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A new chameleon species from Madagascar on the brink of extinction - “A tarzan yell for conservation”

A team of German and Malagasy biologists from the Technische Universität Braunschweig, the University of Antananarivo, the Zoological State Collection of Munich and of the hesssiche Landesmusem Darmstadt discovered a new chameleon species in the rainforests of Madagascar’s east coast.

The species was discovered in a small rainforest fragment very close to the village formerly known as Tarzanville. “Therefore, we dedicated the new species to the fictional forest man "Tarzan" in the hope that this famous name will promote awareness and conservation activities for this apparently highly threatened new species and its habitats, Madagascar's mid-altitude rainforest”, says PhD student Philip – Sebastian Gehring, first author of the description of this new species.

Male holotype of Calumma tarzan, stress colouration fully developed. Copyright Frank Glaw

The Tarzan - chameleon should be considered as "Critically Endangered" because its recent distribution area covers probably less than 10 km2, there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of much of its habitat, and none of the habitats are included in the network of protected areas yet. The known habitats of this new chameleon should be protected as soon as possible in order to ensure the survival of this splendid species and other locally endemic endangered amphibian and reptile species occurring in these forest remnants, thereby using the Tarzan chameleon as a flagship species.


Gehring, P.-S., M. Pabijan,, F. Ratsoavina, J. Köhler, M. Vences & F. Glaw:
A Tarzan yell for conservation: a new chameleon, Calumma tarzan sp. n., proposed as flagship species for the creation of new nature reserves in Madagascar.- Salamandra 46(3) 151–163

Dr. Elisabeth Hoffmann | idw
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Further reports about: Madagascar Tarzan chameleon species new species

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