What happened to all the bearded pygmy chameleons?

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Title is pretty self-explanatory. When I got into the hobby about a decade ago, I swear I saw bearded pygmies (specifically R. brevicaudatus - not the Brookesia species) all over the place. My local herp shop sold tons of CB pygmies back in the day, but I haven't seen any in years! Same goes with online.

Is this an import regulation thing? I was looking into them a while back before dipping my toes into Brookesia instead, but had absolutely no luck. It always surprises me that pygmy chams aren't more popular. You can keep them communally in really beautifully planted bioactive vivs and they're very fun to watch. Plus, I'm always told that they are pretty prolific breeders and would have thought that even casual hobbyists might produce some.

Now I certainly don't have room for more chams right now, but anyone know what the deal is?
 

Mawtyplant

Chameleon Enthusiast
probably your local shop sold ton of wc or captive hatched pygmies :/ because importation are now closed since 3 years. Did you ask your local shop?
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
probably your local shop sold ton of wc or captive hatched pygmies :/ because importation are now closed since 3 years. Did you ask your local shop?

Yeah, that's kind of what I figured. According to them, they have/had a local source which "couldn't get them to stop breeding." But that was a number of years back, so I should check in and see if they still have that contact
 

Chris Anderson

Dr. House of Chameleons
Staff member
Tanzania shut down all animal exports a couple years ago and since then all Rhampholeon and Rieppeleon species have been added to CITES. As a result, they have not been being exported from Tanzania and their numbers in captivity have dropped considerably. When Tanzania does finally open back up to exports, they will now require CITES permits like other chameleons, so they may be more expensive and come in at lower volumes.

Chris
 
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