Tarzan’s Chameleon, Calumma tarzan, is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Endemic to Madagascar, this chameleon has only been observed in two locations both of which are in the east of the island. It was discovered very recently in 2009 and is named after a nearby town formally known asTarzanville. Typically yellow or green in colour, under stress it adopts an eye-catching striped pattern.
Tarzan’s Chameleon is at risk from the ongoing clearance of its humid forest habitat, and slash-and-burn farming around the edges of the forest is a severe threat to its survival. Selective logging is also a problem. In addition, there have been reports that illegal artisanal gold mining is on the increase in the area, placing further pressure on this species.
Through its listing on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), trade in this species is carefully monitored and controlled. Unfortunately, Tarzan’s Chameleon has not been found within Madagascar’s existing protected area network, although one of the forests in which this species has been found is currently being established as a new protected area. It has been suggested that additional conservation efforts are required, including surveys to establish this species’ exact range.