Malaga City Council hopes to recover the Common Chameleon

The Malaga City Council has developed a project for the conservation, protection and enhancement of populations and habitats of the Common Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon L.) since 2009. The initiative has been made possible thanks to a grant within the “Increasing Biodiversity” project by the Ministry of Environment and the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces.

Chameleon in its habitat, Malaga Photo: AGL Video

So far, 68 specimens have been recovered at the Center for Conservation and Recovery of the Common Chameleon, created within the project. The main functions of the Center are the recovery of the specimens received, their acclimatization in semi-wild conditions and the subsequent reintroduction of recovered individuals in an adequate environment for the species. 

The Centre has a collaboration agreement with the Andalusian CREAs (the Spanish acronym for “Center for the Recovery of Endangered Species”) to promote the transfer of Common Chameleon specimens from the municipality to the Recovery Center.

The Common Chameleon is the only Andalusian saurian that lives strictly on trees and shrubs and is included in several forms of protection, such as the Habitats Directive 92/43 and the Red Book of Vertebrates in Spain where it is categorized as "endangered". In Spain, it occurs only in the South. 

Research and field work have been carried out to better determine the threats that apply to the Common Chameleon and improve the knowledge on the most appropriate corrective measures. The habitat transformation and fragmentation, due to the barrier effect of roads, has been tackled by restoring degraded habitats. To help avoid roadkills, vertical signs warning drivers have been placed in close proximity to major population spots and habitats recovered for the species.

Alongside these activities, a raising awareness program has been developed to help counter uncontrolled catches or uncontrolled reintroductions. 32 groups of students and a total of 982 people have participated in this awareness-raising campaign.

Following link you can watch a video summary of this project.

Currently the project is in its final phase and its continuity is conditioned on receiving financial support from external funding to enable to continue the work already done. The City of Malaga invites interested parties to cooperate with this initiative. The Malaga City Council has been an IUCN Member since 2008.

You can find more information on the project here.

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