Trioceros incornutus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleonidae

Scientific Name: Trioceros incornutus (Loveridge, 1932)
Common Name(s):
English Ukinga Hornless Chameleon, Poroto Mountain Chameleon
Chamaeleo incornutus (Loveridge, 1932)
Chamaeleon incornutus Loveridge, 1932

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-08-27
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 Least Concern due to its widespread distribution within a series of connected forest patches, and is presumably not heavily impacted by anthropogenic activities, except in a few localized areas of Tanzania. If threats intensify substantially through habitat destruction on a large scale that affects multiple forest patches, this species should be re-assessed.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in Afrotemperate forest patches in the southern highlands of Tanzania (Ukinga, Ngosi, Poroto, Rungwe and probably Ubena), and the Nyika plateau in Malawi (Tilbury 2010). There are also suitable forest patches on the Nyika Plateau in Zambia, but there are no records of this species as of yet. However, it is likely to occur there, because records from Malawi are less than 10 km from the Zambia border and the patches are widespread throughout that entire area. Records indicate it occurs between 1,800 and 2,500 m altitude. It may be more widespread than the known records suggest. Within its known range, the forests occur as series of perhaps hundreds of small patches scattered across the larger grassland matrix. GoogleEarth satellite images show that only a small portion of the overall range consists of suitable forest habitat (perhaps less than 10%), although if the species is found to be more widespread, this too is likely to be an underestimate.
Countries occurrence:
Malawi; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:12500
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Lower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no abundance estimates for this species, which is difficult to find as it may perch high in forest vegetation so sightings are rare (Tilbury 2010). This species is probably not subject to major population declines although it may be subject to local declines in areas where the forests are heavily impacted. Although it occurs in small forest patches, the sheer number of these patches across the grassland matrix, as well as the short distances between patches, suggests there is connectivity between forest patches. Because the forests are naturally patchy, it is inferred that connectivity allows for gene flow, and therefore the population is not considered severely fragmented.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This chameleon inhabits montane forest patches, and has been found in high perches (Tilbury 2010) making it difficult to find so observations are rare. Although it is a forest species it does seem to tolerate mildly altered habitats and forest edges, and is sometimes found in severely degraded forest. It does not inhabit in the grasslands matrix where the forest patches are embedded. However, chameleons are known to cross unsuitable habitat if the distances are small, and many of the forest are just tens or hundreds of metres apart. Therefore, it is likely that some gene flow occurs between forest patches.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Annual CITES export quotas for T. incornutus between 2000 and 2013 ranged from 20-90 (35 average) captive born individuals per year from Tanzania (CITES 2013). Between 1977 and 2011 (2012 and 2013 trade data are incomplete or unavailable) a total of 144 live individuals were exported from Tanzania for the pet trade (total of all commercial exports), of which 6 were reported as wild collected and 52 as confiscations (UNEP-WCMC 2013). All commercial exports occurred between 1999 and 2010, during which time 0-50 individuals were exported per year (UNEP-WCMC 2013). No other trade is reported, although illegal trade and/or harvest may occur on occasion.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Malawi, this species is only known to occur within the Nyika National Park, which is protected from encroachment and resource utilisation in the forest. In Tanzania, the small fragments and the forests that are not nature reserves are heavily impacted. Rungwe is now a Nature Reserve and is well-protected. Threats therefore, are on only some of the sub-populations, through utilization of forest habitat for resources.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Nyika Plateau within Malawi is protected as a national park and a number of forest patches occur there. There are no conservation actions recommended at this time, but research into the status of the populations in the forest fragments, and the distribution in general, would improve our understanding of the potential threats to this species.

Citation: Tolley, K. & Menegon, M. 2014. Trioceros incornutus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T176316A47765610. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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