Bradypodion nemorale 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Chamaeleonidae

Scientific Name: Bradypodion nemorale Raw, 1978
Common Name(s):
English Qudeni Dwarf Chameleon, Zululand Dwarf Chameleon
French Caméléon nain à nez rouge
Bradypodion nkandlae Raw & Brothers, 2008
Taxonomic Notes: Originally described from Qudeni and Nkandla Forests (Raw 1978). Later, Raw (2001) proposed that the Nkandla population should belong to a separate taxon and more recently, Raw and Brothers (2008) described this population as Bradypodion nkandlae. The latter description was based on juvenile specimens which lacked clear diagnostic morphological differences from B. nemorale from Qudeni forest, aside from pigmentation. Furthermore, genetic studies of chameleons from these two forests suggest that the two populations are not distinct species, and B. nkandlae was therefore referred to the synonymy of B. nemorale (Tilbury and Tolley 2009).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2013-05-16
Assessor(s): Tolley, K.
Reviewer(s): Bauer, A.
This species has a very restricted extent of occurrence (EOO = 1,300 km2) and area of occupancy (AOO = 59 km2) (both below the Endangered thresholds [B1+2]) but it appears to be locally abundant in two isolated forest patches, Qudeni and Nkandla. Nkandla Forest is formally protected, not presently under great threat (Geldenhuys 2000, Berliner et al. 2006) and relatively well managed (I. van der Merwe pers. comm.). Qudeni Forest is not formally protected (although it is managed as a Provincial State Forest) and the high anthropogenic pressure on surrounding areas (Driver et al. 2005) may lead to the disruption of ecological processes. It is considered degraded due to informal use of resources by a dense surrounding human population (Geldenhuys 2000). In combination with heavily transformed surrounding landscapes and resource extraction in buffer zones, this could lead to the disruption of natural processes in the forest. Considering the size of the chameleon’s range and the nature of its threats, there are probably about 10–20 locations. Within both forests there appears to be no further decline in habitat quality or range size. The species should be considered Near Threatened, partly due to the tenuous nature of the protection of their habitat, especially at Qudeni.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Qudeni and Nkandla Forests, two patches of indigenous forest in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (Tolley and Burger 2007).
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:59Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1300
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:10
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information is currently available on population trends or status.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:2
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Confined to isolated patches of Afromontane and scarp forest. Usually found high in the canopy, although smaller individuals have been observed in the understorey (Tolley and Burger 2007).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3-4

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is no known utilisation or trade of this species.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although this species occurs as two isolated populations, this fragmentation is natural. However, considering its small range, the species is susceptible to natural and anthropogenic pressures. Much of the forest habitat in KwaZulu-Natal has been given over to wood plantations but no additional pressure is expected on the two forest patches (Berliner et al. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Monitor the situation, especially at Qudeni Forest, and manage it to prevent further encroachment by plantations and to ensure that the impacts of human resource use on the forest are minimised. In the event of further encroachment or habitat degradation, re-evaluate the conservation status of this species. Tilbury and Tolley (2009) noted low levels of gene flow between the Qudeni and Nkandla populations and this, together with differences in body size, casque size and colouration suggested that the two populations should be treated as separate management units.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection

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:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:No/Negligible Impact: 2 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.2. Agro-industry plantations
♦ timing:Past, Likely to Return ♦ scope:Unknown   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy

Bibliography [top]

Bates, M.F., Branch, W.R., Bauer, A.M., Burger, M., Marais, J., Alexander, G.J. and de Villiers, M.S. (eds). 2014. Atlas and Red List of the Reptiles of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Suricata 1. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Berliner, D.D., van der Merwe, I., Benn, G. and Rouget, M. 2006. Systematic Conservation Planning for the Forest Biome of South Africa. Approach, Methods and Results of the Selection of Priority Forests for Conservation Action. UK DFID for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria, South Africa.

Driver, A., Maze, K., Rouget, M., Lombard, A.T., Nel, J., Turpie, J.K., Cowling, R.M., Desmet, P., Goodman, P., Harris, J., Jonas, Z., Reyers, B., Sink, K. and Strauss, T. 2005. National Spatial Biodiversity Assessment 2004: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation in South Africa. Strelitzia 17, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria, South Africa.

Geldenhuys, C.J. 2000. Assessment of State Forests Managed by Provincal Authorities: KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Services. Report Number FW-02/00, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Pretoria, South Africa.

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Raw, L.G.R. 1978. A further new dwarf chameleon from Natal, South Africa (Chamaelonidae: Sauria). Durban Museum Novitates 11(15): 265-269.

Raw, L.R.G. 2001. Revision of some Dwarf Chameleons (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae: Bradypodion) from Eastern South Africa. M.Sc. thesis, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Raw, L.R.G. and Brothers, D.J. 2008. Redescription of the South African dwarf chameleon, Bradypodion nemorale Raw 1978 (Sauria: Chamaeleonidae), and description of two new species. ZooNova 1(1): 1-7.

Tilbury, C.R. and Tolley, K.A. 2009. A new species of dwarf chameleon (Sauria; Chamaeleonidae, Bradypodion Fitzinger) from KwaZulu Natal South Africa with notes on recent climatic shifts and their influence on speciation in the genus. Zootaxa 2226: 43-57.

Tolley, K.A. and Burger, M. 2007. Chameleons of Southern Africa. Struik, Cape Town.

Citation: Tolley, K. 2017. Bradypodion nemorale. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T3009A110305929. . Downloaded on 22 September 2017.
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