Calumma brevicorne 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleonidae

Scientific Name: Calumma brevicorne (Günther, 1879)
Common Name(s):
English Short-horned Chameleon
Chamaeleon brevicornis Günther, 1879
Taxonomic Notes: This widespread chameleon was redescribed by Raxworthy and Nussbaum (2006), who distinguished six additional species formerly included within C. brevicorne and clarified that the proposed subspecies Calumma brevicorne tsarafidyi was invalid. Genetic studies to clarify the taxonomy and distribution of this species and its relation to other species of large occipital-lobed Calumma are ongoing (Boumans et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2011
Date Assessed: 2011-01-25
Assessor(s): Jenkins, R.K.B., Andreone, F., Andriamazava, A., Anjeriniaina, M., Glaw, F., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotomalala, D., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Randrianiriana, J., Randrianizahana , H., Ratsoavina, F., Robsomanitrandrasana, E. & Carpenter, A.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Tolley, K.
Listed as Least Concern as the species has a wide distribution range in the eastern forests of Madagascar, and although there are many threats across the range and the species is overall in decline, it is also found in degraded habitats and the species is not likely to be declining at a rate that would qualify the species for listing in a threatened category. The outcome of ongoing molecular studies may well require the species to be reassessed.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The short-horned chameleon is endemic to Madagascar and has a broad latitudinal distribution in eastern Madagascar, between the Anosy Mountains in the south and the Tsaratanana Massif in the north, and has also been confirmed from the Analavory Plateau in the northwest, within a narrow elevational band between 810 and 1,000 m (Raxworthy and Nussbaum 2006). The occurrence of this species in Tsarafidy Forest in the southwest is considered unlikely, as the true collecting locality for the one specimen reported from this region is unclear and the short-horned chameleon was not recorded in a later survey of this site (Raxworthy and Nussbaum 2006). Most records of this species need to be re-evaluated in line with division of this taxon into new species (Raxworthy and Nussbaum 2006). Its geographic range information is therefore incomplete and voucher collections need to be re-assessed using the new species classification. It is therefore not possible to meaningfully estimate this chameleon's extent of occurrence; however the few verified records of this species are scattered over an area of at least 38,000 km².

Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Yes
Lower elevation limit (metres):810
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Brady and Griffiths (1999) calculated population densities of 2.4 chameleons ha-1 for this species in the forests around Parc National de Mantadia and Réserve Spéciale d'Analamazaotra. The species is considered very common in Andasibe (Parcher 1974).

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

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species occurs within mid-altitude humid forest, where it is more commonly found in open vegetation associated with edges and disturbed areas (Brady and Griffiths 1999). It is tolerant of some degree of habitat modification, and has been found in agricultural land where trees are present, in roadside vegetation, and in trees near buildings.It is likely that it occurs in plantations only when these are close to forest (R. Jenkins pers. comm. June 2011).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is currently no international trade in this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The main threats to this species include slash-and-burn agriculture, fire, and logging (for charcoal and construction).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in a number of protected areas across its range. Research is needed to clarify the taxonomy and the true distributional extent of this species.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Suitable  major importance:No

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.3. Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

Bibliography [top]

Boumans, L., Vieites, D.R., Glaw, F. and Vences, M. 2007. Geographic patterns of deep mitochondrial differentiation in widespread Malagasy reptiles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45(3): 822-839.

Brady, L.D. and Griffiths, R.A. 1999. Status Assessment of Chameleons in Madagascar. IUCN Species Survival Commission. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: (Accessed: 10 November 2011).

Parcher, S.P. 1974. Observation on the natural histories of six Malagasy Chamaeleontidae. Zeitschrift Tierpsychol 34: 500-523.

Raxworthy, C.J. and Nussbaum, R.A. 2006. Six new species of occipital-lobed Calumma Chameleons (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae) from montane regions of Madagascar, with a new description and revision of Calumma brevicorne. Copeia: 711-734.

Citation: Jenkins, R.K.B., Andreone, F., Andriamazava, A., Anjeriniaina, M., Glaw, F., Rabibisoa, N., Rakotomalala, D., Randrianantoandro, J.C., Randrianiriana, J., Randrianizahana , H., Ratsoavina, F., Robsomanitrandrasana, E. & Carpenter, A. 2011. Calumma brevicorne. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T172984A6952943. . Downloaded on 21 April 2018.
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