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Furcifer labordi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA CHAMAELEONIDAE

Scientific Name: Furcifer labordi
Species Authority: (Grandidier, 1872)
Common Name(s):
English Laborde's Chameleon
Synonym(s):
Chamaeleo barbouri Hechenbleikner, 1942
Chamaeleo labordi Grandidier, 1872

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2009-12-31
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.
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable as the species has an extent of occurrence of 16,649 km² in a region of southwestern Madagascar where its habitat continues to decline due to agricultural expansion and logging, and it is thought to occur as a severely fragmented population.
History:
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species is restricted to the west and south west of Madagascar, and is found in low elevation sites (between 20 and 100 m above sea level) with remaining forest cover (Raselimanana and Rakotomalala 2003, Andriamandimbiarisoa 2007, Glaw and Vences 2007, Raselimanana 2008). It has been recorded from the Mikea forest in southwestern Madagascar (Raselimanana 2004, Karsten et al. 2008), the Menabe forests in western Madagascar (Brygoo 1971, Raselimanana and Rakotomalala 2003, Randrianantoandro et al. 2010), Parc National de Kirindy Mitea (Raselimanana 2008) and two sites further north, Katsepy and Soalala (Brygoo 1978). Its extent of occurrence is estimated to be 16,649 km².

Countries:
Native:
Madagascar
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In dry spiny forest habitats in south-western Madagascar this species occurs in population densities of 30.8 ha per ha (Karsten et al. 2009) whilst in the dry deciduous forests of the Menabe region in western Madagascar, it occurred at lower densities  of 7.2 per ha (Randrianantoandro et al. 2010). In the southwest, the entire population of this species survives as eggs during the austral winter (Karsten et al. 2008) but it is not clear what life history is used by the populations further north, in less harsh environmental conditions. The patchy distribution of, and the severe human pressures placed on, remaining suitable habitat within this species' range suggest the population is both declining and severely fragmented.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Laborde's Chameleon is strongly associated with remaining forest, especially spiny forest in the southwest and deciduous forest in the west (Raselimanana and Rakotomalala 2003). This species exhibits a bizarre annual life cycle where synchronous hatching occurs in November, followed by rapid growth into maturity, copulation in January and senescence and death by April (Karsten et al. 2008). Eggs are deposited in nests in the ground and remain in diapause until shortly before the rains (Karsten et al. 2008). There is little quantitative data on clutch size for this species in the wild, but a radio tracked female was observed laying 11 eggs in southern Madagascar (Karsten et al. 2008). This species is sexually dimorphic and exhibits physically intense combat and agnostic courtship (Karsten et al. 2008). In artificial combat scenarios, large males with short rostral appendages were the more successful whilst females appeared to show a  preference for males with wide rostral appendages (Karsten et al. 2009). The species is prey for Madagascarophis and Mimophis snakes (Andriamandimbiarisoa 2007).

Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species used to be exported from Madagascar and 997 were traded between 1988 and 1994, before a suspension was imposed by CITES. Eighteen individuals were recorded in illegal trade in a survey in Thailand.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The forests in Madagascar's southwest are under high pressure from expanding rural and urban populations, and underwent some of the largest declines in forest cover between 1990 and 2000 in the whole of the island (Harper et al. 2007). The main threats to Laborde's Chameleon in this region are the conversion of native forest vegetation into charcoal and forest clearance for agriculture (Seddon et al. 2000, Andriamandimbiarisoa 2007). Similarly, the forests in western Madagascar are threatened by charcoal production and slash and burn clearance for subsistence agriculture, as well as timber harvesting (Smith et al. 1997, Ganzhorn et al. 2001, Young et al. 2008). There is no evidence that commercial collection currently poses a threat to this lizard.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Laborde's chameleon occurs within the boundary of the Réserve Spéciale d'Andranomena (Raselimanana and Rakotomalala 2003), Parc National Mikea and Parc National Kirindy Mitea (Raselimanana 2008) in the west, as well as in two other protected areas that are currently under development (Antimena in the Menabe Region and PK32 Ranobe in the Atsimo Andrefana Region). Additional survey work and research is needed into this species to better understand its current distribution, ecological requirements and life history. In particular, it is important to survey for this species in the forests north of the Tsiribihina River because, although comprehensive surveys have not found Laborde's chameleon in Parc National Tsingy de Bemaraha (Randrianantoandro et al. 2008), it might occur in the lower altitude forest to the west. It is also important to ascertain whether the unusual life history documented for this lizard n the arid south is shared by subpopulations in the north, where environmental conditions are less harsh. Research is needed to establish the extent to which this species is threatened, and by which processes, in different parts of its range.

This species is listed on CITES Appendix II, but exports of wild caught individuals were suspended in 1994 (Carpenter et al. 2004). It is listed as a protected species (Category I, Class II) under Malagasy law which permits authorized collection from wild. Karsten et al. (2009) recommend that this species should be a conservation priority because of its restricted distributions, susceptibility to extirpation, low population densities, and lack of formal protection for habitat in the southwest.


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 labordi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 September 2014.
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