Rhampholeon spinosus

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

  1. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    What your saying is GARBAGE the Usambara Mountains have been in the world spotlight for a long time to be considered a world heritage site and conservation and restoration of Rhampholeon spinosus habitat can absolutely happen! Have some dignity and listen to what your are saying and hold yourself to a higher standard. If a population of chameleons is listed as endangered and fighting for their species existence hold off on buying them and do not use a petty excuse of because CITES needs to update their nomenclature and wait until the populations have been restored in their native habitat. Which could legitimately happen especially if the Usambara Mountains becomes or is being considered being listed as a world heritage site.

    I just got back from a business trip in California and spotted two California Condors (Gymnogyps californianus) in two locations. If egg collectors in the 1920's thru 1950's said because it was OK to collect eggs to cause the demise of this species because CITES did not change the nomenclature you would not have witnessed one of the great biological accomplishments of the last century. One of the greatest recoveries of endangered species that has ever happened. One that has taken far more land, money, resource, people, and effort that be would require than conserving the Usambaras. I may add created jobs, publicity and world biological community attention.

    Do not justify your desire or thrill to work with an endangered species based on a nomenclature that is being updated now. Hold out until they have been restored or if your that big of a fan of the species go and watch them on an ecotourism trip. Hold off until things change, you are proclaiming yourself an expert on the species in the wild with no sources cited and most that I'm reading from you is speculation.

    If you want your Rhamholeon spinosus stop dily dalying and actually contribute to make the Usambara Mountains a recognized world heritage site. Stop contributing to their demise by buying them as pets. It is highly unlikely your going to come close to contributing to save that species from being endangered with private captive breeding.
    #21 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  2. bifidus

    bifidus Member

    Your language looks to me a bit offensive. May be different countries have different culture but here nobody will call opinion garbage and reprehend me what I can and what I can not write. In any case is seems that you read what you want and not what I wrote in fact. Ok, my English is poor but I hope I am expressing my ideas enough clear.

    Show me where I told that I support buying spinosus or that I proclaimed that I am expert on this species? I bred acuminatus, brevicaudatus and temporalis, last 2 ones in more generations so may be I have some idea how to work with it. However I try avoid to get any WC animals now because I am afraid to spread some illness between mine CB animals (quarantine helps but not in all cases). Otherwise is possible that I could get some spinosus without knowing that they are preserved - and I repeat shame on CITES because of lack of actual information in appendices.

    I just wrote that even me did not know that species is CITES preserved and I believe I am quite expert on this field compared to majority exporters or importers. Than I stated few facts how looks real situation after my experience without judging or sogar supporting smuggling. Where I wrote buy, buy them until supply last? I just wrote that problem can be avoided if CITES will fullfill its obligations and that I can understand mistake primarily caused by CITES.

    If you think that make national park from some region in Africa will save it it is naive. Ok, it is better like if it stays unprotected but it will not automatically save it. I never was in Usambaras but was in many african countries and saw how the situation every few years changed from bad to worse. I wish I could to do something with it but can not. The native living in that area must preserve that area themselves we can not to do it. And if your kids are dying due to starving, lack of medicinal care etc any nature preservations does not interest you at all. Such situation is in many aftican countries - pure fight to overlive this day. if I read about real situation in Usambara I read something different like you wrote, for example http://www.wildfin.com/callfromusambara.htm. May be your knowledge about real situation there is not holding high standard? How do you know that population need "recover" in undamaged areas and how can be recovering on deforested areas. From last ones every exported chameleon is saved chameleon. Problem CAN BE collecting in remaining areas but we do not know if it is done. Anyway, exporting them without proper paperwork is against law. We must follow law but we can question it.

    I believe I contributed quite a lot to nature preservation not in Africa but where I am living like science expert. And saw many times that economical interest, even today, is often stronger like nature preservation. Ok, many times "we" succeded. But not in cases where was against "wood or concrete" lobby. I hope that Usambaras will be saved forever and spinosus will live there as well.

    Just I have one last question: Where you have some population study that will show that limited export not for pets (such species from nature as minimum here will not attract pet lovers) but for breeding efforts with worse situation of spinosus in nature? I am just curious and I would like read it. Again, I do not support smuggling but I am questioning CITES quota policy that stands on water in many cases. What I support is serious scientifical research to know the real situation (may be because by original profession I am zoologist myself) and I know very well how hard is get even a little money to make field research.
  3. leedragon

    leedragon Avid Member

    this is the reason for me to not purchase any WC at all
    Twitchet likes this.
  4. Cainschams

    Cainschams New Member

    I know the private seller and was offered lots of animals for cheap prices which I would not take. Bragging about how many of this and that which are highly endangered. Its just a shame. This is one of the big reasons why I have stopped keeping chams and started fueling my desire with going out into the field and seeing amphibians and reptiles in natural habitat. Its just a shame and no matter what its not going to stop until the whole trade is stopped. Its not going to take some magical person creating captive populations to stop this. It will go on and on until species are completely wiped out because we feel the need to cage them up for some type of gratification, whatever that may be. The importer actually had the nerve to ask me to collect animals I find and sell them to him to resell and also as feeders for other species.:mad:

    Yes, this is highly hypocritical. Regardless of the status of a species, if it is illegal its illegal and thinking it may not does not make up for anything.
  5. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Is smoking marijuana the same as murder? I would have not touched either of my past or present Parsonii without CITES paperwork (or if they were listed as an Endangered species) meaning they are LEGAL! I turned down working with Padre because his CITES paperwork got lost. Along with the following research that Calumma Parsonii Orange Eyes at the time when I did acquire my first Parsonii (before I joined this Forums) was protected by more than one National Park and Nature Preserve in Madagascar. To the best of my knowledge Rhampholeon spinosus is not protected by any of these.

    When I first received my first male Rhino he came in completely healthy as a juvenile and had NOOO parasites when he came back from the vet. That appeared to confirm to me he was the legitimate legal or as advertised captive bred CITES Parsonii. Not a wild caught smuggle animal. Jared just because I think goals can be reached that you cannot see does not make me a hypocrite.
    #25 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  6. Chase

    Chase Avid Member

    I know this an old thread, but being that this topic arose two years ago and is still a problem, it is quite disturbing. It is quite shocking the numbers that are being exported.

    Chris- do you know of any current changes being made to CITES?

  7. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast


    I am not Chris however two of our hobbies most beloved Kinyongia are now listed as Endangered species. Even though these species Kinyongia multituberculata and Kinyongia matschiei are listed as Endangered species, CITES has decided to give them export quotas?!? That they are listed as Endangered species denotes that the species are not in a position to be sustainable collected anymore. As this logic goes they should not be allowed for trade again until the species has recovered to a less threatened listing? To make it back to the export quota list shouldn't they have a non Endangered listing? Meaning they can sustain harvesting again without immediate threats of going extinct. These two are not the only examples of species that have been listed as Endangered. Here is a list of some prized Kinyongia that are now considered Endangered species by the IUCN Red List and have CITES Farmed quotas.

    Kinyongia matschiei (Listed as Endangered) has 20 F1 specimens allowed for export in 2015
    Kinyongia multituberculata (Listed as Endangered) has 120 F1 specimens allowed for export
    Kinyongia tenuis (Listed Endangered) has 18 F1 specimens for export
    Kinyongia magomberae (Listed Endangered) has 10 F1 specimens for export
    Kinyongia vosseleri (Listed as Endangered) 20 F1 specimens for export

    If the golden rule is not to exploit your endangered species. As these species are no longer sustainably collected or fit to be apart of world markets? Why is CITES allowing the export of species that are listed as Endangered species? Even if they are F1 farmed species. How are these quotas going to help delist these species from staying an Endangered species?

    I say allow conservationist finish their job and delist these Endangered forests and species before you even consider exporting these Endangered species for world markets.

    Best Regards
    Jeremy A. Rich
    #27 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  8. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member

    Chase - At this time there has not been any change. CITES has still not adopted the taxonomic change of this species from Bradypodion spinosum to Rhampholeon spinosus. This continues to cause confusion for many about the CITES status of this species, which is still listed as a CITES II species.

    That said, a taxonomic checklist of the family with the most current taxonomy of the entire family was recently published (http://www.senckenberg.de/files/con...2/01_vertebrate_zoology_65-2_glaw_167-246.pdf). This checklist was produced at the request of the Nomenclature Specialist of the CITES Animals Committee and eventually should be adopted as standard reference for CITES purposes. It is possible that it will be submitted for this purpose at the upcoming CITES Animals Committee meeting, but it may have been published too recently for it to make the agenda this year. Once adopted, this should take care of any confusion.

    Jeremy - Kinyongia multituberculata and K. matschiei do not have WC quotas, only limited quotas for F1 specimens. CITES defines F1 specimens as first generation offspring where the progeny were produced in a controlled environment from parents at least one of which was conceived in or taken from the wild. These limited F1 quotas are far superior to and much more sustainable than typical WC quotas. That said, even Endangered species can in theory be harvested sustainably provided the harvest is appropriately limited. Both K. multituberculata and K. matschiei were classified as Endangered based on their limited and severely fragmented geographic range (both extent of occurrence and area of occupancy) which is continuing to decline in area, extent and/or quality. In such cases, a species may have high population densities, and thus be able to sustain limited WC harvest despite being classified as Endangered based on distribution. In any event, as long as the Tanzanian Management Authority starts differentiating these species from their K. fischeri quota, it is a far better situation for them than previous harvest levels.

  9. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast


    That justification you presented sounds like a recipe for extinction. Selling F1 farmed chameleons from wild caught parents although minimal creates a market for an endangered species that already has got population levels that cannot sustain collecting (A similar situation is Rhino Horn and Elephant Ivory). This model is not even contributing to reverse and conserve the species in the wild. What about under the radar exports? If CITES allowed conservationist to restore forest habitat and create preserves first, that would make this a bigger and more appropriate deal. Once this is done (restoring habitat where possible and delisting of species as Endangered) this would allow the export of all these desired chameleon species in conservative yet larger numbers without threat of extinction.

    Best Regards
    Jeremy A. Rich
    #29 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2015
  10. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member

    Jeremy - As usual, for someone who claims to know so much about conservation, you show a startling lack of knowledge about how it works under practical settings. As hard as it may be for you to understand, the reality is that conservation efforts in rural Africa and similar environments are not the same as being hired on as semi-skilled manual labor for an existing conservation effort in California.

    CITES is concerned with making sure that trade is not detrimental to wild populations. Annual export quotas are established by individual management authorities, in this case, the Tanzanian government. As long as trade levels are not deemed to be detrimental to wild populations and is preformed with appropriate paperwork and reporting, CITES does not have the authority or power to restrict trade. This is because parties (countries) willingly sign on as signatories to CITES in order to voluntarily improve the conservation status of their flora and fauna. While this gives CITES a fair bit of power to protect species from the impacts of international trade, it also severely limits them when trade is non-detrimental. Under this reality, annual quotas of 10-120 first generation captive bred individuals is far superior to annual exports of 3,000+ wild caught specimens. Quotas of 20 F1 individuals is far more sustainable than 3,000 WC individuals, no matter how you cut it.

    Further, all out bans do not work as you allude. One only has to look at illegal trade levels in species like Astrochelys yniphora, Astrochelys radiata, and other Malagasy species prior to their ban being lifted to see that bans do not end illegal trade. Conservative, sustainable quotas, however, at least have the chance to provide captive breeding potential and fulfill existing demand to lessen this demand.

    While your blind idealism may sound great, it is completely unrealistic and naive. I'm shocked that someone with the experience and education you claim to have is as clueless about how conservation actually works outside of the US as your posts indicate.

  11. kameleons jvo

    kameleons jvo Established Member

    While your blind idealism may sound great, it is completely unrealistic and naive. I'm shocked that someone with the experience and education you claim to have is as clueless about how conservation actually works outside of the US as your posts indicate.


    I completely agree with you Chris :)
  12. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast


    I think I have got more of a clue than you. I was not semi skilled manual labor, I solved many problems at my stay with Salmon Protection And Watershed Network and Turtle Island Restoration Network. You should not try to guess what I was doing there.

    I am acquainted with how CITES works with recommended bans and quotas. However you actually are not hearing what I am saying. I am saying farmed chameleons or wild caught these endangered species have to be at least an attempt to delist them going on to justify exporting any of these endangered species before I can consider condoning these exports. For a conservationist your lack of concern for delisting Endangered species and tendency to want to over exploit them does not build much confidence. I stand by what I say though Endangered species should not even be on the export list until they are delisted. A restoration effort to delist these species would create jobs for local communities in areas where these species live. I know that is not as easy as it sounds however that is what it takes to have condoned and approve these chameleon quotas.

    You make it sound as though there is going to be a complete ban in Tanzania. No just the species that are listed as Endangered species are going to be removed from the chameleon quotas. There are plenty of other Tanzania chameleons that are going to be available for Tanzania to export. Even then these once Endangered species in a decade or two they could show up on the CITES quota list. The way this quotas system is supposed to work.

    Exactly my concern then why are there Endangered species listed on their quotas list?

    Best Regards
    Jeremy A. Rich
    #32 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  13. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member


    I never once said that restoration efforts should not be undertaken in an effort to delist species assessed as Endangered, nor did I suggest any "tendency to want to over exploit them." Quite the opposite, I would love to see such restoration efforts and I am only for sustainable use. I am saying, however, that in the real world no one gives a sh!t what you condone, and that the real world is not as simple as you make it out to be.

    The reality is CITES does not have the authority or power to ban trade in these species if their harvest is non-detrimental to the wild populations and is properly permitted and reported. To that end, I specified that being listed as Endangered does not automatically mean that limited harvest is detrimental to the population or not sustainable. In fact, these limited F1 quotas are unlikely to be detrimental to these wild populations and I would much rather see these limited F1 quotas than the huge WC numbers that were exported in prior years.

  14. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast


    You always seem to screw up a good answer or response by talking sh!t.

    I have been saying the answers sounds simple making it happen is not. You made it clear what you think is acceptable. I am good with that.

    I would want to see some more conservation of these Endangered species habitat in their native range though. If CITES had more of a hand with that that would be great. I am just not a big fan of CITES condoning exports of Endangered species. People give a damn about what I think.

    Best Regards
    Jeremy A. Rich
    #34 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  15. ZachG

    ZachG Member

    Captive bred, endangered species are exported from their home country fairly often without detriment to the wild populations. Look up the work the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center is doing with Hylomantis lemur (critically endangered), and you'll see a perfect example of how conservation and bio-commerce can go hand in hand.

    These responsible quotas present an opportunity for conservation if they are handled properly. Otherwise, where does the money come from to create all these wonderful preserves and to create all these local jobs?
  16. johnnyev

    johnnyev New Member

    Same goes for what Understory Enterprises in Columbia are trying to achieve with their breeding programs of endangered Poison Dart Frogs.
  17. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Foreign Aid, Special Interest Groups, Conservation Groups, University Programs (Both foreign and domestic), The countries government, and other groups all bring moneys. For the most part with the exception of Kinyongia multituberculata there is only going to be 20 F1 chameleons exported a year for these species. That is not enough to finance conservation of these forests and programs to delist these species.

    I am saying should not be exported for the hobby not for research or conservation purposes.

    Best Regards
    Jeremy A. Rich
    #37 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  18. ZachG

    ZachG Member

    You really think these groups are going to spend that much money (buy the land, build research/captive production facilities, etc.) to conserve what some view as "just some lizards"? It is often difficult enough to get adequate money for charismatic megafauna conservation...much less something some of the world views as unsightly.

    You missed the point on my H. lemur example. Those animals are being sold to hobbyists in the US, Europe and elsewhere and money made from them goes back into conserving their habitat and repatriation attempts. You say that a quota of 20 isn't enough. I say you have to start somewhere. This year, 14 individuals of Oophaga sylvatica were exported from Ecuador into the US hobby. The money raised from these goes back to WIKIRI in Ecuador for research and conservation.

    Understory Enterprises (Peru), WIKIRI (Ecuador), Tesoros (Colombia), CRARC (Costa Rica), and Operation Mitsinjo (Madagascar) are all examples of successful conservation efforts that are at least partially funded by the respective animal hobby.

    This technique puts a value on the resource, which in time, allows it to at least partially conserve itself.
  19. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I went through that site (Coasta Rican Amphibian Research Center) and there is no mention of a Hylomantis lemur. There is an Agalychnis lemur. As well they made no mention about selling any of the species that they are trying to conserve. With a critically endangered species it is surprising that they have got the extra specimens to sell.

    The East Usambara's were being considered being made into a world heritage site. With the world's attention and how rich with species most of these forests are there are quite a lot of parties that are interested in these forest. Mega Fuana could be said as have much more demanding requirements than chameleons.

    I went through the entire Amphibians of Costa Rica Site and found no mention of them selling any of the Endangered or Critically Endangered species that they are working with. If people are are so enthralled by these Endangered and Critically Endangered species why don't they make a donation every year towards conservation and recovery of these species? Why have hobbyists got to have the endangered species? They can be apart of the recovery by making a donation and following a recovery program. Once the species is delisted to Vulnerable or Near Threatened then these conservation programs can sell some specimens to hobbyists. That is how I think the system should work.

    I have always stated that keeping species in captivity is a privileged of accomplished conservation. We have not reached that point yet with Endangered species and Critically Endangered species to justify exporting/importing them for the hobby.

    Best Regards
    Jeremy A. Rich
    #39 Motherlode Chameleon, Jun 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  20. ZachG

    ZachG Member

    From Understory Enterprises's website (The distributor of CRARC frogs):

    "Encounters with this frog (Agalychnis/Hylomantis lemur) in the rainforest are very rare, but one place that this species has been established and can be found in adundance is within the CRARC reserve in Costa Rica. Habitat restoration, and augmentation through the addition of artificial breeding sites throughout the CRARC reserve has allowed the once fragile population within the reserve to stabilize, grow, and even expand their distribution within the reserve. Artifical breeding sites, consisting of plasctic tubs, now consistently support large numbers of tadpoles, and breeding adults are commonly observed at these sites."


    And information on the CRARC:

    "To help Brian with his research efforts in Costa Rica, and in situ conservation projects within the CRARC private reserve, Understory is returning to the CRARC a 50% donation from the sale of all captive produced animals sold by Understory which originated from the CRARC lab. This program has been designed to ensure some financial liquidity for Brian to allow his research and conservation work to continue, while allowing hobbyists access to new and exciting species from a legal origin. What this means is that half of the gross revenue of all the frogs which are bred at Understory, and that have originated from the CRARC will be channeled directly back to the CRARC. Even if the animal is F9, CRARC will receive its due revenue. All expenses in maintenance, care and marketing as well as logistics will be assumed by Understory. In this way we can use our resources available in Canada to produce animals to help satiate global demand for Costa Rican species, while allowing Brian the time to continue important research and conservation efforts in the field, thus freeing him from some of the many hours involved in raising dozens of often delicate amphibians."


    The sure fire way to ensure conservation is to give the resource a value. Make it valuable and even people on the fence will care. Why do people need to make a donation when this model is working exceptionally well for this and many other species. Hobbyists are no longer just taking animals from the wild in the countries using this model. They are funding conservation directly. I can assure you that this has raised significantly more money than just sitting there and asking for donations.

    I am a biologist and work directly with managing wildlife on a day to day basis. I see both the success and failures/works in progress. One of (if not THE) greatest success in T&E species management is the recovery of the American Alligator. This is a species that went from threatened to sustainably commercially harvested in less than 20 years. Why?...It's sustainable exploitation literally funds its conservation and now management. If biologists in the '70s sat around and begged for donations to save alligators, do you think there would be such a thriving resource today? I, for one, am thankful that some people thought outside the box and developed a highly successful plan for management not terribly unlike what is being done with amphibians in Central/South America and can be done with other species that are conducive to being produced in captive conditions.

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