Kinyongia matschiei 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleonidae

Scientific Name: Kinyongia matschiei
Species Authority: (Werner, 1895)
Common Name(s):
English Giant East Usambara Blade-horned Chameleon, Matschie’s Two-horned Chameleon
Chamaeleon matschiei Werner, 1895
Taxonomic Notes: Accepted as Kinyongia matschiei in Mariaux et al. (2008). Populations occur in the East Usambara Mountains, and these were formerly confused with K. fischeri.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-08-26
Assessor(s): Tolley, K. & Menegon, M.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): Anderson, C.V. & Tilbury, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Tolley, K. & Jenkins, R.K.B.
This species is listed as Endangered on the basis that it has an Extent of Occurrence of only 800 km2, and an Area of Occupancy less than 300 km2. It occurs as a severely fragmented population, and the forest fragments where it occurs are experiencing continuing declines in their extent and quality as a result of agricultural encroachment and resource extraction.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to Afrotemperate forest fragments in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania (Tilbury 2010). Although it is sometimes found in degraded vegetation adjacent to forests, it does not utilize the fully transformed landscape.
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:288Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):UnknownEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:799
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no information on the abundance of this species. This species is restricted to remnant forest patches, which are highly fragmented due to anthropogenic activities, with an average fragment size of 32 km2, and a median size of 16 km2. These forests are becoming constricted and as such, the population is probably in decline. Although it can sometimes be found outside of primary forest, in these situations it utilizes degraded forest or former forest habitat where suitable trees remain. It is therefore presumed to occur as a severely fragmented population, given its inability to persist in, or traverse across, the fully transformed landscape.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This forest specialist is found in Afrotemperate forest but is sometimes observed at forest edges, or in modified vegetation adjacent to forest patches, on shrubs and trees by roadsides, but it does not range across the transformed landscape.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

The trade background and status of K. matschiei is complicated by its taxonomic history. K. matschiei was only recognized as a full species by CITES in 2010 at CITES CoP15 (CITES 2013b). Prior to this, is was considered a subspecies of K. fischeri, along with K. multituberculata, K. uluguruensis, K. vosseleri and true K. fischeri. Strictly speaking, K. matschiei has never been issued an annual CITES export quota (CITES 2013a). Through the first half of 2013, however, it is estimated that K. matschiei represents approximately 4% or less of all trade reported as K. fischeri (C. Anderson pers. obs. 2013).

Annual CITES export quotas for K. fischeri between 2000 and 2013 have been fixed to 3,000 wild collected individuals and 10-400 (125-400 between 2000 and 2012) captive born individuals per year from Tanzania (CITES 2013a). CITES Trade Data indicates that between 1977 and 2011 (2012 and 2013 trade data are incomplete or unavailable) a total of 78,801 live individuals were exported from Tanzania for the pet trade (total of all undeclared, captive breeding, personal and commercial exports), of which 1,158 were reported as either captive bred or captive born (UNEP-WCMC 2013). All these individuals were exported from 1985 to 2011, with the captive bred or born individuals having been exported from 1999 to 2011, with the exception of a single export of captive bred individuals in 1995 (UNEP-WCMC 2013). An additional 336 individuals were reportedly exported from Kenya from 1980 to 2011 (6 individuals in 1980, 56 individuals in 2001, and 330 farmed or confiscated individuals in 2011) (UNEP-WCMC 2013). With the exception of those exports from Kenya, it is estimated that 4% or less of all this documented trade relates to K. matschiei (C. Anderson pers. obs. 2013).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species inhabits the fragmented Afrotemperate forests of the East Usambara mountains, which are embedded in a matrix of original forest and subsistence agricultural lands. The remaining forest is impacted by timber removal, continued agricultural expansion and the spread of the invasive umbrella tree (Maesopsis eminii), which is affecting forest ecosystems. Kinyongia multituberculata is therefore impacted primarily through the loss of its forest habitat due to these anthropogenic impacts.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: A better understanding of population density and details about the actual range would assist in better understanding this species and the threats to it, given the recent taxonomic changes. Because the species is sometime observed in degraded forest, its ability to adapt outside the forest is not well understood and should be better investigated. Surveys comparing density in forest, against density outside forest, that account for observer error would improve our understanding. While trade levels are currently low, they should be monitored for any increases. Conservation would be improved if the forest protection measures were enforced, but at present, while part of this area is a Nature Reserve, enforcement is lacking.

Citation: Tolley, K. & Menegon, M. 2014. Kinyongia matschiei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T172545A1344917. . Downloaded on 23 May 2017.
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