Trioceros jacksonii xantholophus in the Wild on the Island of Maui

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
As most of you chameleon enthusiast know there is population of Trioceros jacksonii xantholophus on the Hawaiian islands. Just happens thought that as a college graduation gift my brother and I have gone to the islands Maui. Both being huge enthusiasts of chameleons we had to add a Jackson Chameleon expedition to the itinerary.

To start looking we got some tips from reliable sources from the forums and friends and even locals and decided to go to a region called upper Kula. We spent about an hour and fifteen minutes (3/8/2013) just driving around as most of the land was privately owned and access for chameleon hunting was extremely limited. With no signs of any chameleons or progress for good hunting ground we went to a local resort for dinner before we headed back down the hill to the home where we were staying. However as it turned out the resort had a botanical garden and the management said they had Jacksons Chameleons in their botanical gardens you just really had to search for them. My brother Chris B. Rich and I search high and low for adults and juveniles however none we're to be found. No chameleons however we ended the day with a gorgeous view and a great diner.

Last minute on Sunday (3/11/2013)we had a change in our itinerary due to a tropical storm and instead of going deep sea fishing we decided to go to the Iao Valley. This is a much more lush and wetter location and decided to look and have a second go at locating Trioceros jacksonii xantholophus in the wild on this vacation. It was not the recommend Jacksonii hunting habitat however it looked to be the best montane chameleon habitat to me and they we're documented as occurring in this location.

IMG_1268_zpsfac0db62.jpg


My brother and I hiked up a rather short public trail of about a half mile to the top of the trail slowly looking for chameleons as we went. With how lush the greenery was we decided to take our time and look for a Jacksonii sunning at the ends of the branches. As spotting any deeper in the crowns of the trees with how lush the plant life was in that area was not probable at all. We made it to the top and although we had not spotted a Jacksonii yet we were jazzed to make it to the top. After looking around and about to start the decent of the Iao Valley Trail Head I spotted in front of me a familiar sway. It was a sub adult female Trioceros jacksonii xantholophus. We observed and photographed her for a good long while and a crowed grew then we decided to descend and look for more specimens:D.

IMG_1260_zps6061346b.jpg


IMG_1262_zpsc415c9eb.jpg


IMG_1263_zpsa93f95d4.jpg


IMG_1264_zps46b96e26.jpg


IMG_1265_zps3faf585c.jpg
 
Last edited:

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
As we kept walking totally thrilled that we redeemed ourselves from the first expedition and found the first chameleon of the the two expeditions we went looking for a second. We were extremely happy to have seen a female however we did want to spot and adult male with their impressive three horns in the wild. Keeping in mind it has been documented that chameleon densities occur at their highest along certain features. We decided to continue our search along a path towards a creek channel. Surprisingly about fifteen minutes after spotting the female my brother Chris spotted an adult male Trioceros jacksoni xantholophus about thirty feet up sunning in the top of a tree. Totally jazzed and loving life we observed and photo documented him for a good long while then continued the search for more specimens. After hunting for about two and one half hours those where the only Jacksonii we found however we were thrilled. Next time when we return to Maui we're going to look for more however on the horizon sometime soon is a expedition to Madagascar. It is true chameleons are best seen in the wild.

IMG_1271_zps5585fb43.jpg


IMG_1270_zps67e16ef3.jpg


IMG_1269_zpsb1746904.jpg
 
Last edited:

Action Jackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Success! That's cool Jeremy. The males posture and coloration looks like he can see another male or female. I wonder if there was another within his view.
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Success! That's cool Jeremy. The males posture and coloration looks like he can see another male or female. I wonder if there was another within his view.

Thanks locating a couple of chameleons in the wild is an accomplishment. We observed him for a good twenty to thirty minutes and he only moved about twelve inches. I think he was just sunning. He was not displaying at all. He just picked an odd spot to bask.

How awesome! I would LOVE to see wild Jacksons!

Thanks in the wild is the best way to observe chameleons.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Jeremy I have alway admired and liked you. Right now that is in question as I am green with envy. I know I will never make it to Maddy but maybe back to Hawaii will work. Your photos are lovely to see. Glad you both had a good time.
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jeremy I have alway admired and liked you. Right now that is in question as I am green with envy. I know I will never make it to Maddy but maybe back to Hawaii will work. Your photos are lovely to see. Glad you both had a good time.

Laurie I hope you make it back to Maui. The access to these chameleons was extremely affordable and the Iao Valley Trail was not rigorous at all. It is five dollars for parking and there were no other fees. We were able to locate the chameleons from the paths and no bush whacking was allowed or needed. As well there was a three acre botanical garden a half mile down the hill that allegedly has Jacksonii that they allow you to search for. If you and others make it to Maui it is something that could be accomplished by normal means.
 
Last edited:

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
That is fantastic that you were able to find a couple of Jacksons in the wild. I'm quite jealous that you are in Hawaii right now and I know that my next trip out there will definitely have some time built in for cham-hunting! :D
 

ChuWuti

Member
Your photos are wonderful! Thank you for sharing your cham-hunting trip with us; I've been showing my DH as I scrolled down and we've both enjoyed seeing the chams up in the trees.

What a wonderful adventure!

Sandy
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
That is fantastic that you were able to find a couple of Jacksons in the wild. I'm quite jealous that you are in Hawaii right now and I know that my next trip out there will definitely have some time built in for cham-hunting! :D

Thanks it turned out to be quit a neat expedition this vacation.

Your photos are wonderful! Thank you for sharing your cham-hunting trip with us; I've been showing my DH as I scrolled down and we've both enjoyed seeing the chams up in the trees.

What a wonderful adventure!

Sandy

Thanks everyone who went along had a great time! I chose to make this a thread instead of a blog because it will be continued next year.
 
Last edited:

KrazyZen

Member
Finding jacksonii's not only surviving but thriving in the islands of hawaii tells us alot about this somewhat unique chameleon who originated from Africa and isn't native to hawaii. i believe being able to give live birth also helped them reproduce and thrive alot faster also . Being the first chameleon i ever cared for and learned from when i was a just a kid will always have a soft spot for them. they were also the animal that opened my eyes about being a responsible pet caregiver using common sense like researching as much as you can regardless if it's a freshwater aquarium or a reef tank ... reptiles or whatever. Example .. if you can't accept things like chameleons are more of a viewing from a distance handling it to a minimum type pet instead of thinking yours is different and being selfish and ignoring there true needs then making it even worse by posting vids in youtube and unknowingly give the wrong ideas to other ppl who has no clue what it takes to really care for them. come on ppl lets do whats needed not what looks cool for you. thats what makes this forum very valuable specially for beginners and even experienced handlers might even learn something new. Well i've babbled enough long live the jacksonii just don't let my panthers know i said that k lol.
 

Montium

New Member
Iao supposedly has some dart frogs as well so look down every so often the next time you are there lol
 

Motherlode Chameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Finding jacksonii's not only surviving but thriving in the islands of hawaii tells us alot about this somewhat unique chameleon who originated from Africa and isn't native to hawaii. i believe being able to give live birth also helped them reproduce and thrive alot faster also . Being the first chameleon i ever cared for and learned from when i was a just a kid will always have a soft spot for them. they were also the animal that opened my eyes about being a responsible pet caregiver using common sense like researching as much as you can regardless if it's a freshwater aquarium or a reef tank ... reptiles or whatever. Example .. if you can't accept things like chameleons are more of a viewing from a distance handling it to a minimum type pet instead of thinking yours is different and being selfish and ignoring there true needs then making it even worse by posting vids in youtube and unknowingly give the wrong ideas to other ppl who has no clue what it takes to really care for them. come on ppl lets do whats needed not what looks cool for you. thats what makes this forum very valuable specially for beginners and even experienced handlers might even learn something new. Well i've babbled enough long live the jacksonii just don't let my panthers know i said that k lol.

Thanks for voicing your comments.

Iao supposedly has some dart frogs as well so look down every so often the next time you are there lol

Thanks for the tip. The Iao Valley is next to my god parents house. We can target Dart Frogs next time we go to the area. There are Day Gecko's on Maui as well.

Best Regards
Jeremy A. Rich
 
Last edited:

Montium

New Member
Yeah my father's place in Kona was covered in them, day geckos that is , he used to feed them fruit and they would flock to him lol.
 
Wow, thank you for sharing your experiences! I will be back on Maui in January and will keep an eye out, Iao had some of our favorite hiking so now it will be doubly enjoyable!
 
Top Bottom