Potential new distribution areas of the European chameleon

Potential new distribution areas of the European chameleon

Verbreitung Science

The European chameleon (Chamaeleo chameleon) was historically found in some small areas of the Mediterranean and Central Asia. Today, however, it is much more widespread. It is now assumed that the animals were brought to their new distribution areas by humans and were able to reproduce there due to the favourable climatic conditions. Scientists have now investigated where there are further suitable habitats for the European chameleon and how the existing populations could develop over the next 50 years.

The three subspecies studied were Chamaeleo chamaeleon chamaeleon, Chamaeleo chamaeleon musae and Chamaeleo chamaeleon reticrista. The former is known from the southern edge of Portgual and Spain as well as from southern Italy, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, the western Sahara and Yemen. The second subspecies is currently found in Jordan, Israel and Egypt. The third subspecies occurs between Greece and Turkey, in Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon and Syria, but is actually native to northern Africa and the Middle East. It was probably introduced by people in southern Spain and Portgual, but is now considered a native species there.

For the study, the existing literature, sampling by the author himself, OpenStreetMaps and information from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) were used, statistically processed and analysed. Climate, topography, habitat of the sites and connections of existing populations were used to predict potentially suitable new habitats.

A total of 553 Chamaeleo chamaeleon findings were included in the study. 22% of the finds could be assigned to urban areas, 21% to scrubland and 18% to agricultural land. Most of the finds were made at altitudes of 0 to 100 metres above sea level. Not surprisingly, the areas currently colonised by Chamaeleo chamaeleon proved to be very suitable habitat. Potential well-suited new distribution areas in the future could be the Iberian Islands between Murcia and the Algarve in Portugal, Sicily, Calabria, Apulia and Sardinia in Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, the region between Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East, Cyprus and all coasts and islands of the Aegean Sea. Overall, a progressive increase in all existing habitats of the European chameleon is expected over the next 50 years. The only exceptions to this are probably some regions in Tunisia and Turkey. Further habitat losses are assumed on the Aegean coast in Turkey and Israel. In Spain and Portgual, the distribution area could shift westwards.

Habitat suitability and connectivity modelling predict a latitudinal-driven expansion in the Mediterranean basin for a historically introduced reptile
Davide Serva, Viviana Cittadino, Ilaria Bernabò, Maurizio Biondi, Mattia Iannella
European Journal of Wildlife Resarch 70 (27), 2024
DOI: 10.1007/s10344-024-01780-9

The two graphics are both from the publication mentioned.

Online lecture about parasites in reptiles

Online lecture about parasites in reptiles

Tiermedizin Webinars

The DGHT has created a novelty this year with the digital regulars’ table. Every last Thursday of the month, reptile keepers from all over Germany meet to discuss a given topic and a corresponding lecture. No-one has to travel far to attend, as the speakers and participants come to their living room via an online connection.

Paula Sapion Miranda will kick things off on 25 January 2024. The vet researches parasites in reptiles and amphibians at Justus Liebig University in Giessen and also works at Exomed, the well-known veterinary laboratory for exotic animals. She will talk about common and less common unwanted lodgers. Please register by e-mail to bonsels@dght.de by the day before, and the participation link will be sent out on the day of the regulars’ table.

Paula Sapion Miranda Parasites in reptiles and amphibians
1st online regulars’ table of the DGHT
Start 20.00 hrs

Presentation in Bern about Samos (Greece)

Presentation in Bern about Samos (Greece)

Live lectures

Markus Grimm, long-time member of AG Chamäleons and entrusted for many years in Switzerland with conducting expert courses for chameleon keeping, will show a detailed lecture on the island of Samos (Greece) on 08 November 2023 in Bern (Switzerland).

The Greek island of Samos is located in the Eastern Aegean Sea and is only 1.2 km away from the Turkish mainland. It is precisely this geographical location that makes the island with its flora and fauna extremely diverse and exciting. A pinch of culture, integrated into the nature of the plants, with a bouquet of orchids, surrounded by countless animals such as birds, insects, spiders, scorpions, amphibians and reptiles make up the recipe for this lecture. Markus Grimm has been visiting the island of Samos for more than 25 years, always discovering something new. His first visit to Samos was to see the European Chameleon. But it didn’t stop there and so the fauna and flora of this unique island became a part of his life.

Markus Grimm Samos – Die griechische Natur hautnah
SIGS Sektion Bern
Restaurant Kreuz
Jegenstorf (Schweiz)
Vortragsbeginn 20.00 Uhr

Foto: Markus Grimm