Trioceros hoehnelii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Trioceros hoehnelii
Species Authority: (Steindachner, 1891)
Common Name(s):
English Kenyan High-casqued Chameleon, Von Höhnel's Chameleon, Helmeted Chameleon, High-casqued Chameleon
French Caméléon à casque élevé
Spanish Camaleón de Casco
Chamaeleo bergeri Sternfeld 1912
Chamaeleo hoehnelii Steindachner, 1891
Chamaeleo leikipiensis Steindachner, 1891
Taxonomic Notes: This species was originally considered a subspecies of Chamaeleo (Trioceros) bitaeniatus Fischer, 1884.

This species has two subspecies:
T. hoehnelii hoehnelii (Steindachner, 1891)
T. hoehnelii altaeelgonis (Loveridge, 1935).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Spawls, S. & Carpenter, A.I.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B., Ram, M. & Tolley, K.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Trioceros hoehnelii has been assessed as Least Concern owing to its large distribution and ability to tolerate anthropogenic environments. It is unlikely to be undergoing significant population declines. International trade of this species is currently a threatening factor, however, this trade is regulated by CITES.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to East Africa, where it ranges from Nairobi north and northwest through the high country and across the rift valley. It has been recorded on the top of the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya, and westwards to the Mau. Its only recording outside of Kenya is on the western slopes of Mount Elgon in Uganda. Its extent of occurrence is estimated as approximately 43,000 km2. This species is found between an altitude of 1,500 and 4,000 m above sea level (Spawls et al. 2002).
Kenya; Uganda
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species may be locally abundant in some areas, for example in the Limuru region, where population densities of over 300 animals per hectare have been recorded (Spawls et al. 2002).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits high savanna and grassland, and may be found in shrubs, bushes, small trees, thicket, reedbeds, sedge and in tall or tussock grass. It is rarely found more than three metres above ground level. It is also able to tolerate suburban environments and can be found in garden bushes.

This species gives birth to live young (Spawls et al. 2002).
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected illegally in Kenya for the pet trade (CITES 2005). Between 2005 and 2008, 4,250 live specimens were reported to have been exported from Uganda and Kenya (UNEP-WCMC 2010). Although it is known that specimens are taken from the wild, it is also possible that some are bred in captivity.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is amongst three chameleon species known to be collected illegally in Kenya for the pet trade (CITES 2005). Between 2005 and 2008, 4,250 live specimens were reported to have been exported from Uganda and Kenya (UNEP-WCMC 2010).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is included in CITES Appendix II (CITES 2005). There are no further species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Harvest levels should continually be monitored because of illegal collection for the pet trade.

Bibliography [top]

Carpenter, A.I. 2007. pers. comm. Red List Assessment.

Carpenter, A.I., Rowcliffe, J.M. and Watkinson, A.R. 2004. The dynamics of the global trade in chameleons. Biological Conservation 120: 291-301.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 2005. Fifty-Third Meeting of the Standing Committee: Africa Regional Report.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Spawls, S. 2007. pers. comm. Red List Assessment.

Spawls, S., Howell, K.M., Drewes, R.C. and Ashe, J. 2002. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, Elsevier Science.

UNEP-WCMC. 2010. CITES Trade Database. Available at: (Accessed: 17th September).

Citation: Spawls, S. & Carpenter, A.I. 2013. Trioceros hoehnelii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 26 October 2014.
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