Rhampholeon spinosus

Discussion in 'Rhampholeon' started by Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    A surprise today on Fauna classifieds [business name removed by moderator] has got Rhampholeon spinosus for sale. With their listing as an Endangered species by the IUCN Red List and a quota for 2010 of only 20 individuals I did not expect to see any of them for sale in the USA any time soon. Actually I think with a listing of Endangered species they should not have a quota or has not earned the privileged of being a quota species until they are delisted to a lower or less threatened listing.

    Now that they are here I hope they got to the best homes possible.
    #1 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  2. this is a species I have longed to have. I just do not have the room for a pair. Now the green pygmies they have. I have room for :)
  3. coldbloodedAL

    coldbloodedAL Avid Member

    I believe they are allowed to leave the country as F1, but.i could be wrong. Im hoping to get a pair myself.

    From what they told me, they are ltc and have been here quite a while. They purchased them from a private seller.
  4. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member

    This species is listed on the IUCN Red List as Endangered and illegal trade in this species is a serious threat to their survival in the wild. They have not been issued a quota for export (even as F1) since 2011. They also have not been legally exported in that long. Amazingly, they show up for sale the same day that another uncommon (and sympatric) pygmy chameleon that has not been seen in as many years until this last month is posted for sale.

  5. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    They are allowed to be exported (correction I was wrong they are not allowed to exported) . I'm just one of many that thinks if an animal (or chameleon) is listed as an Endangered species (by the IUCN Red List or recognized by any other major groups) that they should not be available for trade until they are delisted to a lower or less threatened ranking. Then earning the privileged of being available for the trade.

    I hope you give them a good home.
    #5 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  6. coldbloodedAL

    coldbloodedAL Avid Member

    I didnt say i agree with the collection and export. But they are here to stay so someone should give them a chance.
  7. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    If they are illegal they are illegal. They may at this point belong in a zoological collection first. Trade of species that are on the brink of extinction should not be encouraged. Does anyone know any good zoo's to call with great reptile facilities? Kent?
    #7 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  8. DanSB

    DanSB Avid Member

    I kinda thought it was a little strange they had them and in fact seriously debated buying... I even have a pygmy enclosure set up right now and my house temp issue is the only reason I didn't.

    So I'm guessing these were claimed to be something else for export / import and nobody checked or was mistaken? Or possibly f1? Riiight.

    What happens when an exporter incorrectly claims a species and the importer didn't order or expect it? Is the importer supposed to turn it over where it will likely die in some customs office? In the meantime potentially getting their exporters license lost?

    Seriously, what do you do if you order a legally exportable species and you get a similar looking illegal one?
  9. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I think [business name removed by moderator] should be reported on this one. Rhampholeon spinosus is rarely seen in any collections USA or Europe and has always been endangered (to the best of my knowledge). Thanks for the updated quota status Chris. It is not just under the radar imports or miss identified chameleons this species is a sensitive in the wild endangered species.
    #9 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  10. coldbloodedAL

    coldbloodedAL Avid Member

    Hmm.. Well thats rather hipocritical of you to say... Parsonii have not been legal for 20 years? Yet, your former "matty" was likely a product of fraudulent paperwork by way of Asia and you did not hesitate.... Parsonii may not be in the same situation as spinosus but illegal is illegal, right? No offense Jeremy, but its no different going by that standard.

    Again, I dont encourage illegal trade, especially of any chameleon species. But is it that far fetched that the spinosus were in the country before the ban on export?
  11. ferretinmyshoes

    ferretinmyshoes Veterinarian
    Staff Member

    This is crossing into the realm of complaints against a particular business for their business practices, which is not allowed on chameleonforums. The fauna classifieds should be used for complaints or issues with a particular company. We can however continue to discuss the ethics and legality of wild species collection and importation here. Please refrain from further reference to the particular business or individuals involved.
  12. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I hear what your saying however even Parsonii are not even listed as Endangered species by the IUCN Red List. A listing that means a species fighting for their existence to live! If you check they are listed as two listings lower as a listing of Near Threatened. The second lowest ranking. I considered good and long before I acquired Rhino or Matty which are Orange Eyes that are by far captive bred the most of any Parsonii and I know two source in Asia that I think may have lines that were from before 1995 meaning legal. Even then I still know buying both was a big roll of the dice. I just choose to check the list before I buy a chameleon that is in question and once they had their CITES paperwork and are not listed as Endangered species they were here in the USA to stay. Do not be mad because I do not endorse buying a species that has a listing of Endangered species and a no CITES quotas.


    I somewhat apologize about saying not to go ahead with the purchase of the Rhampholeon spinosus after I said to give them a good home. However [business name removed by moderator] and the Customs Agents (whoever let them into the country) should have know there was no legal quotas and they were Endangered species for this species.

    The other problem with Rhampholeon spinosus is they have be proven to be extremely sensitive to disturbances in their natural habitats. Calumma parsonii once the over collection that was happening (however that seems to be somewhat starting up again) before 1995 stopped was actually documented as somewhat capable of living in agricultural areas where this species Rhampholeon spinosus cannot. I'm actually not being hypocritical as Parsonii are not listed as an Endangered species.

    For the record Matty was not imported from Asia Matty was imported from European lines.
    #12 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  13. DanSB

    DanSB Avid Member

    If I was qualified and able to breed them I would buy an endangered species if I could do it legally. The part that bugs me is any idiot with a few hundred to blow can pick them up and kill them.
  14. bifidus

    bifidus Member

    They are not listed in CITES appendices so they do not need export/import permit. So as minimum we do not know if they were exported legally or against Tanzanian law, probably but may be not.

    IUCN red list have often just guesses, not serious scientifical data about wild population.

    In Europe they are not that rare. Rarer like acuminatus but if you look you can find some, even CB. I hope and believe that in few years we will be able breed some more. Until now as far I know best success strategy is make nature like terrarium and leave eggs where they were laid.
  15. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member

    This is absolutely false! Rhampholeon spinosus is most definitely listed on CITES Appendix II, despite being classified as a Rhampholeon species! This species was afforded CITES Appendix II status under its previous classifications (most recently as "Bradypodion spinosum"). A species does not lose its CITES status just because it is reclassified taxonomically (otherwise people would be reclassifying rhinos and elephants on a regular basis). CITES has not recognized the nomenclature change for this species and still recognizes it as "Bradypodion spinosum" and as you can see on the CITES-listed species database (http://www.unep-wcmc-apps.org/isdb/...s=spinosum&source=animals&displaylanguage=eng), they are definitely listed on Appendix II and have not been issued an annual export quota since 2011. The fact that CITES has not yet recognized the nomenclature change of this species to Rhampholeon spinosus means that they still state that no Rhampholeon species are CITES listed, but that is only by their classification system. This species, however, is still protected under CITES.

    Its a shame you brush off all IUCN Red List assessments with a single broad stroke without addressing the specific case in discussion at all. In fact, if you look at the assessment for Rhampholeon spinosus (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/176323/0), you can see exactly why this species was assessed as "Endangered" (Citeria B1ab(iii)). In this case, it was classified as Endangered because it met the following criteria:

    Such an assessment is not a guess, it is based on our best current knowledge of the distribution of this species, its habitat requirements and the state and trend of the habitat the species requires. In fact, the assessment includes a specific justification outlining exactly that:

    jannb likes this.
  16. bifidus

    bifidus Member

    Ok, you are correct, it is there. Shame that CITES was not able react to taxonomic change (widely accepted) that happened in 2004. Problem is that no one is after my opinion obligated study previous name history. Simple it is Rhampholeon spinosum and if I look in valid Cites appendices it is not there. They were simple obligated change taxonomical status or at least they should make somewhere nore that Rhampholeon spinosus is listed like Bradypodion.
    How can it find nature preservation workers if is it not correctly written there? How you can expect that it will be stopped on border if it is not listed under correct name? How can know the controller that it is Cites listed (no chance in real life). How can know it exporter and importer? It is shame of CITES organisation because they get salary to have those list in "good standing".

    I did not want to say that it is not endagered species. My note was that in many cases IUCN red list are made after feeling of writer and not consitent. For example, species that is "vulnerable" can be far more close to extinction like "endangered" and vice versa. Sometimes are there things that brain "stay still".
    You want some example? There is for example Cucujus cinnaberinus is listed there as "near threatened" Truth is that species in France and Germany stepped back, but in large areas it is still very common beetle without any signs of decline (ok, if all forest will be cutt of it will die but...). I take any bet that half of European coleoptera species is far rarer like this taxon. Why are not there all of them? Oh, may be it is there in list because has just one locality: Eurasia :)

    So I did not wrote anything about status of B. spinosum. Simple I do not know how it is in nature with it and I hope they are still fine. However Africa is destroyed is such quick manner that Cites protected or not if there will be no forest there will be no Bradypodion or Rhampoleon spinosum, both species will vanish :D

    Just about iucn red list I can say that it is until now very poor source of scientifically valid information and evaluation and simple until not is not possible to say that those data are in every case even close to reality. My critique was not in case of this species but if I read about some invertebrate groups in my head are coming words somewhere between imperfect and plain stupid.
  17. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member

    You are absolutely correct. CITES needs to officially accept the updated nomenclature for this species because their failure to do so is perpetuating and enabling an illegal trade in the species. It is an issue I have been trying to push for a couple years now. Unfortunately CITES is very slow to adopt such changes. Until they do, however, its important for people to be educated about the actual status of this species so that they can critically evaluate for themselves the likely legality of specimens that are available on the market.

    There definitely is an issue with how up to date many Red List assessments are kept. Unfortunately it is difficult to maintain for every species and there is not funding to do it, so it depends on scientists to volunteer their time and resources to do. As a result, many go long periods between their updates and accuracy can be effected by that. In the case of chameleons, the IUCN Chameleon Specialist Group is currently pushing to complete Red List assessments of all species, so most of the assessments are from the last few years.

    As for your example of Cucujus cinnaberinus, the assessment as Near Threatened (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/5935/0) is actually in line with your statements. This status level is the second lowest category and you can see that it was classified as Endangered from 1984-1996, then as Vulnerable from 1996-2010, and since 2010 has been downgraded to Near Threatened. It also states that the population trend across its entire range is increasing and then specifies that in Central Europe its population is expanding while in peripheral areas it is declining. From what you said, this seems to be a reasonable assessment.

  18. kameleons jvo

    kameleons jvo Established Member

    The only exporter in Tzn who can export them to the US or EU is Joe Beraducci with a year quota of 18 to 20 animals.
    I think in the US he works exclusively with first choice reptiles.
    All other animals that come in and offered are smuggled and illegal .
    In EU smuggle of spinosus is also a big problem ,last hamm fair i saw some wholesalers wit 3 maybe 4oo animals in their boxes for just 50 dollar each:(
  19. Chameleonmaster

    Chameleonmaster Established Member

    its a shame :(
  20. bifidus

    bifidus Member

    Shame for Cites. I think (most) those wholesalers simple do not know that it is preserved. They can just read current appendix and they do not study taxonomy of animals for sale. I am not supporting smuggling of animals but simple believe the most guilty is CITES in this case.

    Chris, changes by Cucujus have nothing with reality. May be population is declining but change since 1984 coud be from "extremely abundant" to "very abundant". If this species has preserved status it should have as minimum half of beetle fauna (as minimum every stenoec species) because this is broad leaf forest species but there eurytop. Moreover by invertebrates the individual preservation has almost never sense and what is important is biotop preservation. I believe by spinosus it will can be similar. It seems that it is not popular species for evrybody and export of 1000 specimens will not affect significantly population as whole. To prove or disprove this will be study of population dynamic necessary. What is painfull that it can be "tested in real life" if really so large black export occurs like Juergen states. But I personally think that it is no problem otherwise they will have problem to find them and price will be higher. However if deforestation will continue they will be wiped with thousand of other animal species. And this is 100% truth without doubts. About spinosus export we can polemize but safe is without valid study (not provided by "green organisations" however) not to export and leave them in biotop. Although may be if they are collected on areas deforested in short they can be saved for CB population ... difficult problem. But I learned that even in Europe conservation of some obsure unique species will have no importance if there is economy pressure "to utilize" area. In Africa is nature destroyed very, very quickly.

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