Furcifer pardalis 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleonidae

Scientific Name: Furcifer pardalis
Species Authority: (Cuvier, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Panther Chameleon
Chamaeleo pardalis Cuvier, 1829

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-27
Assessor(s): Jenkins, R.K.B., Andreone, F., Andriamazava, A., Anjeriniaina, M., Brady, L., Glaw, F., Griffiths, R.A., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotomalala, D., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Randrianiriana, J., Randrianizahana , H., Ratsoavina, F. & Robsomanitrandrasana, E.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Tolley, K.
Listed as Least Concern as the species is widespread in northeastern Madagascar, and common in disturbed and degraded habitats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Panther Chameleon is endemic to Madagascar where it is widespread in lowland areas of the northeast and east. Raselimanana and Rakotomala (2003) give the elevation range for this species from 80 m to 950 m above sea-level, although it certainly occurs at lower elevations (Rabearivony et al. 2008) and may be less common above 700 m (Raxworthy 1988, Raselimanana et al. 2000, Andreone et al. 2005). The chameleon's extent of occurrence within its native range is estimated to be 91,090 km²; populations have also been introduced to the islands of Réunion and Mauritius (N. Cole pers. comm. July 2011).

Countries occurrence:
Mauritius (Mauritius (main island)); Réunion
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):950
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This chameleon is believed to be locally abundant in northeastern and eastern lowland areas. A minimum population estimate of 451,730 individuals (95% confidence interval: 21,664-941,860) was calculated for the island of Nosy Be in northeastern Madagascar (Andreone et al. 2005). It was relatively abundant during a survey of Montagne des Français (D'Cruze et al. 2007), and also common in and around the forest fragment Antsolipa, near Montagne d'Ambre (Labanowski and Lowin 2011). The density of panther chameleons was estimated as 2.0 per ha in a lowland forest in the east (Rabearivony et al. 2008).

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is abundant in lowland degraded scrub and forest habitats, where it uses trees of up to 10 m in height (Raxworthy 1988). Although it may also use the canopy in relatively intact forest (Raxworthy 1988), this is thought to be a relatively rare occurrence (Andreone et al. 2005). D'Cruze et al. (2007) found Panther Chameleons in sites associated with forest or in areas that have been highly disturbed by people. On the island of Nosy Be the highest abundance was found along well-vegetation roadsides (Andreone et al. 2005), and in ylang-ylang and coffee plantations (Andreone et al. 2003). Surveys in closed forest at sites in eastern and northern Madagascar revealed a notably low abundance of chameleons compared to roadsides in Nosy Be (Andreone et al. 2005). In the Loky-Manambato complex near Daraina the lizard was found in all 12 survey sites, including dry forest, littoral forest and transitional forest  In a lowland forest in eastern Madagascar the chameleon was not encountered inside the main vegetation block, but was found breeding in areas of abandoned agriculture adjacent to the forest (Rabearivony et al. 2008). Panther Chameleons may be associated with open areas in forests that are found alongside rivers (Andreone et al. 2005). A preference for open areas might be related to the opportunities for basking or visual communication using colour (Andreone et al. 2005). Sexual maturity is reached within one year and females are thought to follow an annual life history, with males growing larger and living for longer (Andreone et al. 2005). Clutch size in the wild is reported as at least 23 eggs (Raselimanana and Rakotomalala 2003). This species has rapid growth, a relatively short life span and high fecundity and could probably withstand increased levels of exploitation as long as degraded forest cover does not diminish (Andreone et al. 2005).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Collection from wild occurs for export overseas and 1,684 animals were shipped from Madagascar in 2006, and 12,141 between 2000 and 2005. There is an annual export quota of 2,000 individuals from Madagascar; although based on political expediency rather than sound science, this is believed to be conservative (Andreone et al. 2005).  This is probably the only species of Malagasy chameleon that is bred outside of Madagascar on a commercial basis.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Habitat degradation is unlikely to represent a major threat to this species given its apparently adaptability to, and indeed preference for, degraded habitats. Although this is the most sought-after Malagasy chameleon in the international pet trade, current levels of exploitation are not thought to represent a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

The panther chameleon has been recorded from a number of protected areas, including Réserve Naturelle Intégrale de Lokobe (Andreone et al. 2005), Réserve Spéciale de Manongarivo, Réserve Spéciale d'Ambatovaky, Parc National de Marojejy, Réserve Spéciale de Nosy Mangabe, Parc National de Zahamena (Raselimanana and Rakotomalala 2003) and Parc National de Sahamalaza (Raselimanana 2008).

Citation: Jenkins, R.K.B., Andreone, F., Andriamazava, A., Anjeriniaina, M., Brady, L., Glaw, F., Griffiths, R.A., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotomalala, D., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Randrianiriana, J., Randrianizahana , H., Ratsoavina, F. & Robsomanitrandrasana, E. 2011. Furcifer pardalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172955A6947909. . Downloaded on 26 October 2016.
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