or Veiled?

I was gonna get a veiled until I heard about the wild populations here in So cal and then I began thinking that a Jackson might be better for this environment.

After reading the post here, it seems that Jacksons can tolerate 50's and up? I know where Im at it can get around 50's and up to 100 in the summer. Can Jacksons get this hot?
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
I think Jackson's would be risky at temps that high. You would need to provide a lot of shade and a lot of water for them at temps near 100. If your temps are only getting as low as the 50s, veileds would do very well for you. You would still need to provide them with shade and amble watering when temps were that high but it would be a lot less risky then Jackson's.

Chris
 
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