Very rare pygmy chameleon found: it is not extinct but it needs our protection

Researchers had lost track of it for seven years but recently found that the reptile is not extinct (but still threatened).

He is about to end up run over, his mother saves him

Il pygmy chameleon Chapman's is a tiny chameleon native to the forest of Malawi, Africa. It was believed that this small chameleon, just over five centimeters long, had now become extinct due to deforestation but a group of researchers has instead recently found it.

Il Rhampholeo of the chapmans, pure being one of the rarest chameleons in the worldor, it is still on our planet, clinging to life in an ecosystem heavily disturbed by human activity. Unfortunately, this is not the only chameleon at risk: around 34% of chameleon species are threatened with extinction and another 18% are considered vulnerable. These are animals that are very sensitive to the environment and whose survival can only take place in their natural habitat.

Chapman's pygmy chameleon was first described in 1992 as "kind and beautiful," and even then feared for its survival due to extensive deforestation in the area. Six years later, in '98, 37 pygmy chameleons were brought into the forest to try to support the species.

During the monitoring in the following years, the presence of these reptiles was confirmed several times, at least until 2014. Since then, there has been no news of the pygmy chameleon.

It was therefore feared that the little chameleon had disappeared, also because the forest in the meantime it has been 80% destroyed from 1984 to 2019, therefore the habitat of this species is undoubtedly very compromised.

Now, however, the confirmation has arrived: the pygmy chameleon still lives in what little remains of the forest. Researchers found adult and juvenile specimens in the area where they were released in '98.

One of the world’s rarest chameleons, Chapman’s pygmy chameleon, long feared to be extinct in the wild has been found surviving in patches of rainforest in Malawi. The study is published in @OryxTheJournal, the International Journal of Conservation. Read:

— Wits University (@WitsUniversity) August 4, 2021

Good news, however, that shouldn't let our guard down why the species is still threatened. According to the researchers, it is essential to take action to conserve chameleons but above all to stop the destruction of forests and restore the habitat of these animals. An important but necessary effort must be made, not only for the pygmy chameleon, but also for the numerous other species that inhabit the area.

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Sources of reference: Cambridge University / Wits University

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