Chapman's Pygmy Chameleon (Rhampholeon chapmanorum)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 180516615
Last chance for survival for one of the least studied endemic reptiles of Malawi: Chapman's pygmy chameleon
1) Assess species distribution in remaining fragmented forest:
Pygmy chameleons were found abundantly in 2 small forest fragments remaining in the area.
2) Assess neighbouring forest patches for possible occurrence
They were not found in other remaining degraded forest in the neighbourhood. However, 2 tiny pockets of forest, which were relatively intact but not more than a half a hectare in total, were still found to contain some individuals of this critically endangererd species.
3) Assess the abundance, ecology and threats to the species in these forest fragments
We made a population size estimate by working with 400m² plots. We also looked at the vegetation the chameleon prefers and the height they sleep at night. The threats were identified and discussed further in point 4.
4) Engage local communities and traditional leaders: we organized meetings and workshops locally to bring to the attention and sensitize community members about this chameleon.
5) Species action plan:
Drafted and first steps ongoing: Community participation and management + livelihood initiatives to releave pressure from the remaining forest.