The Indian Chameleon in Solapur (India)
It has long been known that the Indian chameleon occurs in Maharashtra. A recently published survey study has even found evidence of it in an area near Solapur that is covered only with grass and bushes.
The area studied is a 15 km² area of semi-arid grassland around a site earmarked for an airport at an altitude of 450 to 500 metres. The nearest village is Boramani, a small town just outside the city of Solapur in the state of Maharashtra in western India. For one year, about half of the grassland was surveyed four times a month for the presence of reptiles. Squares of 50 metres x 50 metres were laid out, each at least 300 metres apart. Each observation period consisted of five hours and only observations with the naked eye.
During the study period, 888 individuals of 14 different reptile species were recorded. Of these, more than 300 were Sitana laticeps, a fan-throated lizard. Among the species found were two Chamaeleo zeylanicus. The activity of the lizards increased from March, stabilised during the monsoon season in June-July and then declined again from August.
The authors argue in favour of protecting the grassland area due to the existing biodiversity. This should prevent the construction of the airport and thus the disappearance of the habitat.
Ecology of lizards in an ecologically significant semi-arid grassland patch near Solapur, Maharashtra, India
Mahindrakar Yogesh Y., Waghmare Akshay M., Hippargi Rajshekhar V.
International Journal of Zoological Investigations 9 (2) 2023, pp. 210-223