We were lucky enough to see 2 different species of chameleon whilst in Madagascar, which we considered a great honor as of the 202 species of chameleon on the IUCN Red List 37% are threatened! The chameleons we saw we were able to identify thanks to the amazing people in the Chameleon Specialist Group.
The first was a small brown chameleon, which is thought to be Brookesia superciliaris. This brown leaf chameleon is considered ‘Least Concerned’ by the IUCN Red List. We saw several chameleons of this species whilst in the forest in a range of sizes. In some of the pictures in the slide show below you can see a few that are only a bit bigger than a fingernail! We loved watching them with their weird looking horns over their eyes and twig like legs, rocking as they walk. Click here to watch a video we took whilst in the field!
The second was a much bigger green chameleon which is thought to be a hooded chameleon (Calumma cucullatum), and is a chameleon is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN Red List. It was last assessed in 2011 and it is thought that the population is severely fragmented and declining because of its intolerance for degraded habitat. We even saw it stick out its long sticky tongue catching insects in a blink of an eye and watched it chomp them down. The hooded chameleon looks like it moves in slow motion, watch it here and here .