Chamaeleo chamaeleon 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleonidae

Scientific Name: Chamaeleo chamaeleon (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Mediterranean Chameleon
Spanish Camaleón Común
Lacerta chamaeleon Linnaeus, 1758

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-02-07
Assessor(s): Vogrin, M., Corti, C., Pérez Mellado, V., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J., Baha El Din, S. & Al Johany, A.M.H.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Tolley, K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Cox, N.A.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in southern Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia. In Europe it is found in Malta, and on Crete (although this requires confirmation), Samos and Chios (both in Greece), and in southern coastal Spain and Portugal where it is probably introduced before 1500. It was reportedly introduced to the island of Sicily, Italy, but its presence was never confirmed; a small, probably introduced, population is reported to be present in Apulia in southwestern Italy (not mapped here) (Sindaco et al. 2006). There are old reports of an introduced population in Crete, Greece but there are no specimens. In North Africa it occurs along the Atlantic coast of Western Sahara, is widely distributed in Morocco, and is present in northern Algeria, northern and central Tunisia, northern Libya and northern Egypt. In southwestern Asia it occurs on the island of Cyprus, in southern Turkey (and as isolated populations in the Marmaraa region [Sindaco et al. 2000; Sindaco et al. 2006]), through the Levant region of western Syria, Lebanon, Israel and western Jordan, western and southwestern Saudi Arabia and northern Yemen. It can be found from sea level up to 1,850 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Algeria; Cyprus; Egypt; Greece; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Libya; Malta; Morocco; Saudi Arabia; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Western Sahara; Yemen
Italy; Portugal; Spain
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1850
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a common species in most of its native range. In Spain, the species is most commonly found in densities of 10 to 25 animals per hectare, although up to 50 animals per hectare may be found. It is rare in Western Sahara. In Egypt, it is fairly common in coastal areas, but uncommon in more inland arid areas. In Turkey, it is uncommon (Avci and Kumlutaş pers. comm. 2008). It is a common, but patchily distributed species in Saudi Arabia.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a diurnal species found climbing in bushes in dry to humid habitats. It inhabits shrubland, plantations, open pine woodland, orchards (such as almonds and olive groves) and gardens. In Egypt, it also occurs on vegetation in sparsely vegetated open gravel plains. The females produce a single clutch of between five and forty-five eggs per year; these are buried in the soil.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected for the pet trade and local medicinal use.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is threatened locally by loss of habitat through urbanization and the development of tourist facilities, agricultural intensification, predation by domestic animals, accidental mortality on roads and by illegal collection of animals. It may be used for remedies or as a talisman in North Africa (not in Egypt). Animals are caught, sometimes illegally, for the international pet market and are offered to tourists at local markets. In Turkey, forest fires are also a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention and on Appendix II of CITES. Its range includes many protected areas, for example the following ones in Morocco: Tamga, Saghro, Chekhar, Talassemtane, Trois fourches, Sebkha Bou Areg, Gourougou, Embouchure Moulouya, Béni Snassen, Jbel Moussa, Perdicaris, Bouhachem, Brikcha, Koudiat Tidighine, Lalla Outka, Lalla Chafia, Bou Iblane, Bou Naceur, Jbel Tichoukt, and Jaaba. There is a need to monitor and regulate the collection of animals in Egypt (S. Baha El Din pers. comm.). In Spain, barriers have been created in an attempt to prevent mortality on roads.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.3. Trend Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends

♦  Medicine - human & veterinary
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

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Citation: Vogrin, M., Corti, C., Pérez Mellado, V., Sá-Sousa, P., Cheylan, M., Pleguezuelos, J., Baha El Din, S. & Al Johany, A.M.H. 2012. Chamaeleo chamaeleon. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T157246A743434. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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